I have not been the type to go all out on my bases. partly because I would rather spend the time painting another figure, and partly because I like the clean look of just simple sand. However, lately I have been experimenting with different coarseness of sand/ballast, and mixing custom blends of static grass.
Because my house is the central gaming hub of our group, I have been the GM in out RP games for the last 10 years, and I am the most prolific painter of our group, my figures are usually the ones out on the table. In the past, even if a figure screamed to be based a certain way (say for example on a stone dungeon floor or a wood tavern floor) my fantasy figures are based the same way (from my khorne army, to my D&D characters, to my Talisman figures).
In some perverse OCD requirement in my head, all my fantasy figures have to be based similarly so all the PC's and all the monsters "match". I'm not sure why I don't have this hang up with my sci-fi minis. However, I still never go too far from ballast/static grass.
So, this weekend, I worked up 2 sample "themed" bases - "Urban Wasteland" and "Sandstone Tiles". Ones that I could repeat as needed.
Now, I almost never model a base before the figure is painted, and even more rarely do I do it before the figure is even ON the base. For me, this was a very strange process. It will take some getting used to. I really like how the "Urban Wasteland" base looks, but I'm not confidant how a figure will look on it - the surface is very uneven. I'm not sure how I am going to mount a figure on this...
I also worked on a third style of base I thought would be easy, but turned out to be more difficult than these two. It will be a split of deck plating and metal grating.