Games and Models

Figure Basing

Planning and making bases for miniatures: tools and techniques

Basing Basics

Before you start making bases check the rules and army list. Then you should be able to work out how many bases and of what size are needed.

Ready to make some bases
Ready to make some bases

Sometimes I use ready made plastic bases but the bulk of my painted figures are based on card. I use thin mounting card from art shops as I find it sturdy enough once figures and ground material is added, and it avoids the figures looking like they are mounted on a paving slab! I know thick (2mm or more) bases are robust but I feel a smoother join with the table top looks better. So what else do I use?

I use a set square and pencil for marking out the base outlines on the card. Then I use a steel ruler as a guide and cut the card with a heavy duty craft knife. Two key points are: a new blade in the knife and several gentle cuts. Oh, and a self-healing cutting mat so I don’t have to French polish the table afterwards.

Sticking it all together

Once the bases are cut out and any wounds dressed it’s time to stick the figures on. Yes, knifes are sharp and the best way to avoid cuts is a series of cuts rather than forcing the blade through the card.

I plan what figures are going on which base before I glue. I may go so far as to arrange them in the order I will glue them on in an assembly line manner. I find with WRG rule the bases sizes are pretty tight and this is essential. In fact sometimes it’s like trying to build a Twister diorama …

Then get gluing and I use a standard contact glue – Uhu is my favourite. PVA is just as good and really it’s using something you are happy with. I regard super glue and epoxy as overkill for card.

Today I am mostly basing Orcs

Yep, it’s time to base some Mithril Miniatures orcs for Hordes of the Things. I had these based for Warhammer but now have enough suitable figures to retire these. The idea is to use these for HoTT Middle Earth forces.

Based figures
Orcs glued onto bases

By Rick Lawrence

Making models and playing tabletop games since the late 1960s, and still enjoying it! Now working in heritage and dabbing around with photography, with quality cafe time when I can.

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