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Author Topic: Preferred bases for minis?  (Read 597 times)

Offline The Great Mahoo

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 23
Preferred bases for minis?
« on: October 16, 2020, 02:49:24 AM »
What type of bases do you like for your minis? 
MDF, Plastic, clear acrylic?
Pros and cons of various styles? 

Thanks in advance!

I've been collecting assorted models for use in generally mini-agnostic games with no set requirements for basing, but find myself perusing various bases.  I've been using simple plastic ones I bought with a purchase from Reaper some time back, and the 25mm flat bases in Northstar kits from some Frostgrave sets thus far, and have a ton of models on the old Warhammer Fantasy Battle square bases.  I need to stock up on bases again, and have been thinking about trying something different (such as MDF).

Offline Rhydderch

  • Student
  • Posts: 14
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #1 on: October 16, 2020, 04:56:24 AM »
I use a punch to make thin clear bases from plastic card protectors. A tutorial I made awhile back using some pre-painted minis:

http://teumessa.blogspot.com/2012/01/tutorial-clear-bases.html
Note - I mostly use regular gel super glue now.

Here's a thread discussing various options for clear bases with some pictures, though you might need to click through a couple pages to find the pics:

http://leadadventureforum.com/index.php?topic=114571.0

Pros
- Figures can fit in on most terrain types.
- The bases blend in esp well on flat terrain such as cardboard.
- Easy to stock up on - or you can make them when you need them.
- Inexpensive.
- Saves time compared to making a fancy base.

Cons
- You cannot pin figures - it can be hard to get some figures (ie a ballet dancer on one foot) to stay on the base.
- The base is light so top-heavy unbalanced figures could topple over.
- The base is light so figures can also topple or slide if they are on an uneven surface.

Minor Cons
- If you leave figures out, dust can accumulate. They'll still be more or less clear.
- People might call you lazy because you didn't spend time on your bases (never mind that some of those ppl might be playing with half-assembled, unpainted figures...)

Your Mileage May Vary - Depends on your preferences and the games you play
- If you enjoy making fancy bases, it can feel pretty anticlimactic to just stick a figure on a base at the end. LoL.
- If you base your figures before painting, you may need to be extra careful so you don't paint over the clear plastic. I paint figures before I base them, so it's not an issue for me.
- If you play games where the figures are in formations, it can be harder to keep the figures in formation since the bases are so thin.
- If you play games with large figures, it can be harder to find bigger quality punches and large plastic sheets.
- Figures with integrated scenery/bases (ruins and other terrain that's part of the figure) are problematic, though I suppose that's true of any base except what those figures come with.
- These bases aren't compatible with magnet storage (magnet glued to the bottom of the base) options.
- I had one person question if scratches would cause the bases to become less clear over time. I haven't noticed this problem, but maybe it would come up if you play on sandpaper and push your figures across the board instead of picking them up? =P

Offline Lost Egg

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 868
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #2 on: October 16, 2020, 06:15:31 AM »
Over the last few years I've experimented with a few different types of bases but I kept coming back to the classic 25mm round ones used in 40k. Now thats all I use...

...well that style anyway, larger bases for larger minis and all that :D

Offline has.been

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2959
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #3 on: October 16, 2020, 09:07:24 AM »
it depends:-
For skirmish I use coins that contain iron (e.g. newer UK 1p & 2p coins)
They then 'stick' to the magnetic sheets I put in the base of a Really
Useful Box.

When I get too many of those I speed up the game by using Sabot bases.

For projects that are going to have a lot of figures, I use larger MDF
bases & try to make mini-dioramas.

When using older (smaller) Sci-Fi or Fantasy figures I will put them
onto GW type plastic round bases. It raises them up so they don't
look too silly next to newer (taller) figures.

I want to try out the 'hole punch transparent plastic' bases, especially
for skirmish figures that change environment, e.g. Pulp adventurers
who could be in a:-
field, room, airship, desert, temple or winter wonderland.
 
Then as for flying stuff...


Offline Bone

  • Assistant
  • Posts: 34
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #4 on: October 16, 2020, 12:49:24 PM »
Imho there is no "perfect" way /material for miniature bases.
All depends on personal aesthetic preferences, miniature material/weight/size, storage/transport etc.

I prefer my bases as thin and sturdy as possible.

Most of my 28mm miniatures are plastic or resin.
Nowadays I use Renedra plastic bases (thickness ca. 1,5 mm) for my 28/32 mm miniatures.
- for fantasy/historic setteings, square/rectangular plastic bases with inserted rare earth magnets (so I can use sheet metal for sabot bases/movement trays.)
- for SciFi miniatures, clear round plastic bases.


Offline SteveBurt

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 880
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #5 on: October 16, 2020, 01:31:00 PM »
I find mounting card fine for most purposes. Just cut out whatever size you need, either for single figures or multi-based depending on rules.

Offline Jagannath

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1543
    • Blades and Blasters
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #6 on: October 16, 2020, 01:32:29 PM »
I swear by MDF - 3mm for 28mm/20mm  and 2mm for smaller scales - with appropriate magnet holes. Store all my minis in really useful boxes lined with steel. My whole process (painting holder, priming holders, storage) really relies on magnets nowdays.

Offline SotF

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 629
  • Shadow Of The Future
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #7 on: October 17, 2020, 12:42:17 AM »
I've been using the Reaper plastic bases for a while for 1", 2", or 3" minis...it's more of a consistency thing there. I've been getting washers to insert into the underside to add weight, but the consistent sizes is useful as D&D tends to be one of the main uses for them. Larger sized things I've either bought larger bases for the nicer minis, or just go with various laser cut plywood options (Local Hobby Lobby has a LOT of options there).

I don't rebase most of my pre-painted minis that I've grabbed over the years.

I've got some older minis that were based on other things such as the scifi trooper squad I've used for a small wargame that friends were using (Someone in the group has been testing a ruleset off and on for a while...eventually planning to publish it), or most of my old Vampire Counts army...been slowly repainting and rebasing them as I need them, starting with the less well painted ones.

Offline warlord frod

  • Mad Scientist
  • Posts: 609
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #8 on: October 17, 2020, 02:15:51 PM »
When I first started I used card bases but wanted to create a base standard so that my collections would have a very similar look. I settled upon the warhammer plastic base style (square or round with sloped sides. Still buy this style from a variety of manufacturers so that I have them on hand. I have deviated some from time to time using flat metal bases or coins but 90% are done on the plastic bases. If I were starting today I think I would prefer clear bases but I do not wish to start over at this late stage.  ;)

Offline Ray Rivers

  • Galactic Brain
  • Posts: 5430
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #9 on: October 17, 2020, 03:24:54 PM »
This all comes down to personal taste, of course.

I've tried pretty much everything over time... from card, coins, etc., to GW plastic.

I've recently started using .mdf and surprising I really like it. They are quite cheap, thin, very light, require no preparation and seem to resist warping very well. I think the best thing about .mdf is that the edge of the bases paint up very well. The only downside is that you need a chainsaw to cut them.  ;)

Like I say, they are very cheap, so perhaps if you are interested in them, buy a pack or 2 and give them a try.

Offline FierceKitty

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1160
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #10 on: October 18, 2020, 12:56:10 AM »
Cardboard, layer of epoxy glue to stiffen it and mount the figures, paint, flock, tufts, boulders.
The laws of probability do not apply to my dice in wargames or to my finesses in bridge.

Offline pikeman

  • Schoolboy
  • Posts: 8
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #11 on: October 18, 2020, 02:58:27 AM »
Iím doing 15mm exclusively and have been using magnetic sign material. I began after realizing how much damage my collection suffered during transport. I line the bottom of my container with thin sheet metal, and nothing flies around. There are a few exceptions, and those are basswood bases Iíve added terrain bits to and sculpted.
Pflugerville, Texas.
Gem of the Blackland Prairie!

Offline Patrice

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1308
  • Breizh / Brittany
    • "Argad!"
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #12 on: October 18, 2020, 10:37:21 AM »
I use 20mm metal washers for Dark Ages and medieval infantry, 2x2cm squares cut from magnetic sign material for infantry who usually fights in close formation (such as 17th C. musketeers), and starting to use 2x1.5cm squares for Napoleonic infantry. Magnetic sign material also for any cavalry.

I like bases as thin as possible to blend in the landscape and surrounding terrain.

Offline Vagabond

  • Mastermind
  • Posts: 1126
    • Vagabond's Wargaming Blog
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #13 on: October 18, 2020, 02:40:08 PM »
Go with what suits you best, because everyone has their own preference.

For small scale actions on variable terrain I would go with clear pvc if you want them to blend in like this.



See Rhydderch's link for some better examples.

I just use thickish pvc packaging and draw round a coin to get my circle and cut them out with a pair of scissors but I'm cheap and they aren't perfectly round.

Pennies and Two pennies in the UK are good if you want a bit of heft in a textured base, I'm not sure why you would pay 2.5p plus for an MDF penny base but a lot of people do, so there must be more to that argument than I realise.

Most of my individual pulp style figures are on the black plastic bases and I paint their names on the edge and I won't change this because every figure has their own personal stat card and finding an individuals character card from a couple of hundred character cards without a name is a none starter for me.

Basing units is a completely different discussion.

Good luck with your decision.

Offline fred

  • Scatterbrained Genius
  • Posts: 2505
    • Miniature Gaming
Re: Preferred bases for minis?
« Reply #14 on: October 18, 2020, 02:50:17 PM »
it depends:-
For skirmish I use coins that contain iron (e.g. newer UK 1p & 2p coins)
They then 'stick' to the magnetic sheets I put in the base of a Really
Useful Box.

When I get too many of those I speed up the game by using Sabot bases.

For projects that are going to have a lot of figures, I use larger MDF
bases & try to make mini-dioramas.



This.

For single based figures I do like coins as it really helps keep them upright, by putting lots of mass at the bottom of the figure.

I really dislike GW slotta bases, both because they are so light, so cause figures to goal, and also because they are so tall.


As to buying coin sized MDF bases, I have done this for 6mm epic stuff, mainly as the figures are so small and light I was worried that having them based on coins might cause damage.

 

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