07 October, 2014

Basing Revisited

I've reconsidered my basing ideas... I had been using black anodized 1" fender washers, but it was creating a height difference between my slotta-base and cast-on base minis.

I favor Mark Copplestone sculpts, particularly his work on Grenadier's Future Warriors line. The original line (now available from EM4 and Mirlington S.G.) used GW style round "slotta" bases and miniatures with a cast on tab. After the demise of Grenadier, and the Future Warriors line, Mark set up his own company (Copplestone Castings) and resculpted most of the line as Future Wars... with cast on bases. As I mix the two lines (and others), I had been gluing the Copplestone Castings mini straight to the washer, and clipping the tab off of the Grenadier minis; gluing the soles of the feet directly to the washer. This created a height difference in the finished minis... accentuated by the tendency of the Copplestones to be a slight bit taller than the original line.

I basically had three options:

  1. Ignore the difference (ha!) 
  2. File down the cast on bases to make them paper thin, then glue them on the washer. This is a humongous pain in the ass. 
  3. Base them on thicker bases, and recess the cast on bases. 

I realized that between the washer thickness, and the cast on bases, the Copplestones were sitting pretty much as high as a slotta based Grenadier... so I decided to use those. For the Copplestones, I'd carve out a void to fit the cast-on base, then back it with plasticard. I tried it on a couple minis and it seemed feasible... but I needed to order some 25mm slottas.

Backing the Mantic Dead Zone Kickstarter project helped refine the plan; before I could order slottas, I received my first backer shipment... chock full of these 1" plastic bases with a 15mm recess in the middle. I realized that the Mantic recessed plastic bases were a perfect starting point for the Copplestones. Many of the female figures had a small enough base to just be glued in place. Some of the others, with the base carefully trimmed to the soles of the boots, would also fit an unaltered base.Wider stance figures were traced onto the base, and then an X-Acto blade was used to enlarge the recess to accommodate the base.

As the Mantic bases were not tapered like GW style slotta bases, I chose to use MDF rounds to base the tabbed minis. The tab is trimmed to create two small pins, one on each foot, these are plotted on the base and then it is drilled with a bit of roughly the same width as the pins. Apply glue, press into base. I had a supply of Gale Force Nine's MDF bases, which I was a huge fan of, but as they seem to be discontinued, I ordered some rounds from Back 2 Base-ix in Australia, cheap, relatively near, and good bases. They are unfinished, which means I need to paint superglue over the surface before using watery basing materials like Vallejo's pumice compound. But that isn't a big deal.

The end result, after all of this, are miniatures that appear to all be based the same way. That is good.


  1. I've considered trying to match all of my figure bases and use the same scheme for them all. In the end I decided against it simply because I don't want to rebase all the figures I've already done. I use a mixture of all kinds of stuff, and while I admit it doesn't look that great when you mix differently based figures on the same table, that generally doesn't happen very often.

    I commend you for making the switch though. It is a lot of work, but well worth it.

    1. Having relocated, it's less work than it might have been. I will be careful with the Future Wars minis I have finished... the ones from the cars post... as I am very happy with how they came out. Other minis however, those I know I can paint better now, are unceremoniously going straight into the Simple Green for a two-day bath.