Multipurpose Basing Done the Right Way!

10 04 2009

Time to pop in for another blog update I thought to myself this morning. πŸ™‚

I had been looking at the new Splintered Light Druid’s Children minis recently and thinking – man I really want these guys. They conjure up images of Redwall and Mouse Guard, but I was even more excited when I heard about a supplement being written for Song of Blades and Heroes specifically for these models – awesome!

I also thought how cool would they be in Mighty Armies, HOTT or Fantasy Rules! This brought me back to multi purpose basing again. My last attempt at it was ok, but too time consuming. I also found that the putty I used began to flake with the constant removing and replacing of models. They weren’t practical for longevity.

So I went down to the local Mitre 10 and asked around. After about a total of 6 minutes, I was walking out with some holesaws of various sizes. Now these weren’t the cheapest things I’ve ever bought, but well worth it if you’re going to be doing a lot of multibase stuff. A 20mm was perfect for the washers I use for basing my 15mm stuff. The 25mm one will be perfect for both basing 28mm models and 15mm cavalry. I intend to get a 40mm one for monsters as well – the system works that well that I intend to make bases for my 28mm stuff too. πŸ™‚


Next, I grabbed a base and marked out some circles using spare washers that I use for basing 15mm. You could put as many as you want on – being sure to leave some space between so you don’t split the wood. I have tried this on 80mmx40mm bases and 80mmx80mm bases.

The demonstration is on 80mmx80mm bases simply because I liked how this one came out πŸ™‚


Next, I attached the drill bit and used a work station to drill the holes halfway through the wood. Then I flipped and drilled through the rest. Its easy to keep your place because the bit shown above actually screws onto an actual drill bit, so you have the small hole in the middle to guide you. I did it this way after several bases came out with quite a bit of splintering around the edge. Doing it this way helps to stop this.

After some quick sanding (all of 5 seconds on each hole), I spread some PVA glue on the underside (not too much) and place it on top of another undrilled base. I made sure that the grains went in opposite directions to avoid warping. Then I just chucked some cheap hand clamps on each edge and left it for 30 mins. I had a set of 8 clamps, so I have two bases going at once and I just did some over the course of the day.


After half an hour, I just take the clamps off and use a stanley knife to trim the excess glue from around the edge of the base. The extra glue in the base holes can be removed with a toothpick or other small implement and will take all of 20 seconds for the whole base.

The next step was to paint them black and the flock them. It sounds like a long process, but in reality its quite quick. You just set a few up and come back to them later in the day. I have been able to whip up quite a number in very short time. The great thing is that you can drill the holes wherever you want to provide an interesting display for your models rather than packing them in on a base. I prefer this new method, but I know your milage may vary. If you do try this, please let me know how it goes – I’d love to see how your bases come out!

Remember, you can click on any of the images to view them at a larger size! πŸ™‚

– Ben.






7 responses

10 04 2009
John Adkins

If you add a third layer sandwiched in the middle of sheet magnet you would have a magnetic base. Great idea!

10 04 2009
Andrew Beasley

Nice idea esp if you can cut wood the same size again and again (guess who cannot). So due to my poor woodworking I would have gone for larger sizes, drilled and glued and then cut them down to size so the edges on the outside match across each layer.

The other key thing I found was to use the same scatter material on the model bases and on the trays – this can really tie the unit together.

I have also seen small scenes (e.g. swamp / streams) used to great effect on the sabot bases and the best one must be in the April WD (on page 24 if you want to sneak a peak) – they have the fellowship on a single base complete with rocks and fallen statues…

Can you tell me what the blue figures are? I am sure I have seen them as kobalds or mini rats / skaven (and before here) but I cannot find them now at all 😦


10 04 2009

Thanks guys πŸ™‚
I can’t cut the wood the same size every time either – lol – that’s why I used the laser cut Litko bases. A bit more expensive, but worth it due to my lack of woodworking skills!
The ‘blue guys’ are kobolds and are from Splintered Light Miniatures. Just go to Splintered Light’s Goblinoid Section and then scroll down a little bit to the Kobolds. Awesome models, I’m getting some of the Kobold Rangers next!

11 04 2009
Andrew Beasley

Thanks Ben – as soon as the money is free a small order will wing its way.


2 05 2009

Hi Ben,

I’m looking for holesaws to make some similar bases for LOTR miniatures for use with the new War of the Ring game from GW. I’m in Brisbane so have a local Mitre 10. I’m looking for 25mm and 40mm holesaws. What brand/type of holesaws did you purchase and what was the cost? So the holesaw screws onto a drill bit? Any type of drillbit or were you required to buy a special attachment?

3 05 2009

G’day Wayne,
I have thrown out the packaging unfortunately, so I couldn’t tell you exactly what brand it was.
I can tell you that it is a special adapter drill piece that needs to be bought to fit the hole saw bits. The problem was that the bit that I have is good for use with 15-35mm holesaws, so to get the 40mm holesaw you would need two bits (and the bits themselves were about $30ish with the actual holesaws being around $25ish from memory).
There was another pack which had a whole set of holesaws and the adapter for about $100 which would cover you for both 25mm and 40mm (as well as about 6 other sizes). I would recommend going for this pack as it will serve for any other sizes you wish to use for around the same price.
Hope that helps.
Ben. πŸ™‚

3 05 2009

Yes, thanks very much Ben. Cheers, Wayne.

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