Thursday, 6 March 2008

More On Bases

Well some things never change. Day one I make a plan. Day two something unforeseen happens and all plans must be recast. In this particular case my pin drill was the cause of the problem. The one millimetre drill, clearly exasperated by my inept fumblings, broke while I was drilling holes in the horses heads to take their reins. So I have only one horse ready for the next stage. I wasn't going to bother with painting a test figure this time round but, as there'll be a few days delay until I can get to a hardware shop, it looks like I'll be doing one after all.

As that won't take much time, I have to move ahead with other items. First up is basing my already completed figures. The cavalry have the worst stability problem so I'll tackle them first. I don't want a large base that overwhelms the figure, so I'm using dimensions of only 18 x 40mm. I am confident that this will be stable enough as the Suren personality figures of Frederick and Soubise have bases of roughly this size and show none of the wobble of the Stadden horses.

Construction is cheap and simple, using only materials at hand. The card I use is thin so I don't significantly raise already tall figures any more than necessary. I build the base up on its upper surface using milliput (I usually have a lot spare that gets thrown away whenever I do any other modelling so this should be cheap) to hide the original metal base of the figure itself and add some weight to it (thereby lowering the centre of gravity). The base is then painted black with sand PVA'd on top. I have the option to add all sorts of niceties later - bits of rock, static grass etc., but thats all I have time to do at the moment. The photo below shows some figures completed to this stage, and spaced roughly 24mm apart, as Im intending to use them in the wargame.

I am pleased with the result. Having a black border around the edges of the base accentuates the fact that the figures are still individuals rather than being mounted into indivisible units.

Correction 15/3/08: base size of 18x40mm not 12x40mm


Stokes Schwartz said...

Good Morning Andy,

Sorry to hear about your drill bit -- I suffered a similar small tragedy a year or so ago. But your basing efforts so far look very pleasing.

I too began basing my figures to provide the same stability, particularly for my plastic Revell figures. I will, however, try your base dimensions for my next unit of cavalry.

My recently completed Spencer Smith cavalry has bases that are 15mmx50mm, and these are just a hair too large, especially the width. Your own 12mmx40mm permit a more realistic boot-to-boot spacing of your horses and troopers. It's a very nice looking effect.

I also admire your use of materials close at hand, in keeping with the old school way of doing things. Keep up the good work.

Best Regards,


Conrad Kinch said...


I'm running a campaign at present and I'd like to use your map editor because it uses hexes.

Is there any way of rotating the hexes so that they point up rather than side to side?

Sorry to be awkward,



Andy Mitchell said...

It would be doable, but it would take a fair bit of work. It would also add complexity (and therefore bugs) so on balance I'd prefer to keep to the one orientation.