Thursday, 14 June 2012

Basing tutorial... Kind of...

Well... When I started with the Napoleonics I thought it might be a good idea to base them on coins. Those are clean, smooth and circular and ideal for single based skirmish miniatures but in addition they are magnetic. This ability should enable me to put them together on prepared bases with a kind of magnetic foils underneeth.

First I wanted to make the parts on my own. So I bought a sheet of 2mm cardboard as well as a cheap 17mm hollow punch. I cut the card board in 40mm x 40mm pieces and  and placed them on a small anvil for a strong and smooth underground. To preserve the tool I put another strap of cardboard below the one which is to be pierced.

With the first one or two bases things went well and I got nicely cut holes. But afterwards the hollow punch went dull although I watched not to hit the anvil...

The further results were a disaster. The cardboard was cut irregularly and the arches between the holes were torn. Maybe I could have managed to get six more or less working bases out of this stuff but I was really angry about the bad quality of the hollow punch.

However I searched the internet and found the website of a small English provider:

Diane and Martin offer a large variety of different tokens, bases, trays and lasercut buldings. Both are absolutely kind and it was a great pleasure to deal with them. I pointed out what I was in need and Martin made me the top bases exactly as I needed them for a good price and incredibly fast. If I had known this befor I wouldn't even have thought of cutting those pieces by myself...

However with this exellent material things went easy.
First I prepared the magnetic part of the base. Thereto I cut a 40mm x 40mm square of thin plastic card and fit the self-adhesive magnetic foil on it.

Now I glued the lasercut 2mm MDF top bases on top of the magnetic foil. It was cut in a way that leaves open for circles of 17mm diameter. Just large enough to take the 1ct coins the figures are based on.
Afterwards I covered the base with PVA glue and added a layer of usual sand. After drying I overlaid it with thinned PVA glue to prevent the sand from crumbling away.
Painting was done in four steps. First I base coloured the sand with Vallejo Game Colour Chared Brown. Then I gave some drybrushing with Vallejo Model Colour Saddle Brown, Citadel Snakebite Leather and Vallejo Model Colour German Camouflage Beige WWII. Thereby I was the more careful the lighter the colours went.
Lastly I decorated the bases with some scenic stuff I keep for that purpose:
- static grass
- field grass
- clump foliage
- lichen
Since I wanted to have the unit look coherent as a whole I put on the scenic material in a way that concealed the gaps between the coins and the trays a bit.
Additionally I tried to adopt that idea for the bases themselves. I applied some identical scenic stuff at the touching borders of the different bases.
The full unit seen from above...

...and from the front.


  1. That's good work Monty, Warbases do good stuff as well!

  2. Looks great and indeed Warbases are great! I wonder how they keep up with the demand.


  3. Splendid work, a great tutorial too.

  4. A wonderful tutorial, and of great help to me, as my Napoleonics are also on 1c coins. I think I may have to get in contact with Warbases. Thanks for the tutorial, and the company details.

  5. Yip we use warbases for all our warbasing needs.

  6. great stuff, I might have to try it myself one day...

  7. Wonderful post! I've been waiting on a base order (through a local shop) from Litko for over a month. Wish I knew about Warbases before I ordered 300... :/

    I was thinking of doing a basing technique very similar to yours with the figs on individual bases, but I scraped the idea because I thought it would mess up the look of the unit bases. Your results is truly inspirational, and I might have to give it another thought.

    Fantastic looking unit by the way. Can't wait to get going on my Prussians.