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Article updated: 2016.12.01

There are different ways to base your miniatures. Sometimes the ruleset of your chosen game dictates the stand shape or basing style you can use.

For further information on how to base your miniatures, read our Gaming Nexus article:

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Basing

  • No base: You don't use any additional bases with your miniatures. This can work with well balanced miniatures (especially quadrupedal creatures).
  • Single base: Every miniature has its own stand.
  • Multi-base: A group of miniatures share a larger base.

Base shapes

  • Square base: Single base or multibase.
  • Rectangular base: Single base for long miniatures (horses, bikes), or multibase.
  • Round base: Single base, or multibase for small groups.
  • Oval base: Single base for long miniatures (horses, bikes), or multibase for small groups.
  • Hexagonal base: Single base, or multibase for small groups. Rarely used.

Base materials

  • Hard plastic / resin: Mass-produced bases.
  • Cardboard: Usually hand-cut.
  • Wood / MDF / HDF: Hand-cut or laser-cut.
  • Polystyrene sheet: Usually hand-cut.
  • Polystyrene foam: Usually hand-cut.
  • Metal: Usually mass-produced metal washers.

Base types - Surface

  • Flat base: The base has a flat top surface. Ideal for flat basing.
  • Lipped base: There is a depression on the inside. You can glue a miniature with integral base and hide the integral base in the depression.
    • Hollow base: The depression is so deep, you can fit a smaller base inside. This way you can rebase miniatures.
  • Scenic base: The surface of the base is sculpted with scenic detail.

Base types - Attachment method

  • Plain base: The base doesn't include any help to attach a miniature.
  • Slotted base: The base has a slot that you can slide the slottabase insert (called tab or lid) under the miniature for a tight fit.
    • Slottabase: The insert (slottabase tab or lid) is a 2mm wide, long piece. Square bases can have parallel or diagonal slots, some has two slots, one parallel with the edge, and one diagonal.
      • Covered slottabase: The slot is covered by a thin layer of plastic that you can cut if you need a slot, otherwise it's a perfectly fine flat base.
    • Mantic base: The insert is a 10mm radius circle for Mantic Games miniatures.
    • Epic base: The insert is a 5mm radius circle for Games Workshop Epic-scale miniatures.
  • Pegged base: A peg protrudes from the base that fits into the slot in the miniature. For wargame miniatures it's mostly used for flying bases.

Base types - Profile

  • Straight: The edge of the base is vertical.
  • Bevelled: The edge comes at an angle.
  • Chamfer: The edge comes at an angle, then after a break it becomes vertical.
  • Rounded: The edge is rounded.

Base types - Bottom

  • Full, flat: The inside of the base is not hollow, the bottom is flat. It's good for flat terrain.
  • Hollow: The inside of the base is hollow. It's easier to use the base on realistic, non-flat terrain.
  • Hollow with supports: There are some supports to make the base more balanced. This is the kind of hollow base that's used with heavy, metal miniatures.

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Basing miniatures

 

Basing miniatures - Resources

Litko: Miniature Basing and Tray Finishing Tutorial: Tutorial article about mounting miniatures on bases, then creating scenic bases.

MASSIVE VOODOO: Tutorial Overview - Basing: Tutorial article collection about basing miniatures.

TheApatheticFish: How to Base Miniature Models: Tutorial video.

Slottabase

If the tab of your metal mini is too wide, you can squeeze it into shape with a plier.

If the tab of your metal mini is too thin for a tight fit, you can twist a wave into it to form an S-shape.

If the tab is too long to fit into the slot, you can cut it with a clipper.

If you have a slottabase but you want an un-slotted flat base, you can fill the slot.

Rebasing

Rebasing: Removing the miniature from its base and attaching it to another base.

Sometimes the ruleset you use dictates that you need to use a different kind of basing than you already have. You need to rebase your miniatures to fit the chosen rules. If it happens often, you should use some temporary measures (self-adhesive glue, magnet).

Rebasing options

  • Cutting the original base. Glue to a new base.
  • Leaving the original base, gluing to the new base. This makes the miniature higher than the original.
  • Leaving the original base, gluing to a hollow base. This makes the miniature closer to the original height.

Basing vehicles

Although most wargames have rules for basing miniatures, basing vehicles is usually up to the individual tastes.

Basing vehicles - Resources

Multibasing

Multibase: More than one miniature is attached to the base.

Some games use masses of miniatures to represent the troops. As the miniatures move together, it's usually more efficient to use a single base to make their movements easier.

Multibasing vehicles is usually used for small scale (1:100-1:300) wargames.

Multibasing - Resources

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Further reading

The Casavants: Bases: A good article about basing miniatures, with illustrations.

James Collard (BrushStroke): Quick Tip: Aligning holes when pinning (Facebook): Tutorial article.

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Do you have further thoughts about miniature basing? Tell us in the comments!

 

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