The Viking Legal Team in Action

The Viking Legal Team in Action
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Monday, November 2, 2015

Basing [2]: Making bases on the cheap

So in the continuing saga of rebasing my dark ages and medieval collection, I'm now at the stage of making the bases.  I always find this a pain and have to psyche myself up for it.  I tried sawing by hand but the material is pretty tough.  It cuts very clean but takes several minutes a cut.  In the end, I went to Home Depot and bought a box of the Hickory laminate flooring...
...since it was the right thickness and the cheapest at $15 for a dozen or more 8.5 x 45" sheets. Since I'm cutting 2.5" wide and 5" long, that's 27 bases a sheet or so.  At ten bases per army [6 on the table] that's about 3 armies a sheet for my OHW rules.

With so much cutting, I had to go to a pal with gear.  We used his table saw to cut the 2.5 inch strips, then the mitre box saw to chop them into 5" lengths.  We rigged a block of wood as a stop at the 5" length, so cutting was pretty quick.  I did nearly 100 bases in about two hours total, including a beer break and everything else.

fresh cut showing the stop.

Laying the cut

Dropping the blade.  Queen's Club tennis pullover not required - but warm!

The bottom of the base has the hickory side, a white looking wood. The top started as the brown laminate substance.  It's now been sprayed with my go-to base spray, "Make it Suade!" which is a muddy brown color perfect for basing.  It also is textured and seems to hold paint, glue, etc better.

Removing figures can be a pain.  These were easy b/c they were glued on with a brittle white glue [Elmers] that snaps under even gentle tapping.  I highly recommend using it over a more flexible white glue - when you redo things, it is a lot easier to work with! Here, I'm gently tapping the end of a battered old large X-acto blade, which pops off the figure.  As they are protected with the miracle dip, there's little chance of scratching them in this process.  Scratching of the hand, a bit of a chance so care is needed as with anything sharp! Mothers told me not to run in the house with bases and X-Acto blades, so I try to remember that...

With larger bases, there's some opportunity for more interesting terrain and adding height / depth.  I cut multiple layers of thin corrugated cardboard from a squashed box, and made a little bit of undulation on some bases.  Behind, you can see what a unit looked like in my old WRG/DBA basing, altho I mainly used them for Terry Gore's "Medieval Warfare" actually.  The basing was uninteresting and flat since the bases were so small.  As one must try things on for size, I deployed my Welsh archers on the cardboard to see how they looked.

Pleased with the results, I glued the cardboard onto the bases with Elmer's white glue.

And found two useful weights to settle the little hills.  This is the most useful thing I've found for "Mysterium", altho the Topical Analysis of the Bible by Elwell is quite handy.  I left them to dry overnight.  Worth mentioning here is to have a good idea of how the drying times fit into your schedule.  As this sort of gluing is a mindless activity, I do it at night after the Little Man is abed, then leave overnight. Rising early and doing this before work gives you the work day for drying, also.

Next day, I glued the Welsh archers onto the unit bases.  I also set up the Mercenary Crossbowmen.  This gives me two Units per side of Archers, which is all I need for the rules at this time.  As some of the other figures are based a bit more intricately, I'll use these as my test run.

And here they are drying.  Note how one can make little formations or stories with the basing.  The Crossbows at left have a few guys marching into the line, while others loose bolts at the enemy.  The other Unit is in the middle of firing and reloading.

Next time: I'll sculpt the bases and see how they look, then work on the flocking, etc.

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