Wow the Reaper Bones Kickstarter raised an amazing $3,429,236 and some 17744 people backed the project most of them backing at the $100 level and receiving over 200 miniatures for their enjoyment (myself among them) in March next year. The thing is the Bones miniatures come with what is called a broccoli base, a lightly textured base that is fixed to the miniature. For many of the miniatures under “gaming” conditions you will want a more sturdy base.
Well firstly to increase miniature stability, you want your minis to be steady so they are not knocked around as much. The other reason is the same reason you frame a picture. A nicely painted miniature on a good base just looks better than a nicely painted miniature.
So no you don’t need to rebase your models, but it is something to consider and with the Bones miniatures is easy to do.
There are many different bases on the market from the very simple squares and circles of Liktoto the blank “round” bases that are sold by many companies in a range of sizes. The key to bases is that they come in a range of sizes, for DnD purposes you want the 25mm base (suitable for medium and smaller creatures), 50mm (for large creatures) and 100mm (for huge ones). In reality you will only need the 25mm and 50mm bases, huge monsters will be very stable and are unlikely to need basing beyond what they come with except perhaps for decorative purposes.
A simple way to spice up your base is by simply painting it brown or green and then (once the paint is dry) painting its top with PVA glue and applying flock. Flock can be all sorts of material and these days there are companies that will sell you a wonderful array of options. However if you head to a hobby store you should be able to find what is called “static grass” easily enough, buy 2 or 3 similar colours (ie shades of green) and when you get home mix them up (turf is uniform in colour, wild grass isn’t). To get the static grass/flock onto the PVA glue just put the mini into the flock and carefully push the flock over the glue. Give it a few seconds and then you can lift the mini out and gently tap to knock off the excess flock (don’t worry about trying to get it all off now). Then you can leave it to dry before giving it another knock and you are done.
Note: This needs to be done after the miniature is sealed!
Models that are going to be heroes or bosses deserve a little more attention than the a simple round bit of plastic or a blank base and this is where the many resin bases available now come in. These days with a bit of searching you can find a number of companies that produce resin bases that come with a whole lot of detail on them, essentially they are little miniatures all on their own. For the rest of this article I’m going to use an Australian company, Back 2 Base-ix just because I’m an Aussie and I happened to be able to buy them at my LGS today to use as examples for less than the other Aussie company represented.
When shopping for them be sure you are getting bases, there are similar products called base inserts that are designed to work with a particular style of base (popularised by companies like Privateer Press) and it can be hard to get 25mm bases in that style.
The bases come unpainted and are typically grey or tan resin (though any colour is possible) and there are three styles; round, RS round and square. Round and square bases are basically the same except for their shape; the “base” sits underneath the sculpted scenery and provides only a small portion of the entire base. RS Round on the other hand has a clear base area around the scenery element making the base portion more distinct.
Round bases come in all sorts of sizes depending on the company, but RS Round often start at 30mm. Now 30mm may not seem very different from 25mm but for play on a typical RPG battlemat 30mm bases do not fit inside the grid and that can become a nuisance when models crowd around a single figure. In fact this is the main reason to sticking with set sizes of 25mm and 50mm, it makes gameplay easier when positioning matters.
The main thing about these resin bases is that they look really good, and aside from getting them painted, take very little effort to use for a great effect in the end.
Attaching a Mini
The best news for people buying Bones is that adding a base is really easy with a Bones model.
Because the Bones plastic is relatively soft it is particularly easy to remove the miniatures from their base with a box cutter knife (it’s basically a handle with a razor blade poking out) – you will want one of the steel bodied ones, not the little ones with the segmented blades. Removing from the base is really only needed for using the fancy bases, anything else just trim as desired/needed and then use super glue to stick the mini to the base.
Once the mini is cut off from the broccoli base run it over a file a couple of times to level the feet a little. Then grab your intended base (be it fancy or not) work out with some trials where you want your mini to be positioned, then apply super glue to the mini and stick to base. Done.
As you can see from looking between my rebased dwarf on the left here, and the original base at the top its a pretty significant difference in look just at that stage. It is also apparent that these bases will make character models and such more prominent on the table.
(Should you have a metal miniature and want to rebase it, this is a more complicated process. In addition to cutting it from its base you will need to do what is called pinning the miniature. You drill holes in the mini’s feet and drill matching holes in the base, into both you insert a small amount of wire, then use the super glue.)
Now if you will excuse me I have a werewolf I need to rebase…