“What if?….Wednesday (10 March 2021)”

Well it’s been a while since we had one of these, but a comment on my last post has inspired me to write another one and put a question out to you the populace…..

So where do you stand on bases? Before someone says it yes I know it’s your figures that stand on the bases not you! But seriously what is your preferred figure base?

Now this was prompted by Alex over at “Leadballoony” who asked if I was going to paint the rims on my “Forge Fathers” bases black? My response was no, as I prefer the bases on my figures to blend in (as much as possible) with the terrain they are supposed to be standing on, if fact I prefer the edges of my bases to be thinner than the standard Mantic or Games Workshop base, again to “help it blend in” but do you agree?


So let’s take this even further, are you one of those people who likes to have every figure in an army (or if possible all the armies on the same table) on matching bases? Or don’t you really care?

Do you like bases cluttered with lots of bits and pieces (rocks, plants, flowers, tree stumps, pipes, discarded weapons or limbs, the list goes on….)? or are you happy with just the figure glued down to a piece of old beer mat* or a washer, perhaps painted green and if you’re lucky with a bit of flock glued over the top, after all it’s only there to stop the figure falling over, right?

You might even be one of those people who likes those dynamic bases with large rocks thrusting six inches into the air with the figure precariously balanced on the top! Or go the other way entirely and use those clear plastic disks, so it looks like there is no base at all.

What about vehicles, or artillery pieces? Do you base these or not? And if you do, do you base the crews with them or separately? I could go on and on with this!

Now over the years I’ve done all sorts of basing in my search for what I think is my “right” way (I’m still not completely sure I’m happy with my solution), and I’m not saying that whatever way you do yours is wrong, basing is as individual as painting styles are, I’m just after your personal take on the subject.

So chaps (and chap’ ettes, it was “International Ladies Day” after all) what’s your opinion? Give me your thoughts (but not on Slotta bases they are just wrong!!!!**).

Stay safe and cheers Roger.


  • I actually did buy an “Early Imperial Roman” army off of a “bring and buy” years ago that was based entirely on squares cut from beer mats.🍻


** I’m kidding of course! But they are the spawn of the devil! 😈

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28 Responses to “What if?….Wednesday (10 March 2021)”

  1. Matt says:

    Good to see this feature again, Roger!

    I want my minis on matching bases. I use 1″ square bases for my Oldhammer stuff and Reaper’s round 25mm lipped bases for just about everything else (unless it’s a big model, in which case it gets a 45mm or even 60mm round base). I cut the tabs off my minis, and I like the lipped bases as I can cover the slot with tape, fill the base with modelling paste and then add sand/stones/whatever and paint it up.

    The edges are always done in black as I like the cleaner look it gives them; I have to admit, bases edged in green or brown just look odd to me. I just prefer a uniform look to the bases.

    Broccoli bases are just the worst LOL.

    • Thanks Matt as it stands this will be a one off (sorry).

      I agree with you on the matching bases as I too like them to match, (I also like the bases on my scenery to match), and usually have a standardised version I stick too, however some of my older stuff (eg the Dr Who stuff I started years ago) has different bases, and so i tend to match to them, all three of my Hott 15mm Armies have different basing and that doesn’t bother me as I decided I wanted the bases to match the genre of the figures.

      So I stick to my rules unless I don’t I guess (I’m a complicated fellow you know! 🤪

      Cheers Roger.

  2. I am absolutely OCD when it comes to my bases. They are gritted and painted precisely the same way for all my models no matter what landscape they’re supposedly fighting over – with the exception of snow, where instead of using green flock over a muddy brown base with black rim, I use white flock.

    I also predominantly use round bases unless I’m working in some of the smaller scales and then I tend to use the rounded edge rectangular bases from Flames Of War for everything. I do though flitter between lipped and flat bases depending upon what the manufacturer sends me. But I almost never mix the two on the tabletop, even going so far as to buy two copies of a mini if I want it for two rule-sets where I’ve based one rule-set on lipped and the other on flat. Very sad I know…

    • Thanks Simon, I prefer round bases ((well they don’t make square coins!), unless they are to be rank and file mini’s then obviously I like square so they will rank up).

      As for the black edges, I think in a way it’s a throwback to GW, I think if you predominantly started with GW figures and White Dwarf, black rims were always the way to go, but if you came from a non GW entry point “Historical” wargaming them green (or whatever ) colour was the staple fare. I was soon dragged away from GW by the games played at Chester Wargames club, so perhaps that is the reason for my choice?

      Of course that could all be pop psychology crap 😁

      Cheers Roger.

  3. Dave Stone says:

    I always paint the edges on any of my bases in the mid colour I use, as it helps to blend in on the gaming table, from my time at GW there was no rule on this, and what you saw in White Dwarf very much depended on which artist painted it, as it was done in their preference.
    I like the whole army to have a similar theme for coherency, and most of the time I do the bases to tie in with the gaming boards I’ll be playing on ( Star Wars modern Tatooine, prequels arid) but as with everything in this hobby there is no right or wrong just what works for you.

    • As I said I could be wrong about GW, was never that big a follower of what they did! 😁 Just seem to remember the figures having black rims.

      I got a load of the more recent issues of White Dwarf from a friend at work who was chucking them out, and do you know what I couldn’t tell you anything that was in them now, it was a bit like flicking through a Woman’s Weekly in the Doctors surgery, you look but nothing actually sinks in.

      Cheers Roger.

  4. Alex says:

    Oh dear, what have I started!! 😂
    I’m a bit eclectic with my basing… minimum effort is texture, shade & drybrush, with some rims sandy coloured & some black. I keep the bases consistent across gangs, armies, teams or whatever, but not between forces…
    I am growing to favour black rims these days – in my head it’s like traditional Japanese theatre – if it’s black, it isn’t there! 🤣

  5. Since all of my armies are historical and operate in temperate climates or jungle I tend to use the same colouring on all bases. Round bases with a minimum thickness (I use 1p coins with a magnabase layer underneath) and the edge painted brown as I’ve found that fits best with my scenery. No bases for vehicles except horse-drawn limbers or wagons. No over the top big or high bases because they just take up too much room (I never use prone figures, since one man takes up two base spaces and storage space is tight)! And having said all that, my pre-1990 25mm samurai and Ming Chinese are all on square bases with the edges painted black!

    • Thanks John, a man after my own heart, coins are my bases of choice these days too, not to thick and generally cheaper than washers (that sometimes go rusty!) of the same size, and no hole in the middle either. I agree with the vehicle comment too, unless they are flying or balanced on two wheels etc.. (so need the stability), and I’m not keen on prone figures either, even kneeling ones are a bit “iffy” in my book, mortar teams etc.. however I do like on a single base (be it round or square), I don’t like the one where the figures are separate to the mortar (but that’s just an OCD thing with me, and I cant really tell you why).

      I’ll let you off the black rims on your Chinese and Samurai fig’s we all did reckless things in our youth!! 😁

      Cheers Roger.

  6. Pete S/ SP says:

    I’m not too fussed about basing unless it is my 6mm stuff where I like to use a 3mm MDF base- it makes them quite high admittedly but it allows you to pick them up by the base rather than grabbing the fragile model.



  7. Basing pulls an army together.. I don’t like based vehicles, it stops them interacting with the terrain around them in my opinion.

    Frankly, I have a soft spot for goblin green bases, but these days I tend toward earth tones, mix of sand and flock that allows the paint job to “pop” .. I’ll probably try transparent bases at some point and then fall head over heels for them.but for now that’s my jam 👍

    • Thanks, I agree that basing pulls armies together, and about the vehicles, I used to base all my vehicles, but tend to only base vehicles under 28mm these days these days (not that I do a lot of vehicles these days!).

      I just don’t know about the clear bases, I can see the appeal, but for some reason it makes the figures look less “real” to me somehow, more like they are board game tokens (which in a way they are of course). 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  8. Can’t believe I nearly missed this post Roger. What a great question. Well I guess some persons meat is another persons gravy but here’s my twopeneth. Although I don’t do wargaming or armies as such I do sometimes do what I would consider to be a set of figures. When I do the bases have to be identical, well as much as possible, or my OCD will get the better of me. As overall I consider myself a figure painter and diorama modeller then for me the base work is every bit as important as the figure(s) on display and in the search for realism then they have to look the part. Whether or not I achieve that is another matter entirely of course.

    • Thanks Dave, as you say you are coming at this from a different perspective, though just as valid of course. Many wargames companies these days show photo’s of their new miniatures painted to incredibly high standards and featuring base work to your sort of standard, in effect miniature diorama’s. Often to a level that we poor mortals cannot hope to replicate, and frankly in gaming terms would be pretty impractical and prone to breakage if transported in usual wargames manner.

      So yes I can see how the base would be all important to you and your take on the hobby, whereas placing a tall piece of walling, behind a gaming figure wouldn’t work. Though neither would the four inch wooden plinth to be honest! 😉

      OCD seems to be a common complaint amongst figure painters. 😁

      Cheers Roger.

  9. Ah bases. Well Roger, I want them to be consistent across like troops and looking good. I use steel washers (as they do well on magnetic sheet-lined Really Useful Boxes for storage and travel). The washers I used recently for the Aztecs, Spanish, and Conquistadores were primed and then painted, flocked, pigmented, dry brushed (3-4 colors), varnished, and then supplemented with static grass and or tufts. I cannot say that I like the clear plastic ones as they look out of place on a nice battlefield set up. As for rims, as I use steel, the rims are always painted to match the rest of the base, and on the rare occasion (like I had to with my Spanish cavalry) when I have a raised base lip, that must be painted too to blend in. For vehicles, I never base, as that seems to defeat the purpose of making something like a tank fit in, but to each his own.

    • Thanks Mark, lets be honest here, you were never going to fall into the “slap it on a base and paint it green” category now were you? 😁

      As the most organised and systematic gamer (well person) I know your basing as with your figures would have to be perfect now wouldn’t it. thanks for the input though. 😉

      Cheers Roger.

  10. Ooooh tough question… I prefer thinner bases. A lot of my Flintloque miniatures are on 3mm MDF round bases. I prefer brown to black on the base edges. Now I have seen a lot of people going for clear Perspex bases so that they can go on anything. Personally I don’t like them, but each to their own as they say. As for beer mats, when I was skint about 75% of my Armies were based on them. The other 25% were on mounting board. Thank the lord for precaution MDF and coins is all I will say now.

    • Pre cut… not precaution!

      • Thanks Steve, I think I will go over to MDF for the bulk of my 28mm figures, once the two pence coin goes out of production (as they say it will), though I still prefer the heft of the coin. I’ve only recently started using pre-cut MDF bases myself, but do quite like them as you say, they are much better than the squares of card I used to use (though I still use card for some of my figures but mainly ones left over from armies or units that are already based that way.

        Is precaution MDF the stuff that comes with a face mask for when you cut it? 😉

        Cheers Roger.

  11. I can see why people would use clear bases, especially if they’re using a gaming/battle mat but I don’t think I’ll ever go down that path. I can also see why you’d paint the rim to match the base too. I’ve done that before but 99% of the time the rims are black. I think it’s more habit than anything else. I also don’t think I bother too much to make the base special or detailed. This is something I want to get a little better with but at the same time not over do it, if that makes sense. After all I reckon it should be 80% about the mini and 20% about the base.

    • Thanks Luke, yep totally agree with all that, I hadn’t really considered the “habit” part though, but I guess your right I don’t even think about the bases half the time, it’s just that’s how I do them. 😃

      Cheers Roger.

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