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Tutorial: Basing Miniatures

Tutorial: Basing Miniatures

In this step-by-step tutorial I’m going to show you how to base miniatures.

Basing miniatures is an overall easy thing, still every now and then I stumble upon hobbyists asking on how to properly do it. Let’s start the answer with: “There’s no one proper way, but there are certainly plenty of bad ways to base miniatures.” A quick example of a “bad way” would be if you glued irregular sand on top of a base and tried to glue a miniature on top of it with cyanoacrylate glue. Glue would go on a rampage all over the sand while it’ll not hold the miniature in place due to insufficient area of contact. Another example of a “bad way” would be gluing a miniature on top of a painted base without a pin resulting with miniature being glued to paint rather than the base. This can only end badly for the miniature and your paint job. Ok, so what are the “proper ways”? Here’s three major techniques I use:

No Pin:

Some miniatures seem stable and have a large, flat area at the bottom be it giant feet, or an underside of a robe. In this case I usually go with with no pin at all and trust in the vast area of contact to keep the miniature in place.
Here’s how I go about it:

  • I start by removing the rail from under the miniature.
  • I then ensure the contact area on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another.
  • I apply Super Glue.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base and use Magic Super Glue Activator to cement the glue before it spills from under the miniature.

Pinned:

I use this method in case of wobbly miniatures with small area of contact that for some reason don’t have the rail. Such miniatures require to be pinned to the base to ensure their safety and durability. Note that pinning requires additional tools as well as proper pins. Alongside a trusted hand driller you can also purchase original hobby pins, but these are expensive. Depending on how thick is the miniature I use either paperclips or a thin steel wire.

The steps I undertake to pin a miniature:

  • I ensure the contact area on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another.
  • I drill a tiny hole in the miniature’s area of contact.
  • I glue the pin into the hole with Super Glue then cut off the extent of the pin, leaving just few mm.
  • I drill another hole in the base, using the miniature to ensure it fits the base.
  • I apply Super Glue to area of contact.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base.

Natural Pin:

This is my favorite method. I believe that a natural part of the miniature is better at holding it in place rather than a smooth steel pin.
This is what I do:

  • I cut off most of the rail from underneath the miniature, leaving just a a piece or two in place.
  • I then ensure the area of contact on both the miniature and the base is flat and fit one another (except for the pieces I left deliberately).
  • I drill a large hole in the base, sometimes I even leave some loose space on top to “guide” the pin in.
  • I apply Super Glue to area of contact.
  • I glue the miniature on top of the base.

From all the other methods this one works the best for me. Plus it’s faster than normal pinning. Just remember, there’s no one proper method. If you feel like a miniature might use a pin – Just follow your guts on this and pin it. Better safe than sorry.

I might drop another article on basing miniatures in the future. Maybe some Painting Philosophy type with insight on why I paint my miniatures based and not separately. If you think it’s an interesting topic and/or if you liked this article – consider letting me know in the comments or at my Facebook profile… or even share if you think it’s worth it 😉

PS: Check this stuff out! It blown my mind! XD

Nazroth
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Nazroth

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