Something old, Something new

 I painted the pictured British paras about 2 years ago.  At the time I think I was considering playing AE:WW2 which was a pretty cool set of rules put out by Darkson Designs; I think they dissolved but the product is still distributed by Cipher Studios.  At the time I was preparing them for a small scale skirmish game and based them on fairly large bases but revisiting the models and planning for a new use I decided to do something different.

I really like Warlord Games Bolt Action range.  True 28mm are considerably smaller than than any models I had painted since the 1980's but they are very characterful sculpts that belay their diminutive stature.  Rather than "framing" them with a large base I decided to take one from the ancient annals of wargaming and try mounting them on 5/16" flat washers.  I wanted to try this because the larger bases had distracted the eye from the miniatures themselves which should have been the focus.  The other reason was I liked the low profile of the washer that could allow the model to become part of the greater environment of a gaming table;  Yeah, I haven't written that harebrained idea off yet.

Project List:
5/16" Flat Washers
Super Glue
Liquid Nails: General Repair
Carpenter's Glue
Fine Sand

To begin with I secured the model to the washer with super glue.  I abraded the contact surfaces with sandpaper to improve the bond.  On another model I superglued a small tab of paper towel over the bolthole in the middle of the washer; I'm not sure if this will work better or worse than the one with the open hole but I thought a larger point of contact might be worth checking out.  If I wanted to pay more I could have shelled out for washers with a smaller diameter bolthole but I hoped these would do the trick.
Once the model was secured I brushed the Liquid Nails onto the base.  Slotted figures anchor inside the base but the plug variety sit on top and have to be disguised.  It did the job pretty well.  Once the material dries it will be the groundwork so it doesn't have to be terribly neat or uniform.  The only caveat is to avoid slopping it on the model.

After the the nails hardened I brushed on the carpenter's glue and dipped the base in fine sand.  I don't have much use for this stuff on "heroic" scale models because it looks rather boring but at the 28mm scale I like it.  Unless I was trying to produce very rocky ground I wouldn't want to use anything coarser.

So that was my experiment with "old school" wargaming basing.  It is a great solution for presenting smaller scale models that would otherwise be overwhelmed by the manufactured bases I'm more accustomed to.  In a later post I'll go into what I intend to do with these models and hopefully get some paint on them as well.  I think the models will be better for the rebasing but I was really proud of the old paintjobs and am really going to miss those Denison smocks.


  1. Nice work! There is something appealing about the "flat and minimal" basing standard. The plastic bases from Rendra are similar in size too, although I have not used them myself (and they surely cost more than washers!)

  2. I still have some Rendra bases from those Perry Napoleonic sets I picked up; They package their plastics with them. They are pretty cool but I think some thick sheet styrene would accomplish the same but again at a reduced cost without sacrificing quality. I like cheap but not if it means cheap looking. One thing I really got to thinking about was terrain pieces. Thin bases would make these installations blend into a board seamlessly.


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