Basing 28mm figures; options?

Started by clibinarium, 08 January 2023, 11:38:16 AM

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08 January 2023, 11:38:16 AM Last Edit: 08 January 2023, 11:46:46 AM by clibinarium
Maybe not the best forum for this question, but I figure people here have a wide range of tastes.

I am getting back to painting figures after a hiatus of more than a decade (and it's proving tough!)I am working on 28mm samurai and Choson Koreans. I am going to base them individually,to allow the widest range of options for games, and can't really decide the best way forward.

I quite like the MDF type as a material, but I am not sure what the best size or shape is. Round gives a pleasing look, but square is easier to rank up. But if ranked up they have limbs and weapons that clash, round bases seem like they make it easier to orientate the figures to minimise this?
And then there's the size of base- the smallest reasonable to give optimal footprint-vs stability, but then some figures have wide stances or odd poses- do I put all on a bigger base for consistency or just go for the best size of individual figures.
Then the cavalry- rectangular is the obvious choice, but does that look weird next to infantry on round bases (or maybe its just me that doesn't like this?)

Now I have my own leanings on these questions, I am not thwarted by something so basic, but I did think it would be interesting to hear what solutions people had come up with, which no doubt will be better than my initial thoughts.


 A lot depends on what rules you might be using. Smaller (20mm) square bases go back to Warhammer and lots of derivatives from there. 

But most recent skirmish rules favour round bases. Probably for many of the reasons you mention. 

I much prefer round bases for individually based 28mm figures. I tend to go for metal bases - coins or washers as these give more stability to the figures, by putting more weight at the bottom so lowering the centre of gravity. And with plastic figures gives some weight to them. 

I do have a mix of 20mm and 25mm bases often down to poses. 

Sabot bases are a good option if you want to rank up troops, while maintaining the flexibility of single basing. 

Cavalry - oval bases are another option. Not sure Pendraken do them but warbases certainly do. 
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2p coins or washers for the infantry, as these weigh down the figures at the base, very useful for plastic figures. Then mount them in ranks on mdf trays

Cavalry are on 50x 25mm rectangles for close order, 60x 40mm ellipses for skirmish or irregulars
Here are some 1877 Turks:



For cavalry I'd use pill shaped rather than oval bases, if using round bases, but each to their own.

Warbases do them as standard and I'm pretty sure Leon has done some for me, on request.
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Big Insect

Generally I tend to play rules sets for 28mm (& 15mm) that are at a level whereby I am creating bases with multiple figures on them - mostly these are standard DB heritage - so 60mm frontage for 25/28mm & 40mm for 10mm/15mm.

When I do play skirmish level (not that often admittedly) I have now moved away from round individual bases for hexagonal bases (20mm for 28mm) as I found that often the round bases caused confusion as it was hard to tell the actual orientation of the figures in play. Hexagons (which are now widely available in cut MDF) also mean that when you do need to bring those skirmishers back into a more solid/orderly formation/ranks, you can use the interlocking nature of the hexagons to do so.
There is an argument that 20mm square bases would work equally well for this, but somehow they dont look quite right when dispersed.

I then use ordinary decorating 'filler' - the stuff that comes in a tube - and apply this so that it looks like ground. I then apply washes (a 1:4 paint to water wash) of Games Workshop 'Steel Legion Drab' to the thoroughly dried filler, as the base colour. The more washes you apply the darker it gets. Then I apply flock (using a static applicate and PDF glue) followed by various tufts and stones as appropriate. That seems to work quite well for both 10/15mm and 25/28mm.

Hope that helps
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