Saturday, March 25, 2017

My rebasing obsession

I have a problem.  You know it.  I know it.  So let's talk about it.

It's about... you know... *whispers* down there.


My basing obsession.  For some reason, I have obsessive rebasing syndrome.

Unlike The Pixies, I never wanted to grow, grow up to be, be a debaser (debaser), debaser (debaser), but I do seem to rebase my minis a lot (a lot).

My base instincts have always been to have a consistent look and feel.  However my mind just wants to explore new things.  These two are obviously at odds.

I am doomed.

Let's look at the journey.

I kicked off well enough.  All my minis where on hex bases.  This gave them a lovely retro 80's feel, and made my figures stand out from the norm.  Hex bases where sold with Talisman and DnD minis back in the 80's.  It was a cool thing to have when everyone else was on square bases.
I used a scheme based on my fave 80's figures at the time.  Greep green followed by lime drybrushing and bestial brown edges to suggest the turf has been hacked out around the figure.

I used pva mixed with sand to build up the base- it looked great but took a while to do.  Later I found it would crumble as the pva underneath wasn't able to get air to set.  It would chip and crack.

As my collection grew the downside began to become apparent. Hexes are a tad awkward to play with in open skirmish.  They also force the model to face a certain way when you arrange them on display.  I started experimenting with other types.

Enter lipped 30mm plastic bases!  These where easy to get hold of at my local shop and gave the minis a trophy like display quality. 

See the epic quality the lipped base gives? 
The problem I had was you can't pick them up easily by the base.  It did make skirmish look cool in open ground though.

We also discovered that it was a pain playing DnD with 30mm bases on their inch grids though.  The following is my Dnd character in her early Citadel 80's form.  When all the other players used Warmahordes minis on 30 lipped bases - she seemed child like and fell over a lot in comparison.  I upgraded her to a her more epic looking Reaper minis version.  Both models are converted slightly to match.  The DM (talented Artist and teacher Epona Schweer- google them!) was running a campaign set in the frozen north.  I made my bases reflect this.

Meanwhile, I had picked up a LOT of 40k models.  Was I gonna base them on normal 25mm GW bases?  Fuck no.  I cast up my own deep lipped bases with toppers.

I couldn't make enough bases quickly enough, the fumes and cost started to get to me.  It wasn't gonna work.  So I bought resin ones.

But drilling and pinning hundreds of models onto expensive bases?  Nope.  *sigh*
I needed cheap and fast.

So I swung the other way.

You want cheap and fast, you go MDF.

The downside with MDF is all the sanding to get the edges to look good.  See?

This is what an unsanded edge looks like, and uhg... I don't love it.

I was also experimenting with flocks and mud at the time.  The results where... well, they annoyed me.  They looked dry and bland.

 I felt restless.

The next pic shows me becoming obsessed with low profile bases.  I based these ones on Aly Morrison's 80's Eavy Metal article where he was using 2p pennys before slotta bases appeared.  These are laser cut mdf.

I tried super low profile bases so I didn't have to sand them, but on heavy models these cracked too easily.  Damn.  Next.

Enter Impact! Minis 30mm bases...

Not as epic, so I found myself building up and dressing the tops a lot, and without the lip there is more area to decorate.  On some minis it just made them look lost.  

The giant here is mounted on a poker chip.  These are cheap as chips.  Literally.  This stuff writes itself.

Okay, my questionable comical genius aside- things changed again.  In very huge ways.  This was about the time I announced to you lot that I had been in transition after discovering I was intersex.

This is relevant because with the correct amount of estrogens in my system, my colour perception and relationship to colour changed.  Ever wondered why chicks dig flowers so much?  You should see intense colours like magenta on this side- it's an experience.

I wanted more subtlety and more pop all at once.  New eyes.  New me.  Time for a new look.

I shifted from greens to more earthy neautral tones for my bases.

This style indeed made my colours pop and allowed for more subtle, muted tones.  It allowed the miniature to shine more.

 I then found a lovely rich mossy blue-green which I got carried away with.  Again, colours are richer for me now, I loved the mossy dungeons this theme summoned in my mind.

Rebasing all these classic minis to 30mm plastics had one drawback- 30mm takes up a lot of room. And I have a lot of miniatures.  Placing them in scenery often doesn't work.  Okay, maybe I need to rebase some to 25mm round bevels...

Better, richer soils- this time closer together.  I wasn't in love, but it would do.

One option I hadn't tried?  Washers!

Washers where just great!  I loved them.  The weight, the stability, the speed to rebase, the cheapness and the ability to place them in dense scenery.

 Downsides?  Yeah- my display cases started to creak.  The weight adds up quickly, and paint chips off easily.

About that time Renedra came in with their range of low profile, cheap range.  I loved that I didn't have to decorate them, and I could get through a lot.  At the time they didn't make 30mm, so I went with 25mm.

Then they came out with 30m and I jumped on those.

These Cryx are mounted on Renedra 30mm bases, keeping them Warmahordes legal, but giving mine a distinct difference to most.  I liked it.

Oh. I had to base this mini in the style of AD&D battlesys.  I just had to.

Anyway, back to the game table.  Games Workshop look my advice and switched to 30mm beveled.  Only, to be pricks they made it 32mm.

So now my collection looked like every Age of Sigmar gamers.  I wanted to be smart and different dammit.

At this stage I broke up with my life partner, my computer blew up, I ended up without work, homeless and seperated from my minis.  I had to start again from scratch in a new city.

My therapist told me to get back into painting because I needed to relax.  When life snowballs so badly, hours of escape is a good thing.

I used GW bases because that's all I could get easily in small amounts.  Bulk buys where out of my budget.  Over the following year, friends donated minis and I collected cheap Bones figures to keep me distracted.  At the end of the year, I had a couple of boxes of figures in various stages.

Now I have a new job, and life is slowly returning to a place where I can at least see stable off in the distance.  I am starting to get time to assemble and paint the figures I have.  I grabbed a couple of boxed sets to enjoy.

Focusing on consistency I went to GW bases... but... 

It's not sitting right.  They are expensive, fat and not great with scenery.  I just did all these walking dead minis and I feel that it was the wrong decision.

This obsession has to stop.  I need to stop running around in little 30mm circles.

To break an obsession, I need to refocus.  I want to refocus on the minis themselves.  So I want to take away the base as a problem.  Solve my problems the best I can, let go of what I cannot fiz and just move forward.

So last night I did research and had a lot of thinky type thoughts about my obsessive behaviour, and how I can control and curb it.  This article is a child of that, and I am putting it here instead of my subscriber blog because I want everyone who faces this sort of issue to grow with me.

Here is what I came up with.  This is my solution.  What I am moving forward with.


I am going with low profile Renedra bases because they are llight, cheap, commonly available, stocked in Australia, easy to dress and assemble.  Work with scenery and fit the dnd grids.  They come in all the sizes I need.  They are also the same size as washers, so models that need extra weight can use those.

It's going to be Renedra and washers from here on in.

In regards to colour schemes, I decided to split the difference between all my styles and go for a muted dusty soil.  This will work for dungeons, towns, post apocalypse and future.  I can also use mosses, red washes and tufts to make different looks- but tie them all together with a consistent soil.

Here are my Uruks-as-ghouls with 30mm Renedra.  I may go with 25mm from here on in if the model fits, and 30 when it needs the room.

I am also not going to rebase models until it is painting time or they are needed for a game, just to keep my sanity.

So I am gonna try a few figures today and see how I feel.

Something akin to this... but a tad more muted.


  1. Thanks for this! Always love to see your bases... seriously, that is one of the things I think about, your article a while back about drilling the Renedra bases for magnets.