Help support TMP


"Base sizeing artisticaly speaking" Topic


13 Posts

All members in good standing are free to post here. Opinions expressed here are solely those of the posters, and have not been cleared with nor are they endorsed by The Miniatures Page.

For more information, see the TMP FAQ.


Back to the American Revolution Message Board

Back to the Wargaming in General Message Board



579 hits since 4 Jun 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

UshCha04 Jun 2018 1:55 p.m. PST

I now have started doing 1/144 scale figure. It leads to some interesting artistic questions, how big artistcaly should the base be.

Peronally I hate basing vehicles as they look daft going down the road and they take up more space in a narrow road lined with houses, so no bases for them. I would love to have infantry with no base. However Airfix etc have bases that are impractical for use so the question is if you arte forced to have a base:-

1) Do you make them as small as stability allows comensurate with spacing if its more than one figure. Then base them using as close to the table cover material as possible so at least most of the time they don't look too daft.

2) Make them bigger and do an art job on them. However now they almost certainly won't match the basic table colour and texture.

I think I prefer option 1) but am interested in which and why.

Terry3704 Jun 2018 1:57 p.m. PST

I am trying to confirm if the British and/or the Hessians used an attack column during the revolution or was the only battle formation the firing line?

Thanks,

Terry

khanscom04 Jun 2018 3:24 p.m. PST

Are you basing individual figures for skirmishing? If so, I'd probably use a 3/8" dia. washer (for 1/144 or 15mm figures) and epoxy putty for basing-- keep the size to a minimum required for stability and any visual differences between the mat and the base should be negligible. Airfix 1/72 would probably require a 3/4" washer.

Most of the games that I play require multi- figure elements, though. If that's the case I think that a consistent style of basing within an army is more important than matching the mat.

Personal logo War Artisan Sponsoring Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 1:30 a.m. PST

I don't base vehicles either, UshCha, and I prefer method 1).

As far as I'm concerned, the purpose of a base is to:

1. Hold the figures upright.
2. Take up the amount of space occupied by the force it represents, and
3. Having accomplished 1. and 2., become as unobtrusive as possible. All this mini-diorama-with-flowers-and-rocks-and-patchy-vegetation folderol is a waste of time and effort which, far from improving the look of a game table, often merely disrupts it and distracts attention from the figures.

UshCha05 Jun 2018 3:03 a.m. PST

War Artisan, Must admit I personally agree with your 3. It is interesting that many pictures indicate that 3 is by no means a universal approach. I thought I was the only one.

Mind you I have seen folk turn up with all figures on beautiful polished wooden bases. Maybe OK in a display case but the worst sight I had ever seen on table, never really noticed the painting standard, the bases took all the attention in a negative way. I guess it depends if your figures spend more time in a display case than on the table. In my case its on the table or in a box out of sight so no point painting for display. So a further question is why do you paint and base? Primarily for the display case or for actalk play. the two can likeley be somwhat mutually exclusive. Come to that, does anybody display on a base of table colour rather than a glass/wood shelf.

In my other hobby Slot Cars some folk have cars just for display and others just for raceing. In many cases they buy 2 to allow for this. Does anybody do this with figures?


My co-autor and I did have an interesting discussion verging on Herasy for some. What if we just had a base done in the mat colour with no figure to represent an in position sniper? On our Kalistra Hex which has some variation a very thin base would be easily overlooked.

I guess we could alo do better with blinds like that but there again we only use blinds for beginners so they perhaps need conspicious blinds to keep it simple.

FlyXwire05 Jun 2018 6:13 a.m. PST

I'm not sure what historical period you're considering for your basing here? You mentioned 1/144th scale, which is most typical for WW2 and modern periods, and for those scales I use rare earth magnets on the bottoms of my vehicle models, so they're not permanently affixed. I've also done this with Micro-scale collections. One of the upsides of detachable bases is you only need to make enough of them to use in the scenarios you play, and then can swap your game forces on and off these "sabot" bases instead of making up a base that's permanently attached for each vehicle.

If you do permanently mount vehicles, do the attachment with white glue, because if you decide later to detach/remount them, white glue can be "melted" by submerging the stand in water until soft.

Now, if you're doing this basing for a linear warfare period (?), let me provide a thread link to the minimalist round base option too -

TMP link

UshCha05 Jun 2018 8:18 a.m. PST

FlyXwire, Interesting approach to the vehicles. No one I would use as I am not into hex based games, even though I use a hex based terrain for hills, the roads are normal. However its an interesting alternative storage solution to the costly complemented boxes I use at the moment, the boxes cost a lot and waste a fair bit of space.

I do like that in both the desert and the European theaters you have matched the base to the basic terrain

Its interesting that I automatically assume square bases for teams of infantry even though its not necessary. An oval might be better. I may have to think what the ultimate base shape is and why. Making the shape is not an issue as I can print the figures on any shape or size of base I can reasonably think of.

This thread was to make things easier but it getting harder ;-). The more you think about it the more options come to mind.

I guess base thickness could be an issue. I use certain markers in Maneouvre Group, mine are thin (1mm) to be less obtrusive, a friend needs them more like 2 to 3mm to pick them up easily. My figures will be on 0.5mm thick bases, plus paint/flock. However I expect to pick my figures up like I did as a kid by the figure and not by the base. I

FlyXwire05 Jun 2018 11:16 a.m. PST

:)

Above, on my hex bases these were for facilitating adjacent positioning, where this proximity positioning signified "battlegrouping" units together into larger, command formations, and when the unit bases become separated it reflects unit formations breaking down and losing command & control (another reason and means which can use basing as an integral mechanism within a game system).

So are you doing a 3D print project, with the bases incorporated into the figure(s) design?

Outlaw Tor05 Jun 2018 2:15 p.m. PST

Thin clear acrylic in about any shape you think appropriate?

As long as 1 and 2 are covered…then it will match the underlying terrain.

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 3:43 p.m. PST

War Artisan said:

As far as I'm concerned, the purpose of a base is to:

1. Hold the figures upright.
2. Take up the amount of space occupied by the force it represents, and
3. Having accomplished 1. and 2., become as unobtrusive as possible.

I have to add another:

4. Preventing this kind of aesthetic atrocity:

This kind of thing is a natural artifact of a ground scale greater than model scale (especially with the one-two punch of larger miniature scales with smaller representational scales), and game mechanisms which reward dense physical formations for certain tactics.

When I started painting Microarmor many years ago, this concern followed closely after reason #2 above for representing vehicles in simulated combat. I'm only interested in WWII at the grand tactical and operational levels, so I had the freedom to expand the footprint of my tiny miniatures to achieve consistent frontages and aesthetically proper spacing, and the added benefit of protecting those superfragile C-in-C tank barrels.

Basing might still work well for these reasons in 10mm or 1/144 scale, but I tend to agree with most owners that 15mm and 20mm scale vehicles already take up too much real estate without bases.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 4:49 p.m. PST

Regarding this other War Artisan statement:

All this mini-diorama-with-flowers-and-rocks-and-patchy-vegetation folderol is a waste of time and effort which, far from improving the look of a game table, often merely disrupts it and distracts attention from the figures.
I'm going to go out on a limb here and say I think this is a scale-oriented bias. Not just miniature scale, but representational scale.

To begin with, really small scale models are a bit small to use unbased or even individually. Lots of 3mm WWII gamers and sometimes 6mm gamers are going for "mass effect", and make some pretty cool multi-model dioramas. It would be a shame to just paint the base green tiny roads and shrubs and grass/dirt patches look nice in this context.

Secondly, I want to elaborate on something khanscom brought up:

Most of the games that I play require multi- figure elements, though. If that's the case I think that a consistent style of basing within an army is more important than matching the mat.
I also prefer multi-model units, but with multiple stands. Which opens a whole new can of worms…

I know this is a bit of a heresy among WWII gamers, but I have never liked gaming with single-base or single-model units. Training manuals are full of advice, directions and doctrine regarding proper spacing, formations, and relative positions of guns, troops, AFVs and transports, so these things clearly seem to matter to tactical officers.

Most popular WWII rules are relatively skirmishy, which makes formations mostly irrelevant as they evaporate in a flurry of micro-tactical decisions and retreats to cover. Higher level WWII rules typically use a single model/stand to represent a "unit" of whatever formation size the rules declare as the atom of maneuver (usu. platoon/section, company/battery or battalion), so formations and footprints are simply considered abstracted away. Either way, the expectations of WWII miniatures gamers seem to sway distinctly skirmishy, leading to tables that look rather skirmishy even when each miniature represents a group of stuff.

As I said above, I prefer grand tactical WWII gaming, and consider issues like formations, frontages and footprints to be part of the decision cycle the player-commanders should be attending. The only grand tactical rules I know that make any attempt to represent actual formations with game mechanics are the Great Battles of WWII series, (which are divisional level with company/battery stands).

My own attempts to write WWII rules or adapt other games to my prejudices have failed utterly. I had plans for adapting Operation Brevity and FOB WW2, but never got around to trying them on the tabletop. I still mean to try DivTac and Armored Division some day, and recently added Rommel to the list, all of which can probably be adapted to multi-base units.

- Ix

Yellow Admiral Supporting Member of TMP05 Jun 2018 5:30 p.m. PST

My co-autor and I did have an interesting discussion verging on Herasy for some. What if we just had a base done in the mat colour with no figure to represent an in position sniper?
I've done this to represent minefields more than once. In naval gaming too.
On our Kalistra Hex which has some variation a very thin base would be easily overlooked.
I wouldn't depend on inobservant players for this. The first time you reveal the sneaky mechanism, everyone will know all about it, and word will spread. Surprises only work once.

Either have the owner of the hidden assets put out lots of markers with most marked "dummy" underneath, just put out the ones that are real and deal with the 10,000 foot general problem using rules mechanisms (e.g. can't shoot/charge hidden units until they are "discovered" somehow), or have the owner write down location coordinates (easier to do with hexes) and reveal them only as desired.

- Ix

UshCha06 Jun 2018 2:17 a.m. PST

Yellow Admiral, I am a half way man. I like 1:1 as certainly in WW2 and onwards most folk either convienently forget or never know about minimum spacing and alternate positions for tanks and other AFV's in defence. This makes basing tanks daft. If you are in defence with even 1 alternate postion your frontage could be 800+. Minimum spaceing between alternate positions is varies on the source, some say 40m some say the effectiveness increases to 75m. In a road march in WW2 the Germans used 10 vehicles per mile to reduce air attack so a company of tanks would be close on a mile long! even normaly at 50m spacing its 400m long.

Oh and the Travesty, in the end despite other issue mitigating it in our rules we just put the real reason tanks don't go close to each other. If you go closer than about 40m (some sources say a bit more) the proability of being hit after they hit the one next to you is close to 100%, they don't miss the correction is easy. Supprisingly vehicles spead out as a matter of course. As even at our groundscale (1mm=1m) and 1/144models spaceing them 40mm (40m ground scale), it does not look too bad and the formations being wider look more sensible as terrain begins to make it look saner. In you Travesty picture widen the Napolionic line by a factor of at least 3 (assuming they are 1/144 tanks more if they were 6mm) and the formation would be daft. They would have to go in waves " Oh
let me think, how do they do it in the real world?" ;-).

Infantry are a problem, typicaly a base is too large even if you space them a bit close but livable with. Built up areas are mpossible to model. But by spacing the houses close, and small infantry bases you get an impression of a built up area with restricted sightines. Again this demands as small a base as possible. See the pic for a very small village, our more typical village has 10 to 15 houses.
which is enough to get the flavor but not to gett boreing. 20 houses becomes a boring slog.

We do publish a set of rules that does a lot of what you want but unless you play a lot its limit is a company battle group. The rules are simple but of course there is a lot more to thik about if you have to have formations, consider travelling and bounding overwatch (they are not mentioned in the rules by the way, its just the optimum way to preogres), You need to decide if you want to be unbuttoned or buttoned up (formation is now vital or you get shot with no quick reply as you did not see the shooter), hull down, turret down etc.

Look at the free stuff first.

link

One of our games to give an idea of the combat size: sky boards are board edges. Note this is part of a real very big game and this is just one of a series of photos we take to record the progress for next week so artistic presentaion is not a consideration.


link

My new figures will replace those on the board and be of a realistic size not circus freaks.

Yelow admiral, its supprising that under pressure (what good is a game unless you are under pressure) and have to keep your head round nnot getting out of formation, tweaking the planning as the battle progresses its easy to miss less obvious stuff. For beginners we use obvious blinds to make it easy. The authors we lie when we play, OK you see a bunker, the fact that its a canvas dummy is a perfect ruse. In reality most of the time stuff is just marked on a map.

Sorry - only verified members can post on the forums.