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"Sabot basing for Medieval & Dark Age 28mm" Topic

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Timbo W21 Jul 2022 4:22 a.m. PST

Hi all,

I'm thinking of basing/re-basing my Dark Age and Medieval 28mm figures with MDF sabot bases and I'm wondering if anyone has done similar and can comment on benefits and drawbacks and share any hints, tips and recommendations for suppliers (UK).

I have small to medium forces of Normans, Vikings, Saracens and War of the Roses medievals, between 60 and 120 figures each. These might eventually expand to the 100-200 range and I have a bunch of Dark Age Welsh to paint up but don't hold your breath :-)

I'm a believer in flexibility, so ideally I'd like to do:
- Individually based skirmish
- Large skirmish eg Lion Rampant, generally uses 6 or 12 figures and base sizes not important except for practicality
- DbA/ DbM etc, where bases are important, generally 3s but 2s for skirmishers
- 'Traditional' scale wargames eg Warhammer ancients, Hail Caesar, etc etc, I'm more than happy to compromise and fudge basing for rules where it's important but I'm not keen on moving around 150 single based figures.

I'm thinking of using round ~20mm individual bases for the infantry, 20mm frontage rectangular bases for cavalry, 30mm for light cavalry.

Then for DbA using sabot bases of 3 for infantry, same size but 2 for light inf, and same frontage for 3 heavy or 2 light cavalry. These bases will need to be a bit bigger than 60mm, perhaps 80mm?

For the 'large skirmish' and 'traditional wargame' level I think bases of 6 figures in 2 ranks would be helpful for the infantry, the light inf and Cav are manageable with the 'DbA level' bases.

What do you think?

Stew art Supporting Member of TMP21 Jul 2022 7:51 a.m. PST

I've been on a similar journey so I'll chime in.
same idea; All my dark ages stuff are individually based for skirmish type games. These are all on Fender washers (so 26mm round bases). For mass battle, I got some movement trays (or as I call them; Big Battle Bases) for playing games of Sword and Spear, Hail Caesar, Triumph, etc…

I have a long winded blog post about it here:

As I say in the post, I got the movement trays from Charlie Foxtrot, and they are really nice.

Unless you are gonna invest in a WHOLE LOT of movement trays then you'll have to fudge it in games where the number of figures on the tray matters. I don't know DBAnthing so can't help there, but it can easy to designate Elite units as trays with just armored guys, medium units with unarmored, etc..

It's well worth the effort though as once everything is ready it's very striking…

also, 20mm frontage for a Cav model seems to me a bit small. Mine have a 25mm frontage and that seems to work.

hope that is helpful.


TonicNH21 Jul 2022 8:58 a.m. PST

I'm all for flexibility too so that figures can do double duty for skirmish and big battles. Maybe the following will give you a few ideas….

My 28s are based on 1p coins for close formation troops and 2p pieces for skirmishers.

For bigger battles I use a selection of 1p and 2p movement trays from Warbases

Dux Brit/Zombie trays: link

Regular trays: link

I use the Dux Brit/Zombie trays for "mob" formations and the regiment trays for more ordered troop types (and units in shieldwall)

My cavalry are mounted singly on 25mm x 50mm bases on 50mm x 50mm or 100 x 50mm movement trays (I group them in 2's and 4's but other widths and depths are available


One slight issue with the 1p coins is that figures can prove to be less stable if on sloped surfaces but i've solved this by buying some single figure circular trays with a 25mm diameter and 1p slots (and for aesthetic purposes some 30mm diameter with 2p slots so the skirmishers basing looks similar)


Hope that gives you a few ideas…



Timbo W21 Jul 2022 2:36 p.m. PST

Thanks for the recommendations both.

1p coins, now that's an interesting thought. I was thinking laser cut MDF 20mm round bases for the inf. 1p coins are 20.3mm according to a quick Google. Either sounds OK. On the one hand MDF can fit quite tightly into sabots, on the other I could use the magnet trick with 1p coins,
as they have steel cores but seems too much of additional hassle maybe.

From the warbases site, I can't find the exterior dimensions of the multi bases. I think I need to find this out to begin figuring how to do Cavalry bases of the same frontage for DbA.

More research needed, no problem as I won't be gating to these until next Spring at the earliest.

Glengarry522 Jul 2022 12:16 a.m. PST

I am using Lion Rampant for the Northern Crusades. I use 25mm round bases for my foot and even those are now too small for some figures lines, like Victrix! I put them on 6 slot Irregular Warbase movement trays, two for 12 figure units. Cavalry I put on 40mm round bases on 6 slot Warbase movement trays.

Puster Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Jul 2022 4:21 a.m. PST

I use standard 2 and 2.5 cm flat round bases from Renedra, Victrix and others for individual basing, usually the 2cm for regular soldiers that can form up and 2.5 for warriors or more dynamic poses. I use the halfround 2.5*5cm warlord bases for cavalry.

As I also love DBMM, I ordered a set of stls for sabot bases to play it in 28mm. I just doubled all their 15mm-sizes for 8cm wide bases (the 6cm-bases look too crowded with 28mm minis for me).

So I now have a set of 8cm wide bases with 3-8cm depth that allow for 2-4 mixed single bases. They just need printing.

If you have a filement-printer you could try these.

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