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"MDF Basing Material for Buildings?" Topic

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462 hits since 24 Mar 2023
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Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 10:29 a.m. PST

Recently I saw a video done by Rich with TFL where he based buildings on a thin piece of mdf so that they could be flocked etc. I liked how it looked and I was wondering if there is a good source for that type of mdf here in the states?

Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 10:50 a.m. PST
Also called hardboard

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 12:12 p.m. PST

I've been using laser-cut MDF bases for my minis, for years. I brush on a thick layer of PVA Glue, then dunk them in colored sand mixes, and let it dry. It never warps…

It is made of resin mixed with wood pulp fibers. If you cut it with a saw, wear a close-fitting quality dust mask, to avoid getting the dust in your lungs! The fumes, from a laser cutter, are also bad, but they're typically vented to the outside, so not much of an issue.

MDF is my go-to basing material, even for larger terrain pieces. I used it in 4-inch squares, to base Guard Towers with a pumpkin stem as a cut-off 'tree', with a logged, 'raft' platform on top, as the Guard Tower.

Originally, I used two layers of vinyl floor tiles for my bases. The vinyl warped (the warping can be seen in the base), after a few months, with the same PVA Glue + sand, texturing applied to it. I had to re-base every one of my 12 Guard Towers, and that was a lot of work.

Now I solely use MDF. Could not be happier with the material! All 12 of my Guard Tower bases are as flat as the day I attached them, even after texturing them with PVA Glue and sand. Been flat for many years post re-basing.

If you need MDF cut to specific sizes, smaller than clipboard sizes, I recommend either e-Bay, or Etsy. It can be cut, with superb accuracy, with laser cutters. I order sets in bulk, for my minis.

I needed equilateral triangles of MDF, to make a d20 globe, and I found a seller, on Etsy, who could cut 20 pieces in the exact size I needed, for a modest price -- worked superbly for my project! Best of luck with your projects! Cheers!

Personal logo Grelber Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 1:01 p.m. PST

I like the ladder up the tree trunk, Sgt. Slag!


Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP24 Mar 2023 2:20 p.m. PST

Thank you, Grelber. I modeled those after a piece of fantasy artwork I found in a RPG gaming module booklet. I thought the artwork was brilliant, and I searched around for ideas on how to make a model of it.

Autumn rolled around on the calendar, and I had a "Eureka!" moment looking at pumpkins for sale. I searched e-Bay, and I found that pumpkin stems are sold for crafting purposes! I ordered a set, and I was off to the races.

The pumpkin stems are a bit brittle and delicate -- they're not made of wood fibers, more like brittle plant fibers. I drilled holes into them, and then glued toothpicks into the stems, to re-create the pole steps, in the drawing. I did a similar thing for the platform on top. I skipped the roof, as that would have been problematic for gaming with them, losing access to place minis into the platforms. They are now 10 years old, and have changed very little, since they were built. Here is my blog link to the relevant page, Project #2, scroll down.

My thoughts were that the builders would plant buckthorn bushes between the stakes, to discourage attackers from getting too close…

They were a blast to build. They've been even more fun to game with! I've used them several times, but I need to use them more often. They're just a hoot to game with. Cheers!

Personal logo Stosstruppen Supporting Member of TMP25 Mar 2023 6:08 a.m. PST

Thanks guys, I found some suitable sheets on Amazon…

Striker25 Mar 2023 2:56 p.m. PST

If you know someone with some hand tools a big sheet can be the ticket. I get a 4x8 one every so often then cut it up into "blobs" to make scatter terrain and some squares and rectangles for buildings. If a gaming buddy needs some cut they could come on by, I'm no carpenter but I can cut stuff up.

Jcfrog Supporting Member of TMP26 Mar 2023 9:05 a.m. PST

I would use plasticard. Flexible enough not to break if thin, no warping with watered texturing.

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