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"First Attempt at Vinyl Hand Cut Bases for DBx " Topic

De Bellis Magistrorum Militum

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02 Jan 2017 7:31 p.m. PST
by Editor in Chief Bill

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Mooseworks805 Jan 2013 3:31 p.m. PST

Thanks to Bob in Edmonton I've learned how to cut my own bases from cheap floor vinyl vice buying a bag of metal bases from Wargames Accessories. I'm not knocking WA, it's just quicker and cheaper to make my own. Mine are not perfect as WA metal bases but they'll do for my own uses.

I went to Lowes and bought a $0.35 USD cent vinyl floor tile. Used 2 of my existing WA 40mm frontage DBx bases as templates and drew the lines to several rows & columns of bases. Then using an hobby knife I cut them, thrice on each line, two cuts to allow the vinyl to bend and snap and a final cut to the paper beneath for separation. I have plenty of tile remaining.



RelliK05 Jan 2013 3:41 p.m. PST

Very thrifty, I like white styrene sheet that you can scribe a grid on and snap bases out of.

But if this works for you, great!


getback05 Jan 2013 4:22 p.m. PST

I print out a grid of bases (made up in PowerPoint or similar) and stick the print out onto the sticky side of the tile. Use this as a guide for cutting them out. Not quite laser cut but pretty good.

elsyrsyn05 Jan 2013 6:32 p.m. PST

I'm too enchanted with the magnetic properties of the WA bases to defect, but that's pretty cool.


Personal logo Bobgnar Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 7:05 p.m. PST

Can material be cut with a paper cutter? I use a paper cutter to cut thin metal and magnetic material. I thought this tile stuff might be good too with a magnet on the bottom.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP05 Jan 2013 8:37 p.m. PST

A paper cutter might do the trick, but it will dull very quickly. The best method of cutting these tiles, is to use a disposable razor knife, with the snap-off blades, using a metal ruler as a guide. Barring that, if you have a table saw, you could stack them up, and cut five (maybe more) at a time.

The glue will take paint, but not well. As stated already, the best option seems to be, thus far in my experimentation, applying regular paper to the tile's sticky bottom. The paper will take paint very nicely, without issues. They make a very inexpensive basing material.

Another option, is to apply two bases together, glue to glue. This is best done prior to cutting into smaller bases: aligning the 12" squares is easier, and once done, all of the cutting will render uniform bases, without mis-alignments.

They make great movement trays, as well. I applied some green craft foam, to the tile's sticky side, cut to size, and painted the edges with black craft paint. I also painted the foam, because the color was too bright: link

If you want to decorate the finished sides (the side meant to be walked upon, with shoes), a primer coat is recommended. Then decorate as you wish. Been using these tiles for basing for a couple of years now. Work well for me, and my figures. Cheers!

Bob in Edmonton05 Jan 2013 8:38 p.m. PST

I just measure to mark out the dimensions I want, score using a ruler and the hash marks and snap. Glad it is working out for you. I find the slightly heavier tile is better than the thinner (but more common) stuff. Super cheap and endlessly flexible. Alas, not magnetic.

Dale Hurtt05 Jan 2013 8:43 p.m. PST

I gave up on WA as their bases were too inaccurate. I am not good enough to cut my own accurately, so I only buy laser cut wood now. I like the tile material, but no one laser cuts it! grin

lou cardinale06 Jan 2013 5:55 a.m. PST

Guys, I buy the Laser cut bases from the dealer who attends all three big American conventions and they sell over twenty different base sizes from 5 Gal buckets for each base size. You can buy a pint or quart sized container of bases for an unbelievable price. So cheap for me that it doesn't make sense to do it any other way. That's coming from a 52 year old gamer who has grown tired of cutting his own bases, but power to any one who still cuts their own!!!!!!!!!

John the OFM06 Jan 2013 8:23 a.m. PST

I cut my bases from 4" wide 3/32" basswood. I use that material for just about everything, except Flames of War.

Since 4" is almost equal to 100mm, there is very little waste.


I've been using tile since '79, when I had an endless supply when I was in the navy.


When I need lots of bases,(soon as I'm nearly out if 15mm infantry bases)I get thin paneling and cut it on a table saw.
The last time I did this was in '04, and by my guess, I cut out over 3000 bases in 15mm alone. I have a tiny chop saw that I could cut down 28mm bases with, but that would only delay the inevitable.


I might add, that not painting much in the last two years, has helped delay it too…

JCBJCB06 Jan 2013 4:18 p.m. PST

I use the unglued tiles, too. Love them. It was the dear departed Allen who put me onto them. Hadn't even considered them before.

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