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Epicast's Battle Bases

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7 December 2001page first published

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Epicast has recently launched a new line called Battle Bases, and Nick Tompkins was kind enough to send us some samples.

the review packs from Epicast

What's the idea behind Battle Bases? Here's what Nick writes:

With the sudden increase of plastic 28mm figures on the market I find myself knocking over a lot more miniatures every time I bump the table! I can't be the only gamer doing this? I also find that I like terrained or theme bases but don't have the time to sculpt each one for an army of figures. Here's a solution! I'll do the work for you!

some of the different sizes available in the Basic Terrain texture

The bases come in a wide variety of textures, shapes and sizes, including the "standard" square, rectangular, and round sizes required by the popular fantasy and science-fiction games. Within the packs that have multiple bases, each base is unique. The packs have a standard price of $4.50 USD, with different numbers of bases per pack depending on type:

MODEL NO. 601 Round Skull 25mm Bases (5)
MODEL NO. 602 Hexagonal Skull 25mm Bases (5)
MODEL NO. 603 Square 40mm Skull Bases (2)
MODEL NO. 604 Square 20mm basic terrain (5)
MODEL NO. 605 Square 25mm basic terrain (5)
MODEL NO. 606 Round 25mm basic terrain (5)
MODEL NO. 607 Round 40mm basic terrain (2)
MODEL NO. 608 Square 40mm basic terrain (2)
MODEL NO. 609 Rectangle 25x50mm basic terrain (4)
MODEL NO. 610 Square 20mm flagstone (5)
MODEL NO. 611 Square 25mm flagstone (5)
MODEL NO. 612 Round 25mm flagstone (5)
MODEL NO. 613 Round 25mm Industrial (5)
MODEL NO. 614 Round 40mm Industrial (2)
MODEL NO. 615 Square 20mm cobbles (5)
MODEL NO. 616 Square 25mm cobbles (5)
MODEL NO. 617 Round 25mm cobbles (5)
MODEL NO. 618 Round 60mm Monster Base (1)
MODEL NO. 619 Square 50mm Monster base (1)
MODEL NO. 620 Round 25mm urban rubble (5)
MODEL NO. 621 Rectangle 25x50mm urban rubble (4)
MODEL NO. 622 Round 40mm urban rubble (2)
MODEL NO. 623 Square 40mm urban rubble (2)
MODEL NO. 624 Round 60mm urban rubble (1)
MODEL NO. 625 Square 50mm urban rubble (1)
some of the available textures - flagstone, cobblestone, urban technical, regular, and skulls

Our samples demonstrated five of the texture types. Flagstone and Cobblestone are similar, the difference being that flagstones are larger and closer to being rectangular, while cobblestones are small and more oval. Urban Technical is a high-tech look based around non-slip steel flooring. The Skull bases are just what they claim to be - covered with skulls (human and otherwise) and bones. The Basic Terrain texture is a generic surface that can be painted up to represent grass, sand, snow, and other useful surfaces. The Basic Terrain bases are also more contoured than the other bases. (The Urban Rubble bases aren't available yet, but Nick says he'll send some along when they're ready.)

Basic Terrain bases as painted by Epicast

Nick tells us that there's something interesting about Battle Bases beyond what can be seen:

We have used Plastisteel to make our bases, this means that they are ferrous and therefore magnetic! Cool! This also adds to the weight of the base and makes them more stable.

The bases are a little heftier than you would expect them to be, though of course not as heavy as 100% metal bases would be.

the magnet test - with a 15mm Grenadier Dwarf for size comparison

To test how well the bases worked with magnets, we took out a sheet of magnetic material, stood it on end, and flung a few of the bases onto the sheet. As the picture shows, they all clung appropriately to the magnet. There's enough attraction to keep figures from sliding around in your storage box if you line the bottom with magnetic sheeting, but not enough to allow you to hang figures upside-down!

Since the bases are cast, there is a slight curve to the bottoms of the bases. This curve lifts the center of the base out of contact with the magnetic surface. We found that sliding the bases a few times on sandpaper knocked off the "lips" of the bases, and improved how they "stuck" on the magnetic sheet (especially the larger bases).

base bottoms before and after sanding

As a practical example, here's a photo of a mecha that we wanted to mount on a larger base than the one it came with. How to mount it on the base?

this mecha could use a larger base - and here it is!

Here's what Nick recommends for slottabase-type figures:

  1. Paint the figure while attached to the base sold with it! Easy!
  2. Paint the Epicast Battle Base of your choice.
  3. Seal both.
  4. Remove the slotta base from the figure. Using wire cutters cut off the middle of the tab leaving two pins one from each foot/appendage.
  5. Put some red paint on the end of the 2 pins and position the figure on the Battle Base. It will leave two red dots!
  6. Now take a pin vise or drill and drill two holes where the dots were - and presto!

For plastic figures with no tab either superglue them on or pin them with short lengths of wire and a drill bit.

mecha mounted on the new base

And here's what it looks like afterwards. One cautionary note: With some of the contoured bases, check for fit before drilling any holes, or you may have a figure that is tipped to one side or another.