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DIY Scenic Bases
by Eric Watts

Thereís nothing wrong with mass-produced resin bases, for the most part.

They work fine, although some need a little filing and work before they can be used. But they can be expensive.

While Combat Zone isnít normally played with thousands of troops per side (and why not?), it could still prove fairly expensive to base, say, four squads per side with fancy resin bases.

Many of the articles that have inspired me the most in the Chronicles are the ones that manage to make something out of practically nothing, and Iíve had my own method of producing scenic bases for some time now. And as most Combat Zone Chronicle readers know, thereís always a cheaper option. DIY!

For this task, youíll need all the things you would usually use when constructing your miniatures; a good blade, superglue and cutters, with one or two extras like a good pen and possibly a pin vise drill (although itís not especially important).

You need only one piece of material, which is something to construct your bases from.

Iím using an embossed vinyl sheet from Atenocitiís Workshop, with a ďmodern cobbleĒ pattern on it.

This is actually the same sheet that was used for the masters for the resin bases they sell, and at £1.65, itís a bargain as itís lasted me for ages now (halfway through with over twenty based figures so far!).

Any other kind of embossed sheet is good, too, such as corrugated metal siding, pavement etc. But this is the sheet Iíll be working with.

Ok, first things first. You need to snip the basing strip from your figures, but not entirely. Leave a peg on a single foot. Whilst the single peg obviously isnít as sturdy as the full tag, itís better than nothing (and less effort than ďpinningĒ a metal figure to a resin base!) and besides, you can just secure it from beneath with putty.

Then, you need to trace the outline of a base onto the back (non-embossed) side of the sheet youíll be working with. This is kind of tricky, as you have to hold the top of the base down and reach under the rim with your pen as you trace. Try not to slip.

Once the outline is traced, cut it out with your knife. This is the only real time-consuming part, but Iíve cut down (arf) on the cutting time by doing several at once.

Being made of a vinyl material, the sheet is fairly soft, and if you cut squares around the circles, stack the squares on top of each other and then cut another four times to make hex shapes, it can save a lot of time.

Donít worry about the rough edges just yet, just stick the plastic down onto the bases and allow them dry (tip: use fast-drying superglue, of course!).

Once dry, get a piece of sandpaper (I use emery boards instead, easier to handle) and smooth out the rough edges. Angle the sandpaper away from the edge of the base, so youíre only sanding down the plastic material mounted to the top. Itís fairly easy to judge when to stop sanding, too.

Now, you need to insert the figure. You can use a pin vise drill for this, or just use your blade in a circular motion in order to cut out a hole into the top of the base. This will be where the peg you left on the foot of your figure will go.

Glue him/her in, and allow it to set. And youíre done, unless you want to add extra details, of course. A little dirt here and there wouldnít go amiss at all!

Oh, yes, remember to paint them.