Mulling over commercially-cut bases

I’m seeking advice from those of you who use commercially-cut plywood bases for your wargames armies.

I normally cut my own bases from heavy cardboard. But for my 28mm Minden Miniatures “Barry Lyndon” project, I’m considering going commercial. This is mainly because (although my main bases will be 30mm by 40mm) all my supernumery figures are going to be on very small bases (15mm x 15mm) which will be hard to cut consistently myself. So I might as well do the whole project on commercial bases.

I’ve heard of Litko – are they the best to use from here in New Zealand (price, service, postage rates etc)?

Litko bases

What thickness works best? I see Litko do 3mm, 1.5 mm and 0.8mm plywood.

Rounded or square corners? I think the rounded Battlefront-style bases look good, but not sure how they would look for the horse and musket era.

12 thoughts on “Mulling over commercially-cut bases

  1. All IMHO and FWIW …

    I use Litko. Are they the best? I don’t know, but I’m happy with them. 8O)

    I use 3mm bases. I used to prefer minimal height bases for minimal visual intrusion but now prefer 3mm. Partly because I magnetise my bases (I can’t recommend this enough for those away games) and the thicker base has greater strength when I’m removing them from the metal. And partly because it means a stand of figures can be ‘grabbed’ by the base rather than the figures … at least on occasion! I don’t recall the thicker bases ever intruding on my vision of a game.

    I would think that round corners would look better for detached stands. Square corners are better for contiguous stands that are meant to be seen as a single entity. No unsightly gaps.

    Whatever you choose I think that you’ll find commercially cut bases a revelation after cutting your own. At least I did!! 8O) Much more accurate and consistent.

    von Peter himself

    1. Peter, good thinking about the round corners.

      Maybe I’ll go for square corners for the main infantry blocks, but rounded corners for the single 15×15 supernumeries.

      Looks like 3mm thickness wins, too – though I am not yet convinced of the added expense of magnetic bases.

      1. Howdies Roly

        I don’t get my magnetic material from Litko. I got mine locally as a roll from a magnet place which was much cheaper. Sadly the place I used to use is no longer with us (I think) so I’d need to find someone else. I still have enough to keep me going for a while so I haven’t looked. Shouldn’t be impossible to find another source … I hope!

        Having said that magnetising is not for all and is easily retrofitted anyway.

        von Peter himself

  2. My wife is big into crafts and stuff like that. She found some round wooden pieces that came in three styles. The 25mm and 37mm were 3mm thick while the 50mm was 5mm thick. I don’t know if they are carried were you are at but try a craft store first

  3. I have never used commercial bases . . . but that’s for budgetary reasons. If I could afford them, I’d certainly use them.

    But I must say that I prefer thicker bases to thinner ones. Besides the reasons noted by others, thicker bases are both easier to move as a “block” AND are much less likely to slide over each other (which risks cutting soldiers or horses off at the ankle). Thus if you go with Litko, I’d suggest the 3mm rather than something thinner.

    I believe that I’ve seen references to another “base” company on TMP (one based, I think, in the UK). However I have no first-hand knowledge of them either.

    Finally, I don’t recall anyone being disappointed with commercially cut bases . . . I suspect that they will all be good.

    — Jeff

  4. Too late, PJOTR! I’ve already got my order in to Litko, and so far the communication with them has been excellent (especially when I made a late change to my order specs).

    Thanks for the tip, though.

  5. I use the Litko 3mm plywood bases and really like them. The edges are stained brown which gives the base a finished look. Go with squares and rectangular shapes


  6. I’ve now finally based my Minden figures, using the Litko bases, and am very pleased indeed with the result. Sadly, my wife has my camera with her on an overseas trip, so you’ll have to wait for photos.

I hope I've given you something to think about - please do leave a comment with your thoughts or reactions.

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