When planning on how best to base certain miniatures (especially the unconventional kind) I found myself wanting a guide to help me eyeball things. Given that I can’t help myself but embark on another project to fill my day, I created a miniature base size guide for round and oblong bases.
Pictured above are examples of it in use. On the left is a 54mm undead warrior from Tehnolog and on the right are four 20mm Afghans from Newline Designs.
It was particularly useful when trying to figure out how to base my various trees, before I had a stockpile of MDF bases in various sizes from Warbases to try them out with. Pictured above is the resulting fruits of my labours. Two trees from Games Workshop on the left on 60mm and 40mm, and a random model railway bottle-cleaner style tree on a 35mm base. When it comes to trees, I think it looks best when the base isn’t quite as wide as tree but wide enough to stop it from toppling easily. (Yes I know they would look even better if I finished basing them… they’re in the queue).
Anyhoo… pictured above is the guide that I created with Affinity Designer (which, if you’re in to such things, is an inexpensive vector art program comparable to Adobe Illustrator). You’re welcome to use the guide for your own personal purposes.
NB YOU WILL NEED TO PRINT IT ‘ACTUAL SIZE’, NOT ‘SHRINK TO FIT’ OR ELSE IT WON’T BE THE CORRECT SCALE!
For ease of future reference, I’ve also added it to the Downloads page. Have a look… there might be something else that you find handy.
Crossfire recommends base sizes for figures of 15-20mm (or 25mm). They are 1 1/4″ square (that is ~32mm) or 1 1/4″ x 5/8″ (or ~32mm x ~16mm).
Personally I find the recommendations a bit on the small side for 1/72 scale (20mm) miniatures, especially those figures that are already individually based and need mounting on a group stand. So over the years I’ve toyed around with various options and I’ve settled on the following:
Rifle / SMG Squad: 40x40mm round-cornered base with 3 figures
HMG / On-table Mortar: 40x40mm square base with 2 figures + weapon
PC: 1p base in a single figure tray
CC: 40mm circular base with 2 figures
BC: 40mm circular base with 3 figures
FO / AT: 2p base with 1 figure
Sniper: 2p or 20x40mm round-cornered or pill base as appropriate
Here are my thoughts on the above-mentioned units and base types…
Rifle / SMG Squads and HMG / On-table Mortars
I used to use squares for my rifle squads but now prefer the rounded-edged bases for those troops as they don’t need to be regimented like Napoleonic forces. However I still use straight-edged bases for HMGs and on-table Mortars as the base is useful for eyeballing their 90° arc of fire.
I really didn’t like the recommended size for Platoon Commanders. I know it was useful to have one dimension equal to the standard squad base-width, however there was a lot of excess base and I didn’t find it very aesthetically pleasing. It also seemed to be a rather unique base size for a leader, which would be a bit jarring when used with other game systems.
Left to my own devices, I probably would’ve based my PCs on 2p bases, however I inherited some figures based on 1p bases. To help distinguish them from the rank and file, my solution was to mount the leaders on a single figure tray. This also allowed me to colour code the single figure trays to highlight the platoon commander’s assistance modifier (gold = +2, silver = +1, copper / bronze = 0) and hot-swop them between games whenever necessary. Given that it’s possible to have lots of PCs on the table with different modifiers, this is pretty handy!
I could be wrong but I don’t think there are any PCs that have a modifier of 0, but there are French, Italian, Russian and US organisations that have varying PC modifiers depending on the context (see table below). So the copper / bronze tray would signify that.
French leg & motorized infantry and dismounted dragoons
Italian leg & motorized infantry
United States leg & armoured infantry
Company and Battalion Commanders
As CC and BC stands don’t fire, I thought it’s not that important to have squarish bases as facing isn’t an issue. Round bases are the classic shape for commanders on the tabletop so why break with tradition? However as they can both engage in close combat I thought it best to use a similar base size to the Rifle / SMG Squads.
Anti-tank infantry markers
Rather than create additional rifle squad bases featuring anti-tank weapons (eg Panzerfaust, Panzershreck, Bazooka), I’ve settled on using an individually based AT figure, which is essentially a token, to place beside the squad in question to designate their upgraded equipment. You just need to remember that the AT figure is just a token, and AT fire is from the centre of the squad base not the AT figure themselves. Usually I’d use a 2p base for AT figures but in the case of prone PIATs or Anti-Tank Rifles I may base them as a regular Rifle squad should the need arise.
I guess it was a blessing and a curse that when I started playing Crossfire there weren’t any local players whose basing style I needed to mirror. Anyhoo, after much play and mulling over, this is what works for me. Maybe it’ll help you figure out what’s good for you? If you’re looking for a base supplier, then why not try Warbases. That’s where I got my MDF mountain.
it seems that all my buses came at once this week! Not only did I get my FREE Flames of War 4th edition upgrade, I managed to win a Blitzkrieg Commmander / Cold War Commander double-whammy on eBay, and bought a cheeky copy of Kings of War Historical too!
I’ve been wanting to get a hold of BKC ever since I heard it used push-your-luck command rolls to try and activate your units. I love the uncertainty in games like that which is undoubtedly why games like Crossfire and Song of Blades & Heroes tick my box!
Although Cold War shenanigans weren’t really my thing, I’ve found that I’ve been on a slippery slope into alt-80s wargaming ever since I picked up some 1/72 Spetsnaz and British Paras at last year’s Claymore. Up until now I’ve been making do with using Crossfire for this, but I’m gonna raid the army lists in CWC to make it a ‘little bit’ more authentic.
Call me slow on the uptake but I finally realised that I could get some great gonzo wargaming going using Kings of War Historical. I had been thinking of using Of Gods & Mortals with some homebrew factions in order to send Vikings or Samurai against the Undead and Goblinoids – I may still do this for small skirmishes. But for bigger battles that don’t involved brain-melting tomes, I’m gonna plump for KoWH… in 1/72 of course!
ARGH! After applying a Humbrol Clear gloss varnish and leaving my miniatures for 24 hrs to dry, I applied a Humbrol Clear matt varnish. Much to my disappointment the jerries ended up looking like they’d just returned from the Eastern Front. To say that I’m gutted is an understatement after trying my best to make them look as good as I can.
Has anyone got any tips for removing frosting and preventing it from happening in future? Thank you in advance!