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Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 5:34am
by Kurgan
So the age old problem of making square bases for your figures... I wanted to do this but didn't want to sacrifice any actual figures to do it, or use those pre-made bases (that don't match) from other tabletop RPG games. I also rejected the idea of making a bunch of them with poured resin or hot glue...

The actual Hero Quest bases (whether the NA version or the UK style with the beveled edge) are not actually square, I was surprised to learn, but a subtle hexagonal shape
with the widest point nearly 25mm and the shortest like 20mm if I recall correctly. So they are actually slightly larger than the original game board squares, but "look right" when you're playing.
I see from the early adverts that the original miniatures actually used round bases. Anyway, I use a lot of reaper bones miniatures so for the smaller ones I use 20x20mm bases,
20x40mm for longer figures (like the giant wolves) and for bigger figures, I'll use 25x25mm and 25x50mm respectively.

But I came up with a pretty affordable compromise solution. It just requires some patience and an Exacto knife.

uxcell (brand unimportant, measurement important) end caps.
uxcell20x20mm.jpg

They are originally intended to be the end caps or plugs for square pipes on furniture.

They come in a variety of sizes, these plastic bases, and can be shaped pretty easy as the plastic is pretty soft (but sufficiently strong for the purpose).
I attach the new figure to the newly carved base either with acrylic putty or a little super glue. I rinsed mine off, dried and then used a cutting board (watch your fingers)
with a pretty good result. I think I only screwed up one out of a big batch (too much cutting) but even that one was salvageable with some glue and putty.

The cheaper ones you get in bulk in black, and I paint them and apply a lot of varnish on the bottom so they won't scratch. I suppose they could be sanded, or add a little clay or
felt backing to the bottom as there is an indentation when you cut them flush (removing the extra bit on the bottom of the plug).

I'm not sure if it's good form here to link to any individual sales on amazon or ebay, so I'll just hold off. If you search for uxcell plastic end cap 25x25mm etc you will find many examples.
Not so great if you just want to do a couple of figures, but great if you need to do a small army...

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 5:36am
by Kurgan
Here's another example (prices may vary, you can find these on ebay as well, I haven't found them at my local hardware store):

uxcell25x50mm.jpg
(25x50mm... for use with the larger, wider ones). They still fit the board!

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 5:54am
by Kurgan
Here's what it looks like in action...
HQ_customBaseExample_uxcell.jpg

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 5:57am
by Maurice76
Is this specifically intended for the square bases? I just checked the Games Workshop website and surprisingly, they don't sell the square bases anymore. All they have is the circular stuff, without slots or pinholes.

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 7:22am
by Kurgan
Well, yes... it's a repurposed found object though, nothing official. I got into this custom game a little late, so every game shop I checked had only the round bases.
The ones they sell online are super thick and have big beveled edges that make them stand out too much for my taste.

Hobby stores sold glass tiles (for making mosaics) that are the right size, but I didn't want to risk breakage... and they also sell wooden tiles that are also 20x20mm but I
wanted something plastic to match the figures.

I also have not been "trimming down" the built-in bases of the Reaper bones minis (except in one case where the built-in base was extravagantly oversized). I just glue the figure
right on top of the flat part, angling it usually fits it on there. This does make my customs slightly "taller" than the regular HQ figures, but I figure this way if I ever need to tinker
with them and remove them from the bases I have an intact figure to work with (in most cases).

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 8:17am
by Goblin-King
Maurice76 wrote:Is this specifically intended for the square bases? I just checked the Games Workshop website and surprisingly, they don't sell the square bases anymore. All they have is the circular stuff, without slots or pinholes.

Yeah, GW exclusively use round/oval bases now - and good riddance!
I must admit that these days I don't have much love for square bases. Actually the only real reason I've tolerated them for so long is because of Heroquest demanding small square bases for models to fit on the board.
Modern GW board games use huge squares or even hexes that comfortably contain even large round bases.

Once you go round, you never turn... around... eeh... |_P

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 9:07am
by Kurgan
There's nothing stopping us using round bases, again, as the original game entailed (watch those early ads for HQ!). I like the "square for square" thing and for me it's nostalgic,
so just figured I'd share the tip.

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 9:50am
by Maurice76
Kurgan wrote:There's nothing stopping us using round bases, again, as the original game entailed (watch those early ads for HQ!). I like the "square for square" thing and for me it's nostalgic,
so just figured I'd share the tip.


Oh, it's a great tip for sure |_P , don't get me wrong! I kinda feel the same way you do, fitting a circle on a square feels ... odd and since the gameboard features square tiles, using squares as base for the miniatures is only logical. Looking purely at the miniatures, though, circles have the added benefit that you can rotate your miniatures in any facing while not getting miniature bases conflicting with one another when they're in adjacent tiles.

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 10:32am
by knightkrawler
Goblin-King wrote:
Maurice76 wrote:Is this specifically intended for the square bases? I just checked the Games Workshop website and surprisingly, they don't sell the square bases anymore. All they have is the circular stuff, without slots or pinholes.

Yeah, GW exclusively use round/oval bases now - and good riddance!
I must admit that these days I don't have much love for square bases. Actually the only real reason I've tolerated them for so long is because of Heroquest demanding small square bases for models to fit on the board.
Modern GW board games use huge squares or even hexes that comfortably contain even large round bases.

Once you go round, you never turn... around... eeh... |_P


40mm squares on my tiles, 30mm round bases as default all the way, baby.

Re: Miniature Figure Bases: uxcell plastic end caps

PostPosted: Monday March 18th, 2019 1:36pm
by arch8ngel
knightkrawler wrote:
Goblin-King wrote:
Maurice76 wrote:Is this specifically intended for the square bases? I just checked the Games Workshop website and surprisingly, they don't sell the square bases anymore. All they have is the circular stuff, without slots or pinholes.

Yeah, GW exclusively use round/oval bases now - and good riddance!
I must admit that these days I don't have much love for square bases. Actually the only real reason I've tolerated them for so long is because of Heroquest demanding small square bases for models to fit on the board.
Modern GW board games use huge squares or even hexes that comfortably contain even large round bases.

Once you go round, you never turn... around... eeh... |_P


40mm squares on my tiles, 30mm round bases as default all the way, baby.


If I was using 40mm tiles, I'd probably go with hex bases for full cross-compatibility with hex rule sets where facing matters.
(hex bases are about 32mm flat-to-flat or 38mm point-to-point)


I'm in the process of building up an all-metal set of Heroquest (miniature substitutions, obviously), and I'm leaning toward the smallest round bases I can get (so they are backward compatible with a standard board if I want) -- but the reasoning behind round is just like mentioned further up -- accommodating parts that exceed the base by more easily rotating miniatures in a room.

My plan is for squares in the 34mm range as I build up a modular board to go with the all-metal minis.