Sunday, 26 October 2014

Step by step: Cheap & easy sabot bases #2

Following on an earlier tutorial on how to make cheap sabot bases here's how I do round ones for my WW2 gaming.

I just recently started to use this kind of bases for fire teams. I find them to be visually more appealing than the usual single based models. Especially with firing machine gun teams it looks more convincing to me and allows you to put the figures in scene. Another plus in my eyes is it's easier to handle while still allowing for easy casualty removal.

To make your own sabot bases you'll need:

First of all the shape of the bases is marked on the polystyrol. I usually use 2mm thick MDF bases from the different lasercut companies out there as bottom layers. Of course you can go funky and cut out your own irregular shaped bases from Plasticcard and still use the steps provided below.


After this the Proxxon is used to cut out the bases. I really prefer to use the Proxxon instead of a Hobby Knife in this step. First I can justify it's purchase to the missus (still need to try my skill on some scenery) and second I find it easier to cut out organic shapes in comparison to the Hobby Knife.

Next I place the figures on the polystyrol to determine their later positions on the finished bases.

To cut out the holes for the 20mm sized single bases I now use an 21mm Hollow Punch. It's quite important to use a bigger Hollow Punch than your actual base size because otherwise it would always need some fiddling to get the bases in place and thus risking the paint flake of the rims.

Now our prepared polystyrol layer gets glued to the bases.

Next are the self adhering magnetic bases. If you should be unfamiliar with what I'm talking about just klick on the link provided above. As I wasn't able to find these in 20mm round to date I again used the Hollow punch to make some 25mm ones fit.

You see the final construction is even strong enough to hold your precious metal figures in place.

As final step before sanding and painting the rims of the polystyrol are cut in an roughly 45° angle using a hobby knife.

I hope this small tutorial was of some use to at least some of you. As always feel free to ask questions if something still might be a bit ambiguous.


  1. Some great ideas here, I hadn't heard of a hollow punch before, so thank you.

  2. Excellent tutorial Nick! I might need to get me one of those punches.


    1. Thank you Sir. In German it's called Locheisen. Maybe this' ll help you.

  3. Nice guide :)
    I'll look out for one of those tools too...

  4. Interesting, is it as durable as mdf ones or is that a concession for being a cheaper option?

    1. For normal gaming and storage purposes I think it's well up to the job. Naturally the insulation foam isn't as hard as MDF so if you like to step on the bases I don't think they'll stand such treatment for long.

  5. Good work, excellent WIP tutorial.
    Thanks, chap.

  6. Very nice idea ... I will have to see if this can be adapted to a diorama instead. Good tutorial.

  7. Nice one Nick. A much more versatile basing arrangement for figures with the option of being part of a team or single. I can see myself doing some rebasing.