A short guide to Clear Bases
*Clear = See thru acrylic bases
Clear bases vs. regular bases
Having a miniature on clear base is pretty cool. Having a whole squad is super amazing. Your favourite army that blends onto any gaming field and table you put it. Although many (if not all) miniatures come with some form of a base, clear bases are fastest way to finished miniature with base.
Models by: ArbitorIan
Clear bases come in a variety of sizes and thicknesses. There are few different manufacturer out there that make bases, or you can just scratch build your own at the local warehouse.
Bases provided by: LITKO
On the other hand, model that has been placed on a classic base, finished in theme with whole army, or placed on special made base get more of scenic look. They become the 'piece' and are still highly rated than 'clear' based models. Is simply takes more time and effort to finish your model. And that is fair.
Model by: VardenV2
Drilling holes for stable models
Some models (like GW) are cast with an extension on the bottom of the miniature, made to fit the base it came with. Some models feature a slot, some feature a small barrel. What ever the case may be, idea of that is to increase stability of your model on a given base. A lot of people further increase stability of their models by basing with different materials, putting some type of weight on the bottom and drilling/inserting a piece of wire to hold the model to the base.
The barrel fit.
Because the bases are not prone to drilling, first drill a whole with a size smaller drill bit, and then expand the hole with the size you need.
Checking if it fits good.
Checking the contact area on the bottom.
Clear bases are capable of withstanding the same work, but you should exercise caution when drilling. Main and most important reason is this. Acrylic bases are brittle and not exactly resilient to drilling. Cutting is a different story, but drilling can destroy the area around the actual hole and downgrade/destroy the look you are going for. My advice is to first drill a small hole, size smaller that what you need it to be, in order to avoid causing potential damage. (like shown in the picture below)
This damage was made with 1/8" drill bit, that chopped off some little bit on the sides of the hole. However, the opposite side was ok, so I flipped the base.
Working with glue
When it comes to securing your mini to a base, with or without other means of support mentioned above, gluing your model down is the next step. While working on a regular base, you do not need to be super careful with the glue because you are gonna base over it anyway. You do not even have to pay attention to what type of glue you are using.
On Clear bases, if you sc*ew up gluing, the whole effect of a model blending with the terrain goes away. It may not be as noticeable, depending on the size of the mistake you made. But still, you know it is there and it will haunt you down as Inquisition hunts heretics.
Experienced hobbyists can recommend you what glue will not fog and leave trails on your minis (usable for cockpits and windows etc.). However, if you do not have access to that type of glue, you can still use regular super glue.
So far my experience showed few simple steps that help positioning your miniature on a base, without making a mess and with good, stable results. Do not forget that you only have one shot to make the bond between your mini and the base. Super-Glue does not forgive.
Step ZERO = Flip you miniature vertical, so you can use gravity to your advantage and so you can see 'clearly'.
Step ONE = Check if your miniatures legs, limbs, wheels etc. lay flat against the base. Make sure they do, as you need maximum contact, without hollow spaces.
Step TWO = Check for balance. As model needs to stand on the base, so does base needs to be balanced against the model.
Step THREE = Apply the glue to the legs, limbs, wheels, whatever your mini is standing on. Do not put to much glue, as excess glue will spill around the contact points and create little foggy areas.
Step FOUR = Gently place your base on 'top' of your model. Contacat area will be clearly identified by going dark, compared to the unglued model from STEP ONE. Be very careful, as you only have one chance to do this right. Any attempt to change the position of the model on the base will just spill the glue across and make the base foggy.
Step FIVE = Once base is on, try to have the model be 'upside down' for at least 30 seconds, before putting it into his regular stance. DO NOT BLOW into the model, as moisture from your breath will react with glue and create more of those foggy places.
Step SIX = Admire your miniature! And even if there are some foggy places on your bases, once you put your models on true battlefield, those will 'disappear'. =D
If you used super glue and you made some foggy spots, refer to this page. http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/334011.page
Painting with model on base
Different people have different approaches when it comes to painting their minis. Some they assemble fully, some partially, some are on the base, some are off the base. Whatever the case may be, when working on a model that is placed on a clear base, remember to protect both sides of the base, as any unattended mess will reflect to the other side of your base.
Models in my example have legs, so the easiest way for me to protect that space is to use a triangle shaped masking tape, and insert it in between.
Once protected, you can spray paint, dry brush, soak or do any other technique you need to make your model a masterpiece.
Piece of masking tape to cover hard to reach places.
Tape does not have to stick completely to the base, but entire base should be covered.
Make sure bottom is covered up, as once sprayed it will be seen on the other side.
Case Example - Warhammer Quest on Clear Bases from Archeotech
The cheapest clear bases I've found can be purchased here http://www.archeotech.co.uk/catalogue/0008-figure-bases.html for roughly 10p each and at custom sizes and shapes! As a customer I've had a great experience of them and I had around 100 custom bases made for my Warhammer Quest set for only £13 without postage!
Only a minimal amount of superglue should be used as you don't want the glue coming out under the feet of your models. As for metal miniatures you may want to pin them to the bases to avoid them breaking off.
Personally I think clear bases look great for board games that use wargaming miniatures because they help your miniatures integrate as board-game pieces whilst focusing attention off of the base and onto your fine paint-job on the model, all whilst not obscuring the board itself.
See the full blog here: http://www.dakkadakka.com/dakkaforum/posts/list/30/654831.page
Hnyo hnyo hnyo hnyooo
Tabletop look over the example board.
Detail of how minis blend into the board background