I detailed a few of the DIY options available for paper miniature basing here. However there are a few (and I mean a few) commerical options for bases around the web for paper miniatures.
I’m not going to cover the option of simply buying pre-cut plain flat wooden/plastic bases as pretty much that’s the same as permanent flat basing I mentioned in the previous blog post, be it with a little less cutting. I should mention all my paper miniatures are built using 220gsm (140lb) card which means by the time the front and backs are glued together it equates to 440gsm (280lb) thickness. If your using thinner card the bases may not grip as well as they did for me.
The first option are bases described as “card stands”. I’ve only found these as round bases approximately 20mm (3/4 inch) in diameter made of that hard plastic material approximately 6mm tall from base to the top . There are similar bases which are square but unfortunately these are 30mm in size (1 1/4 inch) and a little big for my uses. Both do come in a wide range of colours and they are pretty cheap, they work out to about 10-20cents (AUD each) and I managed to find them at a few different web stores in various countries (UK round 1 UK round 2, US square 1, US square 2). Basically these stands all work the same they have little offset plastic nodules inside the slot which grab the miniature base tab.
Over time these bases could slowly tear or wear out the base tab (best to slide them in sideways to minimize damage). However if your at all worried you can always strength the base tab by coating it with super glue this will virtually turn the card into plastic. At the end of the day though if a miniatures tab gets to beat up which should take a fair old while simply reprint the miniature, that is one of the advantages of paper miniatures :). Value for money wise these bases are great so long as you don’t mind the restriction of either 20mm round or 40mm square and your miniatures sitting a little tall. Even if your not sure grabbing a bag they wont break the bank.
Next up we have the Rolls Royce of paper miniatures stands by Litko games. The bases are custom created/made by Litko so there is a far wider range of choices 12 different shapes and sizes from circles, squares, rectangles and hexagons in various sizes from 20mm to 50mm. They are available in three colours; clear, clear-bronze and solid-black. The bases themselves are cut from 3mm thick acrylic and work by having a slightly curved slot which holds the miniature in place. If you buy a bag of 50 bases they work out at 40cents (USD each), if you stretch it to a bag of 100 they work out slightly cheaper.
I tried very hard to shake a miniature out of the base but the bases stubbornly refused to let go of the miniature, so I think Jim over at Litko has designed the curve of the holding slot perfectly. The curve is slight enough that miniatures are not permanently bent and when removed they go back to flat very quickly, the bigger base also means the miniatures are slightly tougher to knock over compared to the 20mm card stands above. I picked up a bag 25mm clear hexagons and will definitely pick up some more bases.
I can’t really recommend one base type over the other, if your in the US and get that super cheap shipping from Litko I’d say just jump at the Litko bases. For the rest of us scattered around the globe paying ridiculous postage no matter what. If your on a very tight budget grab the cheaper bases they’ll be more than acceptable. If you have a few more $$$ to spend grab the Litko bases you wont be disappointed.
Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please. – Mark Twain