11 June 2019

Rethinking Multiple Figure Bases for CoC

I have long been bothered by the way I have based my multi-figure bases for WWII skirmish wargaming. I initially started by basing the 5 man crew on a large base with the gun. I would base the Junior Leader if there was one on a different base and keep it close to the larger base. Using this method I could create little dioramas that look nice on the table.

This was ok but it was always a challenge in respect to casualties as I could not remove the dead men. I have been using little beads but that is a bit of a hassle as I have to re-glue the beads on after each game if there were indeed casualties. I also had to repaint and build multiple stands with essentially the same figures over and over again for different anti-tank and anti-infantry guns although I knew at the most I would be fielding 2 guns for any one game, a waste of both money and time. There was also the problem with storage.

Recently, I decided to base the guns and the figures individually but to be honest this looks shite and after doing it once I was all done! For ideas I always look to two Australian gamer's blogs. Both the Tactical Painter and John Bond's Wargaming Stuff are just chock full of ideas. I am not sure on which of the 2 websites, it might have been both, that I saw the idea of using rare earth magnets and metal bases to overcome these problems.

 Recently, I have been replacing my British and German forces with metal AB miniatures. When I started playing CoC I painted up some PSC figures to test the waters as would would say. These figures are great and have seen many battles but are looking a little ragged and some teams were multi-based and the whole crowd used coins as bases. One thing 15 years of gaming has taught me, is that it is best to use metal bases. I am continously transporting my troops and metal bases with magnetised transport cases are by far the safest.

I thought I would start with some figures from my Belgian force. I like playing this force but I had a lot of problems with it. First the Early War Miniature figures themselves were quite poor; very few variations and very poorly cast. I then added insult to injury by doing a poor job of basing them on washers that I thought were fero-magnetic which proved not to be! I knew I would end up re-basing the whole lot so why not start with them.
I used a 60x80mm metal base, first step was to glue the figures onto their new bases, 20mm for figures and 30mm for guns. I then lined them up on the bases, marked them out and glued on the magnets.
I am notorious for measuring once and then cutting, but I did check things out!
The bases were then terrained. I used a combination of Wood Putty and fine sand. Once try I scrapped off the area over the magnets and then painted the base and drybrushed it.
Once this was done, I put the figures in place and then added some flock. Doing it this way served to unify the base. As you can see I added a small clump of red flowers to the JL stand. So I can now easily remove a figure (this will be demonstrated below with the MMG stand) and the base still looks OK. Here we a 47mm FRC M1931 gun, but if I want to field my 60mm FRC L/50 it will be quite easy to do. I have a cunning plan on how to mark CI on the JL but that will be a different post.
I believe this is going to work out well as I really only have to do 4-5 bases with the rare earth magnets in total for all my non-winter forces. I have to rebase the individual figures and guns but so it goes. But I really never need more than this many bases for any one game. I will move on with this for my Belgian, British and German armies. I am not sure if I will ever get to rebasing my Jungle themed Japanese and USMC (after all they have yet to see the battlefield) but I hope to follow up with my Winter themed Germans, Soviets, Finns and Americans (I suspect I am kidding myself here).

So I was quite pleased with the result so I moved on to some British troops. Here we have a slightly smaller base (70x45mm) as the MMG is permanently glued to the base with one figure and there is no JL.
Here I have permamently fixed the gun and 1 figure to the base with 4 figures that can be removed.
MMG with 1 casualty.
I have also been working on some markers to denote SL/JL leader status in CoC but I will save it for my next post.


  1. yes, that works very well John.

  2. Excellent work John and thanks for the mention. Credit for the rare earth magnet idea will have to go to John Bond, but it's an effective method that will work well. If you want to keep it looking good you could consider making some round bases with just terrain to fill the slots left by casualties. A bit of effort I know but I did it for my SP2 sabot bases and it does work well. Love the AB Figures, as you know I'm already a big fan.

  3. Using magnets is a good idea as you mentioned John, casualties can be removed from the team and it does allow for quick placement and movement of the team at 20 mm scale, as they are based on one base.
    cheers John

  4. Good work John - I don't think I could match this effort - magnets always end in frustration for me. But the results are great, very well done!