Wednesday 23 April 2014

Tutorial - Simple Display Bases

It's a known truth in the hierarchy of miniatures that a painted miniature trumps an unpainted one. A nicely based miniature is better than a painted green slottabase. And miniatures ALWAYS look better in decent scenery or a diorama*
*true fact

Don't believe me? Check out Eldar v Squats from p180 of the Rogue Trader rulebook.

It's not always possible or practicable to keep gaming miniatures in a diorama setting, but equally it's nice sometimes to have something which sets the miniatures off. That's where a display base comes in. I can't pretend to have invented the idea - it's been in use for years, but I thought I'd share how I do it for my Blood Bowl teams. The principle would be the same for any small group / warband / gang / team, and the end results look a bit like this:

Pitchside base for my Skaven Blood Bowl team

Graveyard base for my Necromantic Undead Blood Bowl team

Both of the above bases use the same principles to give a little bit of a backdrop and scenic flavour to the miniatures. They are also useful as carrying trays in a gaming setting. The process however, is exceptionally simple.

Step 1: Buy a picture frame. I use Ikea Ribba frames as they're cheap and look pretty good.

Step 2: Remove the glass, mount and backing board. Retain the backing board, but you can discard or use the glass and backing board elsewhere.

Step 3: Using the backing board as a template, mark out and cut a piece of thin board the same size (I use 3mm MDF).

Step 4: Cut holes in your thin board where you want your models to stand. I use a 26mm drill bit.

Step 5: After cutting the holes, texture the board as you wish.

Step 6: Display board is ready for painting and scenic elements. When you put it together, slot your textured board in place of the glass and simply put the backing board underneath. Fold up the retaining clips and you can slot your models into the holes.

I'm currently working on a new board for my Dark Elf Blood Bowl team, which will have an enclosure for their team mascots (baby manticores) and a billboard. I also plan to do something a little larger for the Brat Hive Gang (eventually!).

Happy board making!


  1. Very good !

    Seeing the vertical dioramas of old makes me thinj a good display solution would be to make vertical display board in order to just attach them to the wall, making splendid decoratin in the man-cave. Some new ideas to steal from you...

  2. that is fantastic. I'm giving this a go especially as I have a number of those frames hanging around!

  3. Give it a try lads & be sure to share the results!