Tuesday, 12 January 2010

Single figure bases: Cheap bases

Having decided that I should base all my figures on single bases that I either use 'as is' or grouped together on sabot bases, I began looking round for suitable bases.

My first thoughts were to use steel washers with small centre holes. These are apparently called fender or repair washers, and can be bought in varying sizes and quantities from DIY stores, hardware shops, and building supplies companies. The smallest that I could find were 19mm in diameter, which sound like they might be about right for 20mm scale figures but a bit too large for 15mm scale ones.

I was wondering what to do when I remembered reading that one and two pence coins minted after 1992 are made from copper-plated steel. A quick check showed that they will 'stick' to magnetic sheets just as well as a steel washer ... and the one pence coins are smaller, do not have a hole in the centre, and much cheaper!

Now I know that defacing coinage used to be criminal offence in the UK, but I think that the relevant law was repealed back in the 1980s. If it has been, then using one and two pence coins as bases might be a possible solution to my basing problem. All I have to do now is find out if using them for such a purpose will make me a criminal or not ...

12 comments:

  1. I have a jar of both 1p and 2p coins for that very purpose but I did not know about the magnetic aspect. Also, it is cheaper using them than buying washers - try getting 100 1p sized washers for a pound from anywhere and you will see what I mean!

    Ogrefencer

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  2. Ogrefencer,

    Shiny new one and two pence coins are thin, flat ... and will attach themselves to a magnet.

    Besides being a better size for use as figure bases, they are - as you have pointed out - cheaper than washers, which seem to be at least 5p each.

    It sounds like I shall be using coins of the realm for my bases from now onwards!

    All the best,

    Bob

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  3. Bob,

    Attach your figures with white glue so that you can easily "undeface" the coins should that ever become necessary.

    Here in Canada, some 2007 pennies and all since then are steel based and stick to magnets quite nicely.


    -- Jeff

    PS, a few earlier pennies (presumably test cases) are also steel although most even from those years are non-magnetic.

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  4. Bluebeard Jeff,

    I will experiment with using white glue, although I usually use cheap 'superglue' for fixing figures to bases. Although this is advertised as being a permanent bond, I have found that figures that have been glued using 'superglue' can be removed from bases without too much difficulty.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  5. i read this a while back... i beleive 1 cent euro coins are also magentic and approx 12mm diameter... 15mm bases anyone?

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  6. Hi Bob,

    I have alway used white glue to attach figures to bases, all kinds of bases. Never had a problem. Easy to remove the figure by simply soaking in water for a while.

    I prefer white glue to using "super" glue anytime. I use "Elmer's Glue All" (USA).

    Jim

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  7. Shaun,

    I did not know that one Euro cent coins were made from a ferrous alloy. They would be even cheaper to use than one pence coins (but not so easy to find in the UK!).

    All the best,

    Bob

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  8. Jim,

    I think that Elmer's is the equivalent of what we call PVA or wood glue in the UK. I have tried using it on figure bases, but I have never had much success as the figures seemed to fall off after a bit of use. Perhaps the Elmer's glue is stronger or has a different formula?

    I will try to find out if anyone in the UK stocks and sells Elmer's glue; if so I will buy some and give it a go.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  9. From the Royal Mint website:

    Under Section 10 of the 1971 Coinage Act - no person shall, except under the authority of a licence granted by the Treasury, melt down or break up any metal coin which is currently in circulation in the United Kingdom.

    I don't think that using a coin as a base would violate this law, which is intended to stop any financial gain from melting coins down and selling the metal. I believe there is a coin in circulation in the USA which is worth more as metal than it's face value, but none in the UK currently.

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  10. TangoMike,

    Thanks for this information.

    It would seem that using the new one and two pence coins as bases will not break the law.

    All the best,

    Bob

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  11. Glue guns provide a cheap alternative for base gluing.

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    Replies
    1. James James,

      It may be me, but my experience with hot glue guns has not been good ... and I usually end up burning my fingers!

      All the best,

      Bob

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