Well, this has been another major work in progress and I had originally planned on sharing this when the Blood Bowl Dwarves got completed. Now that the Necromunda Goliaths have been bumped up the queue (and getting closer to being done at this point), I guess it’s time.
Welcome to the age old story of Plastic vs Metal minis! Or a small subset of that story.
When I started collecting minis in my early Blood Bowl days, I had acquired a lot of metal minis. All the teams I had, except the ones from the boxed set were metal. Ok, there were a few substitute plastic D&D minis I used, but the plan was to replace those eventually…and maybe some plastic GW subs too….but let’s get on with the story!
I got very accustomed to the nice heft of moving those metal minis across the Blood Bowl pitch in our never ending battle of the pigskin (football).
In 2016 Blood Bowl was re-released. Hurray! Very cool looking minis. But they were made of plastic and light, really light. Boo.
There wasn’t much I could do about that….except maybe weight the bases.
Cue the orchestral soundtrack as I walk you through a lot of planning and thought and experimenting. Weighing metal minis, weighing plastic minis, trying different materials….
….eventually I would find metal discs that would work okay and settled on the following solution.
Weighted Bases (30mm)
Here’s a pic that illustrates the process:
25mm base examples
Take a base, flip it over, use a Dremel tool to remove any protruding bits.
Wash the base with warm soapy water, let dry.
Set the base top-side down.
Place a small amount of Milliput inside the base.
Stick a washer inside. I went with Zinc washers, the stainless steel ones seem to be non-magnetic.
Another very thin layer of Milliput over the disc. In this case the disc nicely fills the inner space of the base and I only had to add a small amount of milliput in the hole of the washer.
Superglue a metal disc over the top.
Prime with the color of your choice.
Protect the bottom as best as possible. So far that has been a few coats of Dullcote for me, but I’ll be looking for something more heavy duty in the future.
What purposes does all this tediousness serve?
First off, it builds character and it will grow a moustache on your face. It didn’t? Then you didn’t try hard enough!
Second, that “zinc washer” I mentioned, should be magnetic. Unlike that expensive metal disc I purchased for the very bottom of the base previously (used for the larger 30mm bases). This means you can build a convoluted magnetic storage box later on.
Third, it adds weight to the base. Therefore you will grow super strong arms while picking up your newly weighted minis. This is a good thing. The combination of metal discs and Milliput should add enough weight to make the wimpy plastic mini almost the same weight as a mighty metal mini!
Actually, I did a little comparison…
(From left to right: GW Plastic Human Blitzer, GW Plastic Black Orc Blocker, Custom Dwarf Star Player with weighted base)
I weighed each of those three minis, just to show how much of a difference the weighted base would make. The outcome was:
Human Blitzer: 0.0 oz (didn’t register, too light)
Black Orc Blocker: 0.02 oz
Custom Dwarf Star (with weighted base): 0.5 o
Here’s two more:
(From left to right: Necromunda Goliath with weighted base, GW Lewdgrip Whiparm (metal mini))
So how does a plastic mini with a weighted base compare to an actual metal mini?
Necromunda Goliath with weighted base: 0.6 oz
Lewdgrip Whiparm (metal mini): 0.6 oz
Granted, Lewdgrip is a much smaller mini (and smaller base) than the Goliath, so the plastic mini with a weighted base won’t end up matching the weight of a metal mini exactly. But it does a significant heft to the mini, that I feel is a similar enough feel to moving metal minis.
I also weighed the unassembled pieces of a Necromunda Van Saar ganger with a weighted 25mm base. They come out to roughly .3 oz. Still heavier than straight plastic, but you lose some of the weight for the smaller mini/bases.
Weighted bases not good enough for you? Ok, let’s move on!
Weathered Weighted Bases!
Check out those glorious puppies!
Now is the time to point you towards a great YouTube tutorial from Berlin Tabletop on weathering Necromunda bases!
The video is in German, but I could pretty much tell what he was doing just by watching. The main thing was figuring out which paints he was using. Unfortunately, one of the best parts was the Modelmates Rust effect paints and I can’t find it anywhere. Really sad, as it made a beautiful rust effect on his bases, without a ton of effort.
I mainly followed along with the paint scheme from the video and from previous experience painting terrain. Which reminds me, I’ll have to post up some of the barricades I painted someday.
Prime – airbrushed with Vallejo Air Black Primer
Base – Overbrushed with cheap craft art paint, always good for terrain. In this case it was Folkart Brushed Metal Dark Grey.
Bronze – to add some areas of interest, I painted a few sections of the base with Balthasar Gold.
Dirt – Agrax Earthshade. Applied the wash over everything, then heavier in recesses and lower plates. Keep applying in recesses until you are happy with the darkness. You could also use a little Typhus Corrosion to add more spots of concentrated dirt.
Grease – Nuln Oil for the darker ‘puddles’ of grease spots. Seemed to work best when applied in the lower level parts or used in small drops on some of the higher parts. Also works nicely placed in some of the vented slots.
Rust – this was my makeshift recipe for rust. Though not as nice as what Berlin Tabletop used in his video, it worked okay. Apply spots of rust in areas where you think water might collect. Definitely don’t mix your grease and rust patches. The oil/grease would normally help prevent rust. After I figured out where I wanted it, I applied some very thinned down Skrag Brown. Then added some Typhus Corrosion over the top of some areas for texture. Lightly dry brushed the Typhus Corrosion with Ryza Rust. Ryza is pretty bright, but the Typhus Corrosion seemed to suck up the color, which worked out pretty nicely.
Scratches – To add some scratches, I used Vallejo Model Air Chrome. Put a small amount on a small brush and quickly swiped across the surfaces with just the tip. I swiped at one angle and then turned the base 90 degrees to swipe at another angle. If you can get a few small thin parallel lines going, that usually looks really nice too. It gives the impression of the metal getting scraped and scratched in the busy Underhive.
Bronze corrosion – I hadn’t applied any, judging from the pics. But a few spots of Nihiliakh Oxide will give a nice corrosion effect if applied to Batlthasar gold. Usually works best when applied in very tiny amounts on things like rivets, etc.
Sight Lines – hard to see on the pic, but the bottom most base in the pic, has two diagonal red lines towards the bottom. My idea was to add some “Sight Lines” to the base, so I wouldn’t have to use the tokens from the game box and ensure we’re using the same “facing” consistently.
The facing is a little tricky as the mini’s shoulders/torso are often facing one way and the character’s head and weapons are facing another.
So, I figured I would add some markings to the mini base, but something that doesn’t stand out too much. How about some faint red lines? That seemed to work ‘ok’, and I didn’t want to go much brighter as it would be pretty distracting.
Well, after I placed the mini on the base, I discovered that the mini pretty much obscured the lines when you are looking overhead (or from behind the mini). For now, I’m just going to plan on using the line of sight templates from the box.
And that’s pretty much it. I still want to go back and paint some yellow/black hazard stripes on a few bases. I’ll need to pick up some Averland Sunset and the other two yellow colors he used in the video first. Though, I think he only used two yellows in the tutorial.
I’m not 100% sold on my weighted bases solution. They are nice and hefty, but I might be able to get the same results with a combination of cheap washers and milliput (which is what I did in the second picture). I also find milliput messy to work with, so I will likely look for another filler in the future.
Questions and suggestions always welcome. Thanks for checking it out!