Laser-cut Sabot Bases - a Followup


Click here for Part 1: First look

Here are some of those laser-cut MDF sabot bases from Ponoko in use, after painting and flocking with the same static grass I used on the figure bases.

I've glued light black cardboard beneath; it's sturdy enough to take a bit of wear and tear, but thin enough that it doesn't appreciably add to the overall height of the bases. Plastic card would be usable, but the benefit of cardboard is that it can be glued permanently to the MDF with PVA.

It's thin enough too, that the magnetic sheet I use for storage can still grab the steel of the washers the individual figures are based on.

It's not a strong attraction, but it's enough to keep everything in place against a normal degree of jostling.

For a more rock-solid connection, I can glue a very thin steel shim in the bottom of each cavity, and use a 1mm thick rare-earth magnet to hold the figure in place. That's a strong enough attraction that the whole base can be shaken quite vigorously, and the figures will remain in place. It's a lot of trouble though, and I'd only do it if it was really warranted.

Here's one I've prepared with some steel shim and magnets.

I don't know the exact thickness of the shim, but it's thin enough that I can cut it with a regular pair of scissors. It's just glued in the cavity with a drop of liquid superglue.

The magnet is 10x1mm; I got a batch of them very cheap from China a while ago. I use them mainly for holding figures to the bolts I use as painting holders, which is why this particular one is so grubby. I have some 3x1mm magnets as well, and they're quite strong enough for this purpose, but the wider surface area of the 10mm magnets makes everything a bit more stable.

With the magnets holding everything together, I can pick up the whole base by one figure (if I wanted to be that cavalier with my paint-job) without any risk of everything falling apart.

Note that there's no real reason, except aesthetics, to cut the shims in a circle. A square will do exactly the same job, and is a lot less trouble.

Of course, I could glue the magnets directly to the base of the sabots, but I like to have the option of using them unmagnetized if that takes my fancy. I'm a fan of flexibility in use wherever possible.

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