Monday, March 7, 2022

Basing Flying Models

Here's a look at my process for basing flying models.

I had given up on the clear plastic flying stands ages ago. I know they're supposed to be "invisible," but you can still see them, and to me, that's just as intrusive as a simple brass rod painted black. The difference is that the brass rod won't snap, and if it bends comes loose it can be easily repaired or replaced.

That said, I prefer to rely on basing or modeling elements to hold models aloft whenever possible, and most of GWs newer models do this too (Fell Bats, Nagash, all of the Nighthaunt models). For my Primaris Inceptors, I modified the bases to mount the figures on pipes and tech bits: 



Before painting them, I drilled out the spots where the models would be pinned in place, and used the pin in the figure's foot to mount it to a painting handle.



Once the bases were painted, I clipped the pin shorter and glued it into the base.



I made sure the foot was securely glued, and then touched up the attachment point with more of my rust color. If the attachment point breaks, it won't be from the pin snapping, it will more likely be that one side comes loose and the figure starts to wiggle. I'll be able to pull off the loose side, clean up the pin, and re-glue it.



Most Nighthaunt models are supported by their robes or ethereal strands that drag on the ground. This looks very effective, but can result in a weak attachment point and, depending on the size of the model, a very "springy" figure. (Every time I move my vampire queen, she jiggles like a bobble-head doll!)



I like to mitigate this by adding extra scenic elements to make a second attachment point. For the vampire, I'm using a tombstone, and I'm also adding one of the Cursed City zombies coming out of the ground.



I chopped the zombie down, and repositioned his arm to be reaching out from the base. His other hand is coming out from a different grave, and I saved his legs for use in another zombie conversion.



I positioned the larger tombstone so the strand of her dress rests on top of it, and I securely glued it. 



Now she's much more stable. Because the model is so tall, I also packed the underside of her base with Aves Apoxie Sculpt putty, and embedded three magnets in it in case I ever need to transport her in a magnetic tray.



I'm still plugging away at my Inceptors. Hopefully I'll have time to finish them this week.

'Til next time!


  1. I've had similar problems - the old metal Sisters of Battle Seraphim were terrible to base. Now they're all jumping off random bits of architecture, but they're still rather top-heavy.

    1. You've gotta weight the bases. I used some large washers under my Nighthaunt Grimgast Reapers to keep them from wobbling. A big resin or metal bit on the base would probably help with the stability. God, in the old days, those metal Seraphim were just on 25mm bases, right?

    2. They were! They still had metal tabs, so the top-heaviness wasn't so much of a problem, but if you want to base them properly you've got to deal with the wobbliness. That's a good idea: I'll try sticking some metal bits under the bases.

  2. The large white styrene pipes are really nice! Did you make the curved sections yourself (using the heat gun technique you wrote about years ago) or are the curved portions commercial products? (I don't recall seeing them in Evergreen or Plastruct's catalogues.)

    Also, did you carve the large white "RIP" tombstone out of styrene sheet? If so, how did you scribe the writing on it?

    1. Thank you! I made the curved pipes myself, using a heat gun to bend the styrene rods. And the tombstone with "RIP" is one of my Skull Forge Scenics resin tombstones, trimmed down to a smaller size. When I originally sculpted it, I used thick PVC foam card, which is a softer plastic than sheet styrene, so I could press the letters into it with a sharp sculpting tool.


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