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Fixing plastic minis to scenic bases – to pin or not to pin?

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This topic contains 11 replies, has 9 voices, and was last updated by  captainventanus 9 months, 4 weeks ago.

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    A question for those with more experience than me as I have never had to base a mini on a scenic base before. Is it best to:

    1.) glue them together with a small dab of superglue? Easiest, but chance of them coming apart is high and its obvious that at some point they will be dropped – dropped the two twice just taking the picture.

    2.)scratch off a bit of the paintwork from both and use plastic glue? Better fix, but runs the risk of messing up the paintwork of both more?

    3.) pin them with small bits of metal rod in their feet. Most work, but the bond should be the best?

    In practice I am talking about fixing some Tempestus Scions to Necromunda bases, these chaps:






    1. i would glue to the base before painting to get a clean bond, but if it’s too late for that then removing paint from the contact patches would do. I wouldn’t feel the need to pin plastic minis unless the contact point was very small. 2 normal sized feet should be fine. If the base is resin, make sure it’s cleaned with soap/washing up liquid before painting or gluing to remove release agent.


    I would use plastic glue on polystyrene plastic to plastic such as GW models are made of.

    If superglue is needed (such as if gluing PVC boardgame plastic/restic/bones, resin, metal), I would pin. Superglue snaps very easily when subjected to sideways pressure and I really dont want that aggro on finished minis.




    For resin bits that are more detailed than your run of the mill slotta base go with the pins and superglue. I’d say that if you were tossing some plastic minis on plastic slotta bases use a combo of superglue and a drop or two of plastic cement. The cyanoacrylate (superglue) keeps a hold of the figure while the cement acts to debond the plastic polymers and then rebond them. In essence you’ve formed a true bond with the polystyrene. I use it when I’m putting together monsters from Reaper’s Bones line that have wings or larger bits. The figures are nylon as far as I can tell due to their porous nature and their tendency to become utter crap when using rattle can primer. This combo is awesome and does wonders for my Malifaux figs when I have fiddly bits that are hard to hold.



    If only someone could produce a realistic glue that could bond plastic to resin. I have the same dilemma with my Malifaux mini’s the problem with those though is often the contact point between model and base is so small it’s not possible to pin. Yet as said above if you use superglue it’s going to break off eventually.

    For now they remain not glued to their bases and I may have to resign myself to using the originally supplied plastic bases.



    As this is about plastic bases and plastic miniatures, option two.

    I have none of my plastic miniatures pinned to the base, and all my bases are magnetized, which means alittle more stress on the bond, when pulling them out the transport box. But still i have never had any problem with it.

    I also tried option 1 once for hellions i painted seperatly from their skyboards. Don’t do it, that lazyness will definitly give you more work on the long run.



    You could try this, it’s a variation of option 2:

    put a little dab of your plastic glue on the bottom of each foot. Place the mini on the base where you want it to stand. After a few seconds pull it off again. Now the paint is softened where you want the feet to go and you won’t have to scrape very hard to get the paint off. Grab your craft knife and scrape the softened paint off, and also clean under the feet of the minis. Maybe wipe off the glue with some paper towel. Reapply glue to the feet and fix to the base for a permanent join.

    I had to go through a similar situation to work this out myself. I painted bases, then tried to add Space Marines.



    I drill and pin the bare plastic, sometimes even before assembly, using superglue. As well as prepping for the base it allows me to handle the mini while painting, stuck in a wine cork normally.  If you’re careful enough you can do this with some fine minis. I’ve managed with KD:M, Malifaux and Infinity models – not known for stumpy legs!



    I pin all of my minis to their bases, plastic or not.  This mostly happens though as they are usually up on pins for the painting as I usually drill a hole up through the foot, stick an inch or two length of straightened out paper clip into it and then that gets stuck into cork for painting. When it then comes to finaly basing  – its a lot easier to drill a hole into the by then painted base and mount the mini that way with a wee tickle of superglue for good measure. It is easier rather than removing the pin, sanding down the foot to the raw plastic and scratching some paint off the base foir the plastic glue to get busy. YMMV though



    First off, thanks to you all, its really interesting to hear different opinions and methods as sometimes we can get a bit blinkered with approaches, I certainly can mainly also because I generally do the same type of project.

    This was really a question of fixing painted plastic to painted plastic. Normally for bases which get sand or rubble-type covering I would naturally use plastic glue and then base. For these GW scenic bases though I find it easier to paint them separately and as I have about 100 or so to do over the next year I am looking at that’s best to do. Sure some of the bases can be painted by hand, but even they would need some base coating first.

    At the moment I am still not sure, will see over the next days. All methods of course work its just a question of how much time to invest.








    @rayzryr That’s something I had never tried before, might have to give it a test. Though my control of glue has never well been that precise so I am not sure I could actually deliver the tiniest amount of glue in the right spot like this.

    @coxjul & @irishsteve To be able to mount them for painting is another advantage of pinning them like that.

    Sorry the individual reply function doesn’t seem to work for me so its a bit harder to reply.

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