Basing Options
Easy
Introduction

One issue that terrain buildings are faced with is what to put their finished works on to base them. There are a large number of options available to you each of which has it's advantages and disadvantages. This article will take you through a selection of materials that can be used but is no way a complete list as I would think that would be almost never ending. Instead it will take you through the most readily available materials.

Cardboard

This comes in various forms and thickness's but the most common and easily available is corrugated and cereal box card, most households should have a good supply of these already. Corrugated cardboard is used in packaging boxes that would be used if you have something delivered to you (say from an order from Amazon) and cereal box cardboard comes, well from cereal boxes (although over food products may use a similar thickness of card).

Advantages
Cheap
Readily available
Easy to cut and shape

Disadvantages
Warps
Corrugated card has unsightly edges

Cork Tiles

These tiles can be bought from DIY Stores and can be used for numerous terrain projects such as walls and buildings as well as basing.

Advantages
Easy to cut and shape

Disadvantages
Can warp
Easy to snap and break
Thickness leads to a noticeable base

Plasticard

Plasticard is thin plastic sheeting normally with some pattern embossed onto them available from model shops. It is normally used for model railways. The nice thing about this material is that it is normal embossed with some pattern such as cobble stone or flagstone which can add to some extra detail to you work.

Advantages
Can have an embossed pattern
Easy to cut and shape
Thin

Disadvantages
Can be expensive
Can bend easy

Foamcore

Foamcore is a must have for any terrain builder and will normally be used for making structures such as houses. It is dense foam about a ¼” thick sandwiched between two sheets of thin card. Whilst it would normally be used for actual terrain structures it can be used as a basing material. It is quite easy to cut if using a sharp blade and steel rule.

Advantages
Sturdy
Not prone to warping
Easy to cut (with the correct method)

Disadvantages
Can be difficult to find in shops
Thickness leads to noticeable base

Wood

Wood comes in many different forms and thickness and can be used for basing. One ideal version is MDF wood which can be purchased from any DIY store, make sure it is no thicker than 1/4” thick.

Advantages
Easy to purchase
Strong
Easy to cut and shape

Disadvantages
Can be prone to warping
Thickness leads to noticeable base

Preventing the Dreaded Warp

The following are some tips on how to prevent warping when using various materials for basing.

Cardboard
On the reverse apply masking tape in a criss cross manner, this should hold the card in place and help prevent warping. This may sometimes help with Foamcore too.

Wood
On the reverse score a criss cross pattern and in much the same manner as cardboard this may help prevent warping.


Conclusion

These are just a few examples of basing materials but this is in no way a complete list. In fact as mentioned in the introduction there are many more materials that could be used. There is no right or wrong material to use and in fact the type of project itself may lend itself to one being more suitable than another.


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