Tuesday 1 February 2011

Toy Soldiers: The ARC Fleet have mustered!

I have completed my first batch of Critical Mass Games ARC Fleet figures and vehicles, a 15mm science fiction wargames force.


This is quite an achievement as I have struggled to paint even one or two figures  over the past several years. I finally feel that I am back in the swing of things. To paint miniatures consistently, around 50 of them, and some 15mm scale vehicles as well, has been something I have managed to do over the past few years, while my sons have been quite young. It is still something that I tend to do once they are in bed, although I am hoping to start inspiring them in that direction as they get a little older.

I really love the detail on Critical Mass Games figures, they would often pass as 28mm figures in photos.

Anyway, on to my main reason for posting. As we haven't decided on which rules we are going to use for our 15mm gaming yet (it's probably down to Grunts or the Critical Mass Games house rules) I have been a little undecided as to how to base the figures. Do I go for unit bases (CMG rules) or individual basing (Grunts).

In the end I devised a systems that get the best of both ways of doing it. I laser cut some1.5mm plywood to make 40x30mm bases, in two layers, the top layer was also cut with 4 10mm holes. I glued the individual figures to 10mm steel washers. Finally I have stuck 4mm Neodymium magnets into the cut outs on the bases, these hold the figures in place very effectively.

I did have one problem while gluing the magnets in place, they are so strong that the would pull towards each other before the epoxy adhesive set. Even after it set I found as they have such a smooth surface some were simply pulling out of the epoxy (10 minute setting time Araldite Rapid). I found an alternative epoxy, Pacer Z-Poxy (30 minute setting time, although they also do a 5 minute version). Wow this is good stuff, sets very hard, nice and clear and so far none of the magnets have come free. I did have to place one magnet per base, then let it set before I did the next one. But once I had the routine in place it all worked fine.

I have the next batch of figures on my painting desk now, here is what I am working on to fill out the force a little.

All of my wargaming and miniatures blog posts will start with the Toy Soldiers: prefix!


  1. Great work. Great idea on the combo bases. I planned a similar thing for Future War Commander, so I could build a standard set of bases and add the figures I wanted. Paint jobs looking great!

  2. You did a GREAT job, mate!

  3. Can you post a tutorial on how to make those nifty combo bases????

  4. Kull, thanks for the interest.

    The article does actually describes how I made the bases, about half way through!


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