To Base or Not To Base; is that a Question?

Not many things in the wargaming realm of Flames of War are so “for or against” as basing your tanks and vehicles. Either you love it, or you hate it. But why is that? Any gaming advantage you get for not basing you tanks is minimal, so it’s clearly more a question about aesthetics. (Scale modellers base stuff all the time so why do we wargamers have such a thing about it? Answers on a postacard to…. Martin)

I personally like good looking bases for my infantry and guns, so why not do the same for the tracked and wheeled units? Then I remembered that I recently have magnetized some of my Soviet gun teams, so it was possible to switch guns depending on what list I wanted to run, so why not do the same with vehicle bases. Then I can always change my mind and play without bases if that suits me better any given day.

How to.

The process is quite simple. You determine what size of base you want to put your tanks on, in my case I 3D printed some bases that fitted the size of the Puma’s I was planning to base. Then I decided where I wanted the magnets to be on the base and glued them down using super glue. To make sure the distance from underside of the tank to the magnet on the base wasn’t too big I added a piece of wood to raise them up.

Location, location, location. Making sure the magnets are in the right place.

With that done, the next steps are just like basing any other flames of war base. Paste, rocks and in this case some tire-tracks made using a home made jig.

When the the base is ready I cover it in a coat of thinned down PVA glue with a drop of dishwasher fluid to break the surface tension and make sure everything stays in place. 

Making sure nothing can fall off.


I painted the vehicle bases in a dark brown colour to simulate the wet and frozen ground encountered all over Northern europe in the winter and early spring of 1945.

And that’s it. No magic or masterclass tricks. just a simple paint job and you have a base that helps bring attention to the atmosphere and theme you want to show with your minis. I hope you liked this little piece on how to add a little extra to your game.


10 thoughts on “To Base or Not To Base; is that a Question?

  1. I based my late war Pz IV as I had used foliage on the tanks that was fragile. The idea of the base was to try and protect the foliage during storage.

    1. That was a good idea, to protect them. I have also come to like the look of based tanks and other vehicles.

  2. Superb Soren! I really like the tip about using dishwasher liquid in the PVA, I will be using that!

    1. Good to hear Jonathan, that you could use some of it. That’s what it is all about. Finding little bits of knowledge and making your own way in this hobby world.

  3. I base everything for two main reasons. 1 – it annoys me when tanks look out of scale due to guns, softskins and infantry being based and 2 – I use magnetic trays to store my models, and the vehicle bases have steel paper under them to hold them in the storage trays. More space efficient than foam with less chance of damage.

    1. I just print/pick one that have a size that will look right to the unit. Preferable one that will protect the model.

      Regards Soren

  4. Hello Soren.

    Thank you for this interesting subject of article. 😉
    One good reason for basing the vehicles could also be to give some “color” if your tanks are all similar and quite blank because of the same uniformized camo.
    It also give a common theme to the whole army.
    The main downside is the incongruity if you’re playing with a winter based army on a desert battlefield.

    Would you happen to have some link to 3d printed or laser cut or others tank bases supliers ?
    I’m really considering basing my tanks.

    Thank you.



    1. Thank you for the reply Kieffer. It’s a really good idea to use the base as identifiers, just as I do on my infantry. Somehow I just didn’t think of that. The 3D printes bases I used are from Thingiverse, I just resized it to the size i wanted for my pumas.

      Regards Soren

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