I keep redesigning the figure basing and the movement sabots (trays, bases) to give a better on-table look. Each time I thing I have it I come up with a better way. After using the sabot frames in games, even painted a very dark brown (see Bunraku Baroque), I decided I didn’t like the overall look after all. This resulted in yet another redo and I hope this will be it because I am truly tired (and bored!) with working on this issue.
A more attractive approach is to use magnetic self-adhesive sheets cut to size and attached to the bottom of each piece. I have seen this done by several people and it appears to be worth the effort. Since I already had all the combat and command pieces laid out on a single surface, now appeared an ideal time to make the change. I spent nearly a week cutting and applying the magnetic sheeting to over 625 pieces! Tedious!
I had already decided that I had wanted to change the dimensions of the movement sabots to confirm more closely to Impetus:Baroque and to use inches rather then centimeters to give exact fits for my 1″x 1″ pieces. To this end, I had already ordered a bunch of custom-cut MDF bases using a standard 5″ front. Pendraken Minatures provides the majority of the 10mm figures I use and their sister company, Minibits, among other things, make MDF bases. One of the owners of both companies, Leon Pengilly, was only too happy to customize the bases for me and at a very reasonable price!
Magnetic bases are usually used with sheet metal sabots but after some experimentation I discovered that it was just as easy to cover the MDF with the same magnetic sheeting. A couple of points however. The magnetic sheet is actually a series of magnetic threads running in parallel through the sheets placed about 1/16″ apart. This means that when the two sheets come together (the threads in each sheet running in the same direction) the sheets hold fast when the threads of one sheet fall in the gaps between the threads of the other sheet and repel when directly opposite. This not a critical problem but you can’t make fine adjustment in position.
The second point is that the sheets will not stick to each other if the threads are perpendicular to one another. Again not a real problem but you do have to be aware of this “bias” when installing the sheets on the pieces and MDF bases.
Unlike putting the sheets on the pieces, installing them on the MDF bases when they arived took only a few hours. Some experiments with highland warbands are shown below: