Future-proofing My Miniatures: removable magnetic bases that fit any size

I spend my free time fretting about base sizes.

My current project, The Purple Reign of Pain, fields a Chaos Dwarf army in Warhammer Fantasy, Age of Sigmar, 40k and their skirmish spin-offs. To do this, I need my models to fit multiple base sizes: 20mm, 25mm and 32mm, in both square and circular shapes.

I’ve written before about rebasing from round to square using movement trays. While effective for models that are already based, we can do one better. The method below allows you to rebase a single model across multiple shapes and sizes with minimal fuss.

The secret? Magnets.

Predrilled wooden bases

I use predrilled plywood bases from warbases.co.uk. This is a wonderful small business that offers every base and movement tray under the sun. In this case, I’ve bought 20mm square and 25mm round, each with 5mm magnet holes.

predrilled wooden bases from warbases.co.uk
Above: the holes are 5mm wide and 3mm deep. You can buy magnets to these exact dimensions, and they will fit snugly into your base.

A 5mm hole requires a 5mm magnet. These ones are an exact match: they fit snugly into the base, all the more so with a drop of superglue. At 3mm high they also serve as a means of magnetising your minis to movement trays.

The model

Miniatures have wildly different stances and poses; it’s unreasonable to put magnets directly beneath the model’s feet.

Instead, I superglue the model to a ~20mm chunk of cork. Under this cork I drill a hole. Then, you guessed it, I superglue another 5mm magnet.

Dwarf Slayer from Scibor Miniatures

Get the polarity right!

It’s very important that your magnets face the same direction when you glue them, otherwise the polarity will be flipped and they’ll repel each other. To help with this, mark the topmost magnet with a blob of paint and use it as your point of reference. For me, the blob = the sky, ie facing up.

The result? An interchangeable set of miniature bases for different wargames. Easy to do, cheap to arrange, and guaranteed compatibility for future editions. Whether you’re into Oathmark, War Cry or prepping your troops for Warhammer The Old World, you’ve got all the…bases…covered!

5 judgments on “Future-proofing My Miniatures: removable magnetic bases that fit any size”

  1. Hi there, great idea – I just wanted to ask how often you found when lifting your minis, the mini lifted and not the base? Otherwise I’m very sold!

  2. hi again; I started doing this method and it’s great – thank you! I wanted to ask how you painted the bases – that marbling is fantastic – and were the mdf squares and circles just flat shapes? Also will you be upping the squares to 25mm for The Old World?

    • You’re most welcome! Would love to pics of your progress if you have any 😀

      The marbling was done by applying black crackle texture over a fiery base, and taking a hairdryer to it. It works better still if you varnish the base beforehand, as that spreads the cracks.

      I may create a batch of 25mms for The Old World, depending on the game mechanics. If it’s easier to use a movement tray I’ll opt for that instead. The main benefit at the moment is switching my Chaos Dwarfs from Fantasy to 40k (I play them as Chaos Squats).


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