Miniature Bases

I wanted to try engraving bases for miniatures, for D&D, board games, etc.

For my first attempt, I grabbed a flagstone texture off the 'net, cropped it into a circle, and threw it in the forge.

I think I put it on draft graphic because everything else was going to take too long and I wanted to see what it could do.

With a bit of paint and flock, it was… serviceable… However, the engrave lines were very obvious if you looked closely, and they made it difficult to paint nicely. Also, the whole thing was a bit… flat.

A while later, I decided to revisit this experiment. I’d found some 3mm MDF on a job site and wanted to give it a try.

I went through all the default engrave settings before diving into custom ones to find one I liked that didn’t take absolutely forever.

I’ll make a “Beyond the Manual” post that will go into my settings so this doesn’t get dragged down by the details. EDIT Here you go

Anyway, here’s what I settled on. Took 11mins for a 3" diameter base.

The engrave lines are not visible at all. It takes the drybrushing really nicely. Pretty much exactly what I was hoping for.

Here it is next to one made the old-fashioned way, for comparison.


That is awesome. What a great detail.

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Those are really great bases for miniatures. I am really impressed.

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Yep! Those are a great improvement! They really show the detail! :grinning:

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Whoa! Looks like real stone!


I had just been talking with my buddy a week or two ago about trying to do this! Wanted to do this EXACT thing for Zombicide Black Plague / Green Horde and maybe some planks for Rum and Bones. Thanks for posting! Hopefully saves me a little time and gets my butt in gear with how awesome they look to try my own!

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Wow! What a lovely job you did there! Clap clap :clap:t2:

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Amazing! I don’t do games but now I want to make some of these!

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This is great! I’ve been looking to do some bases and an organizer for Imperial Assault if I ever have time to finish painting all my minis…

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Nice, I’ve been wanting to try engraving base inserts too.

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Nice job working through to get the look you wanted!

I’m also a miniature painter, but more importantly I’ve been struggling to find any settings that made the lines invisible on even a modestly-large flat surface. I’d be happy to hear your any thoughts you might have about it. I really want to try 3D-engraving but I’ve been turned off by initial results.

What sort of designs are you trying? I haven’t had a chance to experiment further but your options seem to be;
Less power, higher resolution, a lot of time
High power, high speed(low res), defocused laser to blur the lines together.

This is the result of option 2, I feel like it works well for the example I gave.

I think it might run in to problems if I try to start adding details to the design. The blurring effect may end up making them too soft edged.

Perhaps you could do an initial pass for the main texture then a slower run to add details to it (like … sword hilts or whatever)

The only things we’ve really tried yet have been some acrylic board game tokens. I read up a bit and tried the lower power, defocused laser thing. It was a bit better but still came out really grainy as some of the acrylic seems to ‘splatter’ as the laser passes over. I haven’t yet tried wood but maybe that’s next. I did try to cut some plastic card but that didn’t work at all. The edges melted no matter what I tried. I want to try wood but it’s not a great medium for model work… Bases, maybe, and terrain but I can’t think of much else I’d want to do with it. Though I’m pretty impressed with your results.

Wow! Thanks for sharing your process. The final base is stunning.

:star_struck: These turned out so cool, now I want to try some too!

I’m curious as to how you “cropped it into a circle”. I’ve done some a few different ways, and was able to make a few bases of my own, but I had a tricky time getting it to a circle, and when I finally did, I felt like there had to be a better way. Some of the easier ways I tried gave me errors when I tried to upload it to the Glowforge App.

Umm, I forget. Probably just opened it in Photoshop > use circular selection tool > right click, select inverse > delete.

There’s no fancy vector stuff, it just gets left with a white border that the GF ignores for engraving