Wednesday, 2 February 2022

Rebasing without tears - DBx basing, steel sabots and magnetic storage

15mm Frankish Warriors in three
ranks, on and off steel sabots.

As a grid game To the Strongest! doesn’t stipulate any particular basing requirements, and as my 15mm Ancients and Medievals are already based for DBx, it's just a question of combining them into larger units. The figures all have magnetic sheet underneath their bases so the obvious solution was to put the DBx elements onto steel sabots. 

Retaining the original bases means they will also remain usable for other rules. I had already gone down this route to some extent in order to play Impetus so I just needed to get more steel bases of various depths.

After some thought and experiment I eventually decided on one sabot per unit and I am now absolutely convinced this was the best choice. If I ever play some other game requiring different basing, I'll just get more sabots of appropriate size.

15mm Late Roman cavalry, Auxilia, Legionaries and lights.

As I usually have to transport my armies on foot, I'm very keen on secure storage, so the sabots (with the figures on them) will in turn be placed into boxes lined with magnetic sheet. I've yet to find out just how well the figures stay on the sabots, but the sabots adhere strongly to the boxes. 

In fact, the attraction is so strong that I've had to put paper ‘ribbons’ under the bases so I can pull the sabots out without scattering the figures. Maybe there’s a slicker solution but this does seem to work.

15mm Feudal Scots with strips of paper to lift them out.
These figures were actually painted by me. The figures in the other photos weren't.

As mentioned above, I used to put magnetic sheet under the bases but it's much less trouble to snip off bits of magnetic tape. The tape is just a little narrower than the DBx base depths, so 12.5 mm for 15mm, 15mm for 20mm and 25mm for 30mm.

I currently get MDF bases and steel sabots from Products for Wargamers, magnetic tape from Magnetic Displays, and magnetic sheet from TinyTinTroops.


  1. I like the basing Richard, what great idea. I am one for secure figure storage as well.

    1. I like the Impetus look but this makes most sense for figures that are already based. Moving a one-sabot unit is going to be really quick unless the figures fall off.

  2. A good result and the sabot itself is pretty well concealed.

    1. In general I don't like the look of sabots but this is just like having the elements grouped together but more convenient. I may follow the same idea for my 25mm Renaissance armies in due course.

      It also struck me this might be the way to go with ECW-type armies where units had different proportions of pike/shot or were different sizes. The figures would have to be based in 1s and 2s. It would be flexible but you'd lose the dioramic look.

    2. Just to old figure bases were hand-cut balsa. Modern laser-cut MDF would exactly fit the steel and hide it even more.