Friday Quick Tip: Resin Basing Metal Models

After acquiring a set of resin bases from Dragonforge Design recently, I've decided that my Eldar force I've been planning for some time would see the light of day and get the full resin treatment. Little did I know how much a pain it would be to make sure the mostly metal models I have on hand were well secured to their base.

To start off, you're going to need to remove that tab. Just clipping it off isn't going to cut it either. Break out the hobby knife and files and make sure the bottom of the foot is good and flat. Some models are a bit more of a pain than others in this regard. You'll notice that some models use 'pins' of their own to secure them to the tab, that's going to have to go as well!

Once you have the feet flattened down, start to get an idea of where your model will end up. Try a few different options and you might have to be a bit creative to get the pose you are looking for and you might even need to try different bases. Notice the base I'm using in the photo above? It's completely different from the one I stated off wanting to use! Options are a good thing to have when basing metal models.

If you don't have a pin vice at this point, you need one. You'll use it over and over again throughout your modeling career. Drill out a spot on the base and a spot in the foot of your model. Some models have smaller feet and your pin size and bit size will dictate where you're able to pin the model.

Placement of the pin is actually a bit more work than I expected. I found myself placing the pin, in this case a paper clip, and clipping it down multiple times before the model stood flush with the base. If you really want a secure join, a bit of green stuff could do the trick in the base and the foot of the model. I had to use green stuff with a squad of Howling Banshees in fact, as they're far too front heavy and all on one foot.

Don't forget to score the models feet and maybe the contact points on the base before gluing. A quick drop of glue in the pin holes and on the feet of the model should do. Hold firm for a little while and let dry! Once dry, you should have a well secured model that won't give you much hassle down the road.

This tip is mostly about pinning as you can see, but a few considerations need to be taken as you base your metal models. Pin size, bit size, balance and green stuff will all be important to account for! For those of you who are new to pinning, hopefully this gives you a bit of insight into its many uses!


  1. Resin dust can be harmful y'know; so don't forget to wear a facemask while cutting, sanding/filing and/or drilling resin parts, and wash your hands thoroughly afterwards. :-)

  2. Just wanted to say (slightly off topic) that it is great that there is somewhere ike this on the web that pulls all of these basic, intermediate and advanced hobby techniques together.

    Great work guys.

  3. One thing to add, too, is that you might also have good luck in getting oddly-balanced figures (like the Howling Banshees you mentioned) to stay put on their bases if you take a pair of end-cutters or wire cutters and "nibble" shallowly a little on the ends of your pinning material before you glue it into the feet and the base. You might also want to use 2-part epoxy glue instead of CA glue as well.

    The nibbling on the pin gives it some texture to adhere to so you have less chance of slippage, whereas epoxy glue is more forgiving and less likely to outright shatter compared to CA if you accidentally drop or bump an oddly-balanced pinned figure.

    Piano wire makes for fun pinning:

    I think this Friday Quick Tip is a great summary of the pinning process, and just as applicable to most resin figures as well as metal! I always look forward to Friday updates!

  4. Something I would recommend is to put the pin initially in the models foot/feet rather than just the base.

    This way you can paint the model seperately by pushing the pins into the top of an old champagne or wine cork (champagne corks work best due to being wide and flat bottomed, providing balance when rested on table top) to provide something comfortable to hold onto.

  5. JM is definitely on point in terms of ingesting/inhaling resin, just don't do it. Wear appropriate protective equipment!

    Rogue, everything we do here is for the betterment of the community!

    Tinweasel, I hadn't quite thought to score the pin as well! Great little tidbit there. As for the Quick Tips, I'm just happy we can still come up with new content after so many weeks of putting them up!

    Dante, I hadn't quite thought about that, but then again, I rarely paint my models in that fashion! I think for my GD entry this year I'll have to give the method a go. I've also seen people use a pin vice in the same manner. I wonder if they were just drilling into the foot or holding the pin?

  6. I've never based on resin before, but I'll keep this article handy if and when I ever do. I guess I would have probably left some of the original tab (possibly on each foot) and used that for the pin. Drilling hole(s) in the base and using epoxy would allow for a good join and also fill any gaps from the pin being imperfectly shaped. But, I'm kind of an epoxy nut!