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Names on Mini Bases


TKD
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I'd like to put clearly-readable names on the slotta-bases of my miniatures, clearly readable from above.

 

Here's the situation. I've got a lot of identical minis I use for large numbers of critters in my games. I want to clearly identify them with markings.

 

Numbering isn't so fun - you only use, say, the 12th guy when you have 12+ identical minis in the same fight. I'd also like to name them because they get a bit more personality that way - you didn't waste Orc 3 or Dwarf 6, you wasted Grukh Nosepicker or Turik Axeforge.

 

Coloring isn't so fun, either - to make them distinct, I'd need very noticable colors. I can't do that to infinity like names. Plus, I'd have to said "The guy with the green loincloth" and people might need to handle the mini to identify which one. A name clears up which guy it is in a snap.

 

What kind of suggestions do people have? I've got a few, and I'm not sure if any of them will work.

 

- writing the name with paint, probably white - hard to do, my handwriting isn't so good with a brush.

 

- writing the name with some kind of pen on a painted white strip. Again, handwriting might be an issue.

 

My "good" idea:

 

- printing the name in 10 or 12 point font on my PC, cutting out the name, and glueing it down to the base, then gloss-coating it by hand. Not sure if this will work well, or if I'm looking at smeared laser printer ink, torn paper, and unreadable names. I figure the paper can be glued down after I gloss-coat the mini using CA glue, finish over the paper with glosscote by hand, and then I can spray on the Testor's Dullcote.

 

Any better ideas or methods would be most appreciated!

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Hmmm...

 

well, I think painting the names would make them match the mini better, because everything is painted. Its the same reason we'll glue sand down then paint it sand color. It just 'looks' appropriate. You could take a white ink pen, like a micron pigma pen, and do the names that way. That would look very similar to actual white paint.

 

Do they have kits for making your own decals?

 

Printing names could work too. You could get black colored paper and type in white letters. You'd have to alter your background to 'see' what you typed, but when you print is should look good. The white will stand out and the black will blend with a base, assuming you use black edged bases. You could do this with any colored paper. The goal is to have high contrast. Black letters will stand out best on a white edge and white letters will stand out best on a black edge. After you glue and seal the colored paper, you could even paint over the edges of the paper to blend it in.

 

You could mix names with an alphanumeric system. Give names to important villians or monsters, but assign codes like K-2 for the second kobold. If there were only five kobold and one had the notation K-12, I don't think it would stick out as bad as you think. I just think it could get too complicated if you had 40 orcs on the table and each one had a unique name. As a player, I'd think a lot of names would blur together to my eyes and to my ears.

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Another idea...

 

you could drill a hole in each base. Make a number of really small flags on pins. If you use a number system, you only take flags for the number you need so you never have orc 50 on a board where there are only 10 orcs.

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- writing the name with paint, probably white - hard to do, my handwriting isn't so good with a brush.

 

- writing the name with some kind of pen on a painted white strip. Again, handwriting might be an issue.

Alot of freehand painting can be done with one brushstroke or one penstroke - a straight line. .... well lot's of straight lines. just align the mini so you are making the exact same stroke and slowly spell the name out.

 

The decal idea is good dependant on the color of your base.

 

If I ever have the time, I intend on making at least one army an army with back-banners.... probably the Reptus...

 

Rgds,

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A mix of numbers and letters doesn't work for me...you end up with S-13 (Skeleton 13) and S-13 (Swordsman 13) and S-13 (Snake 13) on the board....so when you write up a sheet of NPCs, you need to add additional notation to the notations. Since I run a game for 7 PCs and our last fight had just under 150 combatants on the hex map at the same time, this isn't a small concern.

 

I know names will work. We use counters with names all of the time - mostly from my Cry Havoc-series games. That's why I decided on names - the players will love them on minis since they clearly love them already on

 

Flags are a cool idea, but I suspect the drilling, flag-making, and implanting will be more work-intensive than naming them.

 

Decals would rock...they must have kits somewhere. But for names printing on clear transfer stock is going to cost more money than digging out a piece of 20-weight paper from my stack is. But it's a cool idea.

 

So I'm still here with names and poor handwriting. Writing them with a white micron pen isn't a bad idea, but I've never seen one of them. Do they have them? I black-edge all of my bases, which are mostly inverted GW slotta-bases, so white lettering is okay (as is black on a white stripe).

 

Printing white-on-black is cool, but I don't have a color printer or easy access to one.

 

Does my paper glueing plan sound okay, though? I'm convinced that will be readable, if it doesn't smear or tear in the process.

 

Peter

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Well, you can get thin adhesive labels from Avery or other manufacturer, and print the names you want on them. Although, they work best on square bases, since the slight bevel on round bases makes it a bit hard to attach them without wrinkling...

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Oops, forgot to say that there *is* white-background waterslide transfer paper... That way, you print on the transfer, cut to size, dip in water, fix to the base, and ... yeah that's alot of hassle too.

 

I like the avery label idea... or if you know anyone who has a cable-labeler (IT folks) those are about the right size.

 

Rgds,

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I'm sure you can find some kind of white ink pen. I have white gel ink pens. They were mostly for writing on the black post-it note pads when the dark pads were popular.

 

I do have a bright yellow micron pigma pen. Not sure if they make white or not.

 

There are those silver felt ink marker pens. That should work well and stand out.

 

There are those cheap plactic guns that stamp lettering into think plastic with a sticker backing. I'm not sure what they are called. Those might be easier than printing and cutting paper.

 

On a square base, I do think that glueing paper down would work fine. I would still recommend buying black paper and printing in white text. Glue it down. Paint the edges of the black paper to make it blend and put a sealer over it.

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Use an avery (or other brand) clear label. The thin vinyl will probably be more durable than paper labels.

 

As Cade said, set background to black and lettering to clear (stick to white primed base for white letters)

 

I recommend naming them alphabetical:

 

Apple

Bludger

Cruncher

 

not as easy as Orc 1, Orc 2 and Orc 3 but you can keep track with a simple ABC list.

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Thanks for all the suggestions.

 

I'll ask and see if anyone has an older labelmaker I can borrow - I used to use a Brother P-Touch to label cables (yes, I'm an ex-IT guy). That could be the best solution.

 

Unfortunately, black paper and a color printer looks to be out for the time being. Maybe later, but right now I don't have easy access to one. "Cheap" is better than "Ideal way to label."

 

Airhead - that's a nice idea, but that means I only get 26 names. ::o: Seriously, I'm not concerned about keeping track - "Grukh" and "Torg" are fine. I find my players are okay with names. I'm just concerned I'm going to trash my minis applying them. :)

 

I'll try a few name transfers in the next few days and post the results. I have a dozen undead dwarves - all identical - that a friend bought me as a gift. I'll print a few names out on my laser printer, try gluing them on with superglue, and see what happens. Worst comes to worst, I can re-black the base and try something else.

 

Peter

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Rather than printing them out on paper and gluing/taping, check out Micromark or Walthers for blank decal paper. IIRC there is a type designed specifically for ink jet printers (but will need to be sealed after printing).

 

I personally will be looking at dry transfers designed for model RR use, as soon as I can find a font I like...

 

Damon.

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Okay, I gave a shot to printing names on my 10-point Bold type, 20# paper. I then glued this to the base with GW Superglue and then painted over it with a stripe of Plaid brush-on gloss sealant.

 

I did three test minis.

 

Good points: Easy to do. Really easy. No stickers, no adjustments, no nothing. I used the paper in my printer, typed, hit "print" and went to town. Glueing was easy. Names are easily readable from a short distance away.

 

Bad points: One mini (the one on the left) had way too much glue. The ink ran and the name smeared and became unreadable. The others got a little "stippling" of glue showing through. It works, but it isn't as cleanly presentable as stickers probably would be. The more glue I used, the easier it was to apply them but the more "stippling" came through. I need to be extremely careful in paint amounts with standard paper.

 

Lesson learn: Next time, I'm trying stickers. I have a sheet of larger Avery stickers. I'll cram a bunch of names on one sticker and cut them down to size. Gloss-finish over this should be enough to keep it stuck to the mini, especially after the final flat coat.

 

base1.jpg

 

base2.jpg

 

So far, so good. We'll see how well they stand up when I add flocking to the top of the base.

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Sorry for jumping in late on this thread. But I have a suggestion:

 

You can always use a regular inkjet or laser printer to create WHITE type on BLACK background. You can do it in Microsoft Word or equivalent.

 

Type the names, select the text, set text color to white and then either:

 

1. Draw a big black box over the page and send to back.

Or

 

2. Select text and set "highlighter" to black.

 

Print out on regular avery labels (paper)

 

[...or on clear avery labels which are a little more vinyl-y and durable as someone else posted. If you use the clear labels, the white text will print clear on the label so you may need to paint a white strip on the base or back the text part of the clear label with white paper.]

 

good luck.

 

-Lemmy

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