Building Skimmer Bases for Warhammer 40K

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Did you ever notice how crappy the Games Workshop Skimmer bases are? About 90% of them would break at some point during their lifetime. The only thing worse are the Crisis suit ankle joints.[Those things have a 99% failure rate].

I set out to create skimmer bases from the ground up in order to replace to stock ones.

For this project, you are going to need some thin plywood, a scroll saw, a hobby knife, heavy duty coat hanger wire, washers, and glue.

Trace out the Wood Bases

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Start by tracing out a circle on a thin sheet of plywood. Use 1/4" plywood or thinner. I also recommend the use of a template in order to trace a perfect circle. In the picture I am using an 8oz yogurt cup.

Cutting Out the Wood Bases

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Using a scroll saw, cut out the wood circles. I chose to use a scroll saw because they excel at cutting curves. Larger band saws often cannot cut smooth curves.

A hand tool like a coping saw will also work, but this is quicker. Also be sure to take proper safety precautions like wearing safety goggles.

Locate the Center of the Circle

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Depending on the template used, you might not have a center to the wood circles. If this is the case, use a ruler to locate the center of the circles. Measure several diameters and see where they intersect.

Cut the Metal Support Rods

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It is time to cut the rods which will hold the vehicle off the ground. Thin brass tubing is a great material for these rods, but I just used some heavy duty coat hanger pieces.

When cutting these rods to length, cut them about 3/4" of an inch longer then the height the vehicle will sit off the ground. One end of the rod will stick into the wood circle and the other end will stick into the bottom of the vehicle.

Drill Out the Hole for the Rod

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For this step I recommend using a drill press. You can use a hand drill, but a drill press will ensure a perfectly vertical hole. Regardless of which tool you end up using, clamp the wood circle down and use safety goggles or very bad things will happen.

Drill a hole into the wood circle equal to the diameter of the metal rod selected in the previous step.

Glue the Metal Rod into the Base

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Stick the metal rod into the hole you just drilled. Once it fits pretty snug, remove it, insert glue into the hole, and press the rod back down. Immediately check to see that the wood base still sits flat on a level surface. You might have to pull the metal rod back out a bit to ensure the wood base rests evenly.

Enlarge the Hole in the Bottom of the Vehicle

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Using a hobby knife or drill, expand the hole in the bottom of the vehicle so that you can insert the metal rod into it.

Set the Height of the Vehicle with a Washer

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It is time to determine the height at which the vehicle will sit. Glue a metal washer onto the metal rod so that when the vehicle is placed on the rod it will rest on the washer. Choose a large enough washer to give the vehicle a stable platform, but be careful not to choose one which is too large. Washers which are too large might interfere with pieces on the bottom of the model. I recommend hot glue for this step because it dries quick.

Finish the Base

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Paint and flock the base as you would do to any other miniature base.

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