First Look Review
UK Wooden Bases
Hand Turned Wooden Bases by Derek Maw
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by: Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]


Bases for model and diorama displays come in all shapes and sizes and a wide variety of prices. A few years ago I was looking for some small bases for some generic settings to be mounted on and I came across www.woodenbases.co.uk on an internet search.


The company is run by Derek Maw and based in Surrey, England. I ordered up 4 small bases to fit my needs and thought no more about it. A couple of recent purchases from Great North Roads brought the need for further bases.

I liked the original purchases, so as a happy customer went bask for a couple more. The nice thing is you just send Derek your specifications and he’ll quote you a price, or you can go on line and order standard sizes if they fit you needs.

This article is just a quick look at a few of the bases I purchased. The service was quick and payment can be made by paypal so it’s pretty hassle free shopping. I have no association to the seller I just liked what I saw and purchased.

The company makes round and oval bases, square and rectangular bases, diorama bases, plinth bases and trophy bases. The bases have a high quality finish and there are lots of styles to choose form on the web site. (see link below)


This option may be right for some, personally I like the finish and they suit my needs, providing a nice solid structure for my diorama settings. I particularly like the under-felt finish as it makes sliding the bases very easy.

This doesn't mean that I've abandoned making my own from recycled materials, but when I've purchased a nice setting then I think it deserves a decent base.

I have yet to check out the diorama bases which have a more raised platform but they look equally good.

Click here for additional images for this review.

Highs: Good quality finish and quick service.
Lows: Cost is alwasy an issue.
Verdict: I’d have no problem recommending this supplier based on past experience.
  Scale: 1:1
  PUBLISHED: Jun 30, 2013
  NATIONALITY: United Kingdom

About Alan McNeilly (AlanL)

Greying slightly, but young at heart. I've been teaching adults off and on for most of my life. Left the services in 85 and first started modelling in about 87 for a few years. Then I had a long spell when I didn't build anything (too busy) and really just got started again during the summer of ...

Copyright ©2021 text by Alan McNeilly [ ALANL ]. All rights reserved.


I was ordering from Derek for a long time now and his bases are first class. I'm definitely a happy customer. Thanks for a quick review and a reminder... I'll have to get couple of bases for my new projects. Mario
JUN 30, 2013 - 03:13 AM
As a woodworker, "hand turned" is misleading. They are cut with either a shaper or router.
JUN 30, 2013 - 03:22 AM
Hi Mario, I found him just by chance, Hi Darrell, Hand turned is part of the company name and the introduction to his product is quite clear at least to me. Quote Hand Made using Traditional Methods… We have been producing wooden bases for modellers and trophy makers for over a decade. Our products are hand made at our workshop in Surrey, England. We use traditional wood turning methods for round bases and our square, rectangular and oval shapes are made using routing machines. We use only the best materials, our bases are made in Mahogany the traditional wood used for bases, we are now also able to offer all of our bases in a satin black finish as well as our polished mahogany finish. Unquote I don't see anything misleading about that. Al
JUN 30, 2013 - 05:58 AM
Has anyone had any issues with wood warping when wet plaster or diluted white glue is sprayed onto the top? I read rumors that wooden bases warp when anything wet is added on top and there's solutions such as sanding the top rough, gluing down plastic, or gluing on a thin frame to prevent the plaster from sliding off the slick top surface.
JUL 03, 2013 - 08:33 AM
A layer of PVA glue should work as a barrier to prevent that issue, and the PVA itself should not cause warping unless the wood is swimming in it.
JUL 03, 2013 - 09:11 AM
JUL 03, 2013 - 10:58 AM
Never heard of wooden bases warping... I guess you would have to soak them pretty well to have wood warping. Besides, the bases from woodenbases.co.uk are all varnished. As for sanding the top, I usually drill a series of small holes to make the plaster stick better to the irregular surface. Mario
JUL 03, 2013 - 05:10 PM
Thanks, Mario. The small holes make sense in securing the plaster to the base as a sort of "peg-in-hole" system.
JUL 04, 2013 - 05:26 AM
Another method of ensuring that the plaster stays put is to hammer in some panel pins and leave them slightly proud of the surface.
JUL 04, 2013 - 05:36 AM

Click image to enlarge
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