View Full Version : How do you get models to rank up neatly?

22-07-2010, 16:30
I'm new to WHFB and struggling to get the models to rank up neatly in base to base contact. I'm building an Orcs and Gobbos army and I'm finding there's arms, legs and pointy bits everywhere!:)
Should I build the models then position them on their bases?
Any tips would be greatly appreciated.

22-07-2010, 16:52
Build your models so they rank up and mark the bottom of the base with a simple code to tell you their unit and location in it, for example 2-b-5 would mean unit two, rank b and model 5 from the left. White felt pens work nicely.

22-07-2010, 17:25
I use a combination of Rincewinds method and repeatedly screaming obscenities at my Bloodletters when the damn things refuse to rank up the same way more than twice, despite my coding system.

22-07-2010, 17:46
You need to rank them as you assemble the models.
Build the unit in the movement tray

22-07-2010, 18:18
What everyone else said. I rank them as I build them, and then number the bases so I know where they go. my system goes like this:

1 2 3 4 5 6
7 8 9 10 11 12
13 14 15 16 17 18

If it were a unit of 18 whatever, 6 wide and 3 deep.
If looked at from a top down behind the unit view. (i.e. third person)
My bases are also magnetized so that there's no scooting around once the game has started.

22-07-2010, 18:24
for plastics, make sure you use plastic glue and not superglue... this will give you time to wiggle things about on the base before it sets.

22-07-2010, 18:28
I always assemble my guys then glue them to the bases while in a movement tray. Also, avoid poses where you end up putting their arms way out from their body. The modular movement tray also gives you an extra mm or two, which is nice.

Hrokka `Eadsplitter
22-07-2010, 18:31
I don't.
My units are supposed to look a bit unruly, so why rank 'em nicely?:D

22-07-2010, 18:37
As with most people, I just assemble them on a movement tray.

I put together my buddies orcs and goblins with him, and the orcs came out an unruly mess haha. It has seemed apparent to me there is a simple way to break it down:

Every model seems ot have "dimensions" I want to say. I will use for example my Skeleton Archers for TK. I know how their legs are supposed to go (Rearmost leg, back right corner, front most, front left), when I do this, it is easy to keep in mind that on the hind left corner of a models base, there generally isnt much to get in the way, so I use that imaginary space to acknowledge how I can fit my poses.

Its a nice mixture of that, and taking some already assembled models, and aligning them against each side of the model as I finish.

Trust me, I used to think it made me a horrible modeler, but once you realize that these models are sculpted to specifically to seam together, its a lot easier to find where you have flexibility with their poses.

22-07-2010, 18:45
My first models for Warhammer Battle was a box of chaos warriors (the old one) and I glue them with halberd each model with a nice and cool look but when I try to rank them up it was near impossible:D.

Since then I build my unit very carefully rank by rank. when a rank is complete I build another rank and I make sure I can rank up the models in line from left to right and from the first rank to the last rank. Then when the unit is done I use the VHS stickers (the thing you use to write the name of the thing you copy) to give models a letters and a number to remember where the model is suppose to go in the unit, for instance 1A is the first model of the first rank and all my unit rank from the left. If I have identical units I add another number as for example 1A2 is the first model of the first rank of the second unit.

I have 2 unit of 15 Bloodletters and the rank up perfectly. :D

Lars Porsenna
22-07-2010, 18:52
With the new rules and the shooting in two ranks (a rule I forsaw, as it were), I build all my plastic archers in such a way that they can rank up back to front. What I do is for the front rank, I glue the feet as far right as I can possibly go. Then for the rear rank, I do the same, but to the far left. Thus, the rear rank archer bows will fit into the gaps created between the front rank. I've only had to do this with the HE archers (WE don't need it as bad), and it works very well. I may have done the same with the DE plastics, but I haven't broken them out in several months (collecting, assembling, and priming for now, for painting later this year..).


22-07-2010, 22:18
Lots of really good advice in this thread, and the method I use myself (build in a tray, rank by rank), so I'll just add my two cents :

Dry runs, as in assembly without glueing, are usefull when you assemble the models for the first time ... you might need four hands and forty fingers (or BluTac, or elastic bands) to hold them "in pose", but those dry runs allow you to see the overall look and "rankability" of your models before you glue them.

22-07-2010, 22:23
Does anybody use those rank bases that were around when I last assembled any WFB models? The ones that fit four abreast and are intended to go in the centre of the unit?

22-07-2010, 22:29
Yeah, loads of people do that, also with the Horde units becoming more and more common I can see people making big bases of 10-20 models each, 10 wide 1 or 2 thick.

Don Zeko
22-07-2010, 22:43
Yeah, loads of people do that, also with the Horde units becoming more and more common I can see people making big bases of 10-20 models each, 10 wide 1 or 2 thick.

Heh. I played a guy once who ran a zombie unit so big that he had a 100mm x 80mm (that's 5x4, the size of a 20-man regiment) unit filler in there. True story.

22-07-2010, 22:48
I try to position the model on the base so that they are all uniform in where their feet meet the base.

It's a lot easier that way because all you need to worry about then is where you have the weapons pointed at.

Gazak Blacktoof
22-07-2010, 22:59
Does anybody use those rank bases that were around when I last assembled any WFB models?

I tried, but it made the models too difficult to paint.

22-07-2010, 23:12
Yes I always use rank bases. I also build modular movement trays before I start a unit so I can place all the bases inside the tray and then glue the models on top of their bases ensuring that they all rank up neatly.

22-07-2010, 23:47
Tried the 'code-mark the bases' system for 'New' Orcs (ie the first multi-part plastics, what 10 yrs old now?), 'Old' Orcs (metal from 1980s and forward) and Chaos Warriors (plastic hunchbacks).

It worked/works with the 'Old' Orcs because they didn't/don't have any major ranking issues except for the first rank. For 'New' Orcs and Chaos Warriors all was well and good... until I needed to change formation, or wanted to set up in a new formation.

I use 40x40mm bases for my Gobbos now. Stuff them as full of greenies and garbage/usefulbits as I can. Six or seven Gobbos/Snotlings/Squigs/other per base. While I get a crowded feeling (that I want), the complement of each base do not have to 'poke out' to the sides and disturb their neighbours (very much).

Also, with a densely crowded base there actually is less to paint - the 'inner surfaces' won't be visible (much) and can be regarded as shadows.

For Marauders, who are less compact than Goblins, I try to use sideways cavalry bases or the 100x25mm regiment bases. Main problem with the latter is I have too few.

Ultimate Life Form
23-07-2010, 00:09
If you're having problems with O&G you better not start one of the real offenders, like Warriors of Chaos or Lizardmen.

But yes, logic suggests you assemble the models in a way that maximizes their rankability. For example weapons should be lifted over the head. If they just randomly stick out in all directions then yes. I can see you having trouble.

23-07-2010, 00:51
Following the above suggestions is fine as long as you don't need to reform. If you do it's usually easiest to remove models as needed and use them to create box around where they move to, so you don't worry about ranking them all up. You need to ask if you opponent is ok with this, but I've found after the hassle caused by one 'no' they usually agree to it later.

If you're having fun with regular orc boyz you'll love the black orcs...

23-07-2010, 00:55
Does anyone magnetize their models? What is the best way to do this?

23-07-2010, 04:23
Does anyone magnetize their models? What is the best way to do this?
Take a rare earth magnet and super glue to the underside of the base.
Make your movement tray out of a something the magnet will stick to (or glue to your movement tray).

23-07-2010, 04:32
i say why bother trying to get orc warriors or squig herds to rank up perfectly? build your movement tray 1 mm larger than you need, and you won't have to worry about ranking up any more. either you can stress over making your models rank up perfectly and then make sure you put the unit back together the same way after it suffers casualties, or you can make your movement tray slightly oversized and let your minis pile in however they may.

as long as you know the base sizes, and can do some simple counting, you won't have to worry about figuring how many guys are in b2b

23-07-2010, 05:04
i say why bother trying to get orc warriors or squig herds to rank up perfectly?

Plastic orcs might be fine, but colliding squigs tend to chip paint.

23-07-2010, 05:19
I usually build the model completely, then glue it to it's base, giving me time and foresight to adjust it's stance or angle to the model in front of it.

Then I number them, like others have mentioned, and they always rank correctly for me.