I believe that only three things are certain, in life: Death, taxes and the need to re-base miniatures.
I base well over 1000 minis a year, mostly onto the very large bases I designed and use with "To the Strongest!" and "For King and Parliament." Perhaps half of these need to be stripped off old bases, first, usually the 2mm MDF bases that we have learned to love over the last decade.* Following a discussion on TMP, I thought it might be useful to describe how I do this, because I have had a lot of practice!The steps are:
1. Find a tray with a flat bottom, a jug of water and, ideally, a stack of pennies.
2. Place the bases in the tray on a couple of pennies each (this allows water to get under the bases, and speeds the process). See pic above.
3. Carefully pour water into the tray, to bring the level of the water level with the top of the bases. If a little water goes onto the top of the bases, that's all for the good. However, should the minis be in water up to their knees (or hooves), you risk damaging their paint. See below; the water is just wetting the top of the base, but not enough to frighten the horses.
4. Leave the bases in the water for 24 hours or rather longer, especially if the bases are 3mm thick. The longer, the better results. The bases will gradually absorb water and get thicker and thicker. Top the water level up, if necessary. A nice by-product of the process is that, after the first hour or so, the thrifty baser can often salvage any tufts. Just remove them with a pair of tweezers (below), leave them to dry and re-use, later, with a little PVA.
5. Give some of the minis a gentle tug, and see if they will pull off the base. If they were originally glued with wood glue, they will, most likely, come away very easily.
If, on the other hand, they were glued with superglue or UHU, you'll need to "crumble" the MDF base away (see below), and carefully trim away the remaining MDF and glue from under the individual bases with a sharp craft knife.
And there you have it; it's easier (and safer) than hacking away at dry MDF with a scalpel.
*... although theologists talk of an especially hot corner of hell, that is reserved for those who superglue minis to pennies, or, worse still, plywood.