Saturday, August 25, 2012

Secret Weapon Miniatures Resin Bases First Impressions

I'll gladly pay someone to do this for me

     I'm not a fan of making bases myself.  I've done it, and I might even dare say that I've done it well in a few cases.  Nothing fancy, nothing amazing, but clean and simple bases for models I intend to use quite often.  When I started working on my Imperial Guard, I wanted to really try on some of those bases.  I really did put some extra effort, but still with an eye to the fact that these models were intended to be played on a table, not sat on a plinth for display.  After I finished 25 infantry models, I made an executive decision: I'll gladly pay someone to make something a bit fancier than what I'm capable of doing.

     Enter Secret Weapon Miniatures!

     The concept with my Imperial Guard, when I started, was that I would have the Veterans/Regulars have a mix of dirt and urban rubble.  Some cement blocks but some brown earth and some flock.  I then wanted the more elite portion of my army to be the real urban warfare types.  To this end I would have two Storm Trooper squads and two Valkyries with urban streets and rubble as their bases.  I found exactly what I was looking for on Secret Weapon's site.  Here they are!

     I also recently purchased an Ork flyer kit.  My Orks have a very simple base theme.  Muddy dirt.  Lots of rich browns to be properly Orky.  It would compliment the orange color that I had picked as my war band's primary color.  Looking around Secret Weapon's site again, I found this!  Painted to match, that "desert wasteland" could easily fit into my mudpocalypse theme.

Got it, opened it, and here's what I think

     The bases arrived by mail, and I was all too happy to tear into the envelope.  I should mention now that this is the first time I've ever purchased resin bases, so there was a lot of impressions to be had here.  The bases are incredible.  While the large oval bases clearly steal the show, even the small infantry bases have loads of details and importantly lots of space onto which I can place the model.  There's only a tiny bit of flashing around the edges of the bases that can either be filed off or even just scraped off with a blade.

Large Ovals

     I was worried about the sizing of the large oval bases.  The Urban Streets variety said on the site that it was 90x120mm but the Desert Wasteland one said 95x120mm.  Well I'm happy to report that they are in fact the same size and also the same size as the Games Workshop large oval base.

Same size! 

     I will have to do a slight bit of carving to get the flight stand on that Urban Streets base.  Not too much, though and I'll have to be delicate about it.  I'm thinking about getting an actual carving tool to make sure I do it as cleanly as possible.  The Desert Wasteland might need a very slight amount as well.

Infantry Bases

     The small bases are perfect.  I'll need no sort of tweaking to make a model fit, which is great.  There are a decent amount of variation, though I'm sure I'll enhance that through added bits to the base, be it flocking or painting.  I still want my Storm Troopers to look really unique, and I haven't locked in how I want to achieve that just yet.  What will be important is if I end up with metal, plastic, or resin models because I might have to do some pinning to make sure the models fight tightly to the bases.

     The only concern I could see someone else having (me, I don't give a toss) is that the added modeling material that Secret Weapon Miniatures has used  on top of the standard base raises the height of the infantry model about a quarter of an inch.  Seen here:

The rest of the men will need platform boots to keep up!

     It's not such a huge thing to me, but I'm sure that some neck-beard out there would have an absolute conniption if he thought that this quarter inch would deny his men critical cover in a game.  I don't care at all, whatsoever, and thus I'll just smile and nod.


     Good quality.  The oval bases are certainly center pieces, the infantry bases aren't so complex that you can't fit a figure on it, and the price seems very reasonable to me.  It's a dollar a base for the infantry bases and $10 for the large ovals.  If you are striving to make your army really stand out from the others around you, this might be a good route to go.  If you're tired of making your own bases, and you'd like to pay someone else to do it for you, Secret Weapons ain't a bad choice at all.

     Final note: if you do get resin bases, always make sure you wash them in warm soapy water to remove any of the mold release agent residue that might still be there.  Paint and mold release do not mix, and bad things will happen.  You will be a sad panda.

1 comment:

Colonel Scipio said...

Hey, nice work here (Rouge Pom directed me here) - and also a big fan of SWM bases. I did a diorama of Sherlock Holmes on one of their display bases and I agree they look amazing. Having said that the painting on the Valkyrie here is epic, it brings out the best in the bases - truly expert stuff. I also find the 'quarter inch' bases a bit annoying - I tried basing crouching models on them but then it just looks odd, as they're almost the same height as their standing battle-brothers. Looking forward to more!