It seems a bloody good deal - Games Workshop offering scenic bases at bargain prices, and maybe it really was too good to be true!
Last week in our White Dwarf review we speculated that Games Workshop may be using their Chinese factory to produce these super-cheap bases.
The Chinese factory has so far produced some Age of $igmar scenery, and a few 40K ones as well with pretty mixed results. Certainly the quality of moulding and crispness of the lines has not been as good as the normal Games Workshop products...
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...so when I went to pick these up this morning it was with some trepidation. I have some of the scenery that was a bit 'meh' and I wanted these to be awesome!
Then I saw this on the back -------->
Indeed, as we predicted, these have in fact come out of that Chinese factory. I was expecting the worse.
Would they be thin and flimsy, would there be sink holes in some of the moulding as has happened in previous releses. Well there's good news & bad news
The plastic is very similar to the current Games Workshop stock, but certainly not exactly the same. It will be interesting to see how this reacts to glue - at the moment glue melts the current GW bases very well and quickly, making a very tight and permanent bond with the feet of the miniatures.
Close inspection of the bases shows that indeed, unfortunately the moulding is not as defined or as crisp as the current GW models. The raised edges are slightly rounded rather than being sharp and small details like the metal floor plating is more a lump than something that drybrushing will pick up cleanly.
For the most part the base will be covered with a miniature, but if you were expecting the type of bases that come with the more recent Assault Marines, then you will be disappointed.
Unfortunately, if anything, these had even less detail!
As you can see by the aquila on the drum (above left) some of the details are very rounded and not very crisp at all, where grates and hatches have some quite shallow detail.
The large pieces, though well designed, again suffer from shallow and rounded detail. Have a look at the metal plate (above right) and the very light detail on the surface. On the mural (above far right) there seems to be a bevel where the raised detail ends and the surface begins. Shading this and drybrushing certainly won't be as spectacular as first thought.
The lack of crisp detail on the 32mm bases could be passable, and maybe more so on the smaller ones, but the lack of good detail on the Large Base Detail Kit is very disappointing.
I do have to pay tribute to Games Workshop a little bit here. They have moved away from their previous business model that would have seen us pay the same for half or even a third of the amount of bases in these sets. If you look at the price and then the product, you know that these won't be as amazing as some of the more recent detail on their kits - BUT that does leave it open for other companies to provide the same amount at a similar or cheaper price but with better detail.
To sum up, the 32mm bases are passable and fixable for your infantry - JUST
The Large Base Detail Kit is really not great at all. For $50 AUD it's too much for really not a lot.
I doubt I will ever use them. Their lack of detail overshadows all the work that goes into a large model, so why put them on or near the base of that large and expensive model?.