Friday, 10 June 2011

Micro Art Studios resin bases: Urban Bases (Infinity Bases)

Micro Art Studios

So then, I've got bases for my Aleph from Dragon Forge Design and some desert bases from Secret Weapon Miniatures for my Haqq Islam force (review coming up)... this left my Yu Jing sitting on my ordinary crappy old bases and as every good citizen of the glorious empire of Yu Jing knows, that just will not do!!! So I set about rectifying this grave error, and hoped the Emperor would spare my life for such a betrayal. Firstly I didn't actually own any of these bases, however after helping a friend pin his entire Combined Army to a set of them I decided that perhaps I should remount my Yu Jing onto them, as they seemed a suitable setting for all my high tech space ninjas, you can't beat a good space ninja. So with the fact that I'd seen a set of them and still decided to buy them means they must clearly be worth buying, you should bear that in mind when reading the rest of the review.

Character of the pieces 9 out of 10

Right I love the hex pattern of these bases, they're super awesome and just like the Omega Prime bases from Dragon Forge Designs seem to scream Infinity. The Hexagon pavement design is clearly a stolen idea from my blog background... ahem... not actually true... ahem... but I love them. I can totally imagine the pavements in some Pan Oceana city or sprawling Yu Jing metropolis being all hex like. They look clean modern and futuristic, yet recognisable as street detail. They ooze anime style character.

Detail 9 out of 10

Firstly lets get this out of the way, I'm a HUGE fan of the hex pavement design. Loved it from the first moment I saw them. Getting them in your hands doesn't diminish that impact of the fine detailed lines either, as they really are lovely and contain plenty of depth. The casting on the bases was for the most part exceptionally crisp and the equal of the Dragon Forge bases. My only concerns about the bases from a design / detail aspect was the amount of extra height they add to a mini. Its about double the thickness of a normal base and some even more so with some of the pavements. Its not really a big issue but I'm a picky sod and for me it was a draw back to them. The second design issue I had with the Urban Bases was the bevel, yep I'm a bevel Nazi (whatever one of those is!!!). To me a base should have a nice slopped edge and that shouldn't be messed with, however the MAS Urban Bases kinda 'Hang over' the top of the standard beveled base so its like having a bigger disk on top of the base, I didn't like that aspect of the design, just my personal choice I know and I'm sure others won't be as put off with it as I was. Hopefully this picture shows you what I mean on the left is one of the Micro Art bases while on the right is a Dragon Forge Omega Prime base, one with a lovely consistent bevel the other... well I'm a bevel Nazi!!!

Quality 8 out of 10

This really could easily have been a 9 out of 10 but I felt the resin wasn't quite as good as those of the Dragon Forge Design bases in terms of hardiness, Dragon Forge bases in particular are in a nice stiff substance that doesn't feel soft and feels durable, I didn't get that same sense of toughness off of these bases however. Don't get me wrong though the Micro Art Studios Urban Bases are made out of a good quality resin that picks up some very fine details and they're easy to work with, but there were some slight miscast issues on things like some of the drains or curb edges, where some small air bubbles got trapped. Not as many though as the Secret Weapon Miniature bases I'll be reviewing tomorrow and they were all easily sorted with a miniscule amount of green stuff, but given the price of them I'd have expected them to be perfect. However just to be clear these are only very slight imperfections and I personally would not be put off buying more of them because of this, as I've said before, I expect a little bit of work with resin and these really are a damn fine product.

Service 8 out of 10

Right my own experience of ordering from Micro Art Studios was excellent really, the bases turned up not 4 days after ordering them, and Micro Art are based in Poland so they had to trek a fair way across mainland  Europe to get to me here in the UK. They were really well packaged and wrapped up so no harm would come to them in transit, and clearly none did. However my friend, the cursed, ordered these at the height of their popularity and I think he had just over a month long wait, and while that is understandable when a company suddenly has a rush on their product, I do know they weren't exactly great in responding to him via email. Again probably because they were exceedingly busy... but as I said my experience was really quite good.

Price 7 out of 10

I'm going to have to say I think the Micro Art Studios Urban Bases are a little on the steep side for price. For a similar sized order to the one I made from Dragon Forge I was be spending £39.08, not quite double the price I know but not too far off. Are they worth it though... well yeah probably if you dig the hex pavements (which I do). I have to say the Combined Army mini's looked awesome standing on the bases and looked every inch like a proper alien invasion force ready to kick ass. If its the aesthetic you like then I'd say go for them because they're a fine product, but if you're not too fussed about those hex pavements perhaps you should shop around and get a cheaper product.

Overall 8 out of 10

I'm a confessed fan of the design of those pavements and the detailing is really quite good, as I've come to expect from Micro Art Studios stuff. The price is a bit too steep though, especially when others are delivering products just as good, and arguably better quality for significantly less dosh. There are those awkward design features as well, I LIKE A CONSISTENT BEVEL!!! I really ought to stop with all this talk of bevels shouldn't I? I think I'm starting to sound severely unhinged! There was also the additional height, which just aesthetically bugs me, I find it irksome, but ultimately the good and very good far out weigh the bad with these nice little bases. They've also announced that they'll be doing some post apocalyptic style Urban Bases with cracks and damage to those lovely pavements, as opposed to the pristine future vibe of the current set. When I get the dosh I might grab me some and give you the low down. Peace out!


  1. Some of them are way WAY too tall for Infinity though, nice looking epic fail from a game-play perspective IMHO.

  2. Yeah I see where you're coming from in a way Doc but Infinity isn't true line of sight any way so it shouldn't make too much difference. They are really nice looking too, I must stress that.

  3. The LOF (Line of Fire) Rules are quite strict - they state " A target may only be selected by a figure if the miniature can 'see' it, at least
    partially" - if your models head is sticking out above the terrain because of his base - then a Shooter can claim LOF to it, and be able to target it.

    A lot of the comments about resin bases on the Forum are the same - the bases are too tall.

  4. The simple solution is to make your terrain unambiguous. Full cover is much taller than even a mini on a MAS base, half cover is hip height... No problems then :)

  5. @Tim the cover rules for Infinity are even less ambiguous than most. You only count as being in cover if you are touching it. doesn't matter how much of the mini is covered really, if the base is touching you get cover, if not you're not in cover.

    The height issue though can cause issues within the game. My friend has his Morats on MAS bases and there have been a few times where the angle of a shooter and the normal height building has meant the added height of the base has put them in the firing line, and my mini's of similar height on my bases in the same spot have actually not been in LOF, so it has an impact on the game, even if it is minimal. :)

  6. True i guess, hadn't thought about the impact on angle lines of fire. Though the opposite could be claimed for that too... it gives you an advantage to firing at an angle ;)