Saturday, 11 February 2012

Review: Malcontent Bamboo Resin Bases

  
  
Looks professional to me.

It's been a little while now since I did a resin base review. Now I know I've got more resin bases than I have miniatures... well not quite, but it does feel like it at times, but there's always room for more styles and types in my growing collection of resin bases. After all there are more and more games being released now and many of them have a unique look to them and sometimes Gothic ruins and fantasy ruins just won't cut it. I was faced with one such dilemma while looking at getting started in Bushido the Game. 'Bugger' I thought 'where am I going to get suitable bases for an oriental themed game?' Luckily for me and my lazy affectations one of our fellow Bloggers and a follower of this here Blog actually decided to start making his own resin bases. Who is this masked wander you ask? Well masked would be right, it's 'The Dark Templar' and his Malcontent range of gaming accessories.

Product description

Half of the bases I purchased

This review is of multiple set types of Malcontent range of Bamboo bases. I purchased four sets of the 32mm round lipped bases, which have five bases per set. I also purchased four of the single 50mm round lipped bases as well. They are simply put 32mm and 50mm round lipped resin bases. Not much more too it than that really.

Character 8 out of 10

They really just do what they're supposed to do really. I don't like my resin bases to look too fancy. I often get bemused at the huge amount of detail on some resin bases. Sometimes I wander where the hell I'm meant to mount the miniature on some bases. No such problems with these bases though. They are simple, clear of design and totally in keeping with the understated and uncluttered design ethic found in the far east. So they just work. I do however like that these weren't all bamboo and that at the odd strategic point there was a bit of dirt and soil too. It helps break up the singular uniformity that might have developed had they all been just bamboo. They didn't need to be anything more than what they are, and as such they're perfectly suitable.

A close up shot of two of the 32mm bases
Detail 7 out of 10

The picture too the left shows a close up shot of two of the 32mm bases. Now the detailing clearly isn't a;; that complex on these bases. Part of that is undeniably because they're quite frankly bamboo bases and there's not much more that you could do with them. However, I've been trying to work out whether or not the 'grit' between the rows of Bamboo was intentional or some sort of defect on the part of the casting. Now to me it's not actually that important, I actually quite like the grit look between the strips of Bamboo, but you can zoom in on the picture yourself and decide whether you like the look or not. If it's meant to be their then the detailing is very crisp. If it's not then its disappointingly fuzzy and they lack the desired crispness. Only The Dark Templar can confirm one way or the other I guess, but I like them nevertheless as they look worn.

One of the 50mm bases
Quality 7.5 out of 10

I don't think The Dark Templar would mind me saying that his Malcontent range of gaming accessories aren't his main source of income. He said himself 'I don't make any real money out of it'. So while on the one hand I might not judge his works as intently as some of the professional firms out there, his pricing has placed his products in that bracket. So should he be worried by that comparison? Well take a look at the score above. 7.5 out of 10 says not at all. This product in terms of casting and defect rate is more than passable when compared to those products produced by others. The Dark Templar should be proud of what he has produced from a standing start, and I hope he continues to produce his bases. In twenty 32mm and four 50mm bases I found not one air bubble or noticeable defect. The backs of the resin bases don't have the sunken 'dip' which the drying resin produce in many other companies bases. I'm not sure of the shore-D rating of the resin used, but it seems a high quality and as far as I can tell there's no filler in there. They're a good solid quality product.

Service 9 out of 10

simply put really good. I don't use ebay very often. Primarily because I can never be arsed to search for crap on there. I much prefer finding shops and traders I trust the more traditional way. However even I know having 100% positive feedback off of 37 feedback isn't too bad. True it's not 1 million plus people feeding back. The bases came really well packed and in a timely fashion, even though he had to cast some of the bases up for me specifically as he'd run out. All the way throughout he kept me informed of what was going on with emails. It took 3 days to get my bases to me so it's a thumbs up from me.

Two more of the 32mm bases
Price 8.5 out of 10

Well this isn't too difficult to judge. The set of five 32mm round lipped Bamboo bases works out at 50p per base. That's comparable to many of the resin base companies out there that I've used. It's not Antenocitis Workshops 33p per base, but it is cheaper than Dragon Forge Designs 60p per base and Micro Art Studio's 80p per base. It's even better than the only other bamboo type bases I found out there from War Cast Studios, who charge 60p per base or so. So not bad. They even beat War Cast Studios 50mm Bamboo bases who charge £2.21 per base as opposed to the £2 per base The Dark Templar is charging for his Malcontent Bamboo bases. They even allow you to pick them up individually as opposed to having to buy them in packs of two. It's also way cheaper than the slightly ridiculous £4.11 that Micro Art are charging for a single round lipped 50mm base. It's even better than the £3.17 charged by my current favourite resin base provider Dragon Forge Designs. But, they're not quite as sharply cast as those bases provided by Dragon Forge, Micro Art and Antenocitis. Still bloody good value for money though.

Overall 7.5 out of 10

There are currently only 5 versions of the 32mm bases

I'm actually really pleased with these bases. They are good value for money and are a perfect fit for the two Bushido factions I own. So I say they're a bit of a result. I'm also glad that The Dark Templar didn't create overly cluttered tops as well, something that often afflicts many other companies products, which leaves you wandering where the hell you're supposed to plonk the mini! I can't say in terms of overall quality that they are up to the standards of best out there in the marketplace today, but they don't embarrass themselves or are out of their depth. They're not, I think they are a pretty solid product and if you are after some bases for Bushido then you might want to check these out. Peace out!

4 comments:

  1. One of the coolest things about our hobby is the fact that clever, industrious people can do things like this.
    Kudos to The Dark Templar!

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    Replies
    1. Yep agreed SinSynn. There's a lot of 'home brew' product out there right now from fellow gamers. For some it'll be the the start of a new business maybe, for others it'll be a bit of fun and a nice bit of hobby pocket money. Either way there's plenty of good solid 'fan made' product if you will out there. It's an exciting time for the hobby.

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    2. Yupyup. Between CAD plus 3d matter printers, the small companies that will do production runs of metal models, and the individuals who will cast runs of resin models, if you can sculpt it, someone can produce models for you.

      One chap I play from time to time wanted a very specific 6mm army, so commissioned one guy to sculpt it up in CAD, get master models printed, and make moulds, then he had metal sprues cast with a company that specialises in that side. He's sold the bulk of the models via word of mouth, and made back his costs pretty quickly.

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    3. Indeed Fiendil, it's a truly interesting time to be wargaming. You can almost see the industry changing before your very eyes. So many useful individual freelancers and producers out there now. Good times.

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