Wednesday, February 4, 2015

HOBBY REVIEW: Black Swan Miniature's Plague Base

Today I have a first for Mengel Miniatures, a hobby review of a brand new model out on the market! I was given the opportunity to paint up the Plague Base from Black Swan Miniatures and I jumped at the chance, and I was not disappointed.

When I did my interview with Todd Swanson a few months ago he told me all about his new base that was going to be available for sale. Originally we were going to try and tie the two things together, but due to delays in production the interview had to release early. Well now he has sent me my very own copy of the Plague Base to play around with and review. Let me tell you, this thing is pretty awesome. 

You may recognize it, that's because it's a cast of the base on the Golden Demon winner above! Now you can add this to your own Nurgle forces or any other suitably rotted and diseased model.

Packaging: When I opened up my box from the mail I was pleasantly surprised by how professional and tidy the packaging was. The whole model comes in it's own re-usable blister pack with the company logo and a picture of the assembled base on the front.

Did I say assembled base? Yup, that's right, this guy comes in multiple parts to really give you a sense of depth with it. All of the parts also come sealed in this zip lock bag for added security incase the blister happens to pop open for any reason.

No worries about assembling it though, the back of the blister card also has the instructions on how to put it together.

Packaging Final Score: 5/5

Detail and Quality: The pieces themselves are all attached to one piece of sprue minus the main chunk of it. They all cut off easily enough though. You can see in the picture above that you are actually given two choices for the bottom of your base. One is suitably Nurgley with skulls and maggots while the other is a bit more industrial with bits of busted pipe and cabling. 

If you flip over the main piece you can see where the bottom half slots in. It's a very clean fit with no warping or weird gaps.

In fact, it's a very clean model in general. I couldn't find any bubbles or flash at all. The only thing I had to clean up was where the sprues attached. It's cast in a high quality resin and you can really tell with the depth of detail on this thing. I mean it has a Nurgling sculpted into a nook on one side and everything is cast perfectly.

Putting the two halves together you get a sense of how much depth this adds to your model. I keep stressing the sense of depth and that's because it's not something you often see on bases. Most bases are fairly flat, which isn't that surprising considering. This base however, really makes the model more interactive visually, since your eye keeps traveling over it and into it.

I chose to put a Death Guard conversion I did awhile ago on top of it. It really is something meant for display models, characters, or center pieces for your army. The one thing I should point out though is that this base is a true 25mm base. That means it is slightly too large to sit on top of a standard GW base. You can use it without any base beneath it, but I chose to glue it to the top of a Privateer Press round lipped base. It didn't fit into the recess but looks perfect sitting on top of it. For the model I just pinned his front right foot into the top of it. Since it's made out of resin it is fairly easy to do.

Detail Final Score 5/5

Ease of Assembly Final Score 5/5

Paintability: I had a lot of fun painting this guy too. This was the first time I really got to play around with Nurgle's rot. I really like the effect it gave the base.

I painted the structure in an off white with plenty of rust and chipping. In fact I may have gone overboard with it a bit, but hey, it's Nurgle.

I also played around with making a liquid spout of sludge coming out of the drain. This base really lends itself well to something like that since it has so many different vertical levels. I just glued one of my dog's hairs to the spot and slowly built up the Nurgle's Rot over top it.

The Nurglings were painted in my typical demon skin tone. I thought about making the tutorial that everyone's been asking for with them, but they were too small to really demo a lot of my techniques.

This base was a real joy to paint. You can use a bunch of fun and cool techniques on this thing, including anything from Todd's water effect to my slime effect and everything in between. One thing to keep in mind is how small it is. If I were to redo this I would tone done the weathering a bit to show off the shape of the model more.

Paintability Final Score - 5/5

Final Overall Score - 5/5

The Plague Base is available now at the Full Borer Miniatures shop for only $9.75. If you're looking for that perfect way to add the finishing touch to your Nurgle themed model, then look no further. Todd Swanson really hit this one out of the park. I look forward to seeing what further models Todd comes out with under the Black Swan name.

Until next time, 

Tyler M.

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