Saturday, 10 October 2015

Review: Fenris Games Aftermath Base Toppers 30mm & 40mm

One aspect of the Batman Miniature Game I've enjoyed is spending a little more time on painting each miniature. Because it's a small scale skirmish game, you haven't got to chug through 50 odd miniatures before you have a painted, usable force. This also means that you can spend a little more time on basing your miniatures, to really make them stand out on the tabletop.

Before getting into BMG, I've always used sand, grit, slate and flock on my miniature bases. This has always given me a satisfying 'battlefield' look, and I still use it for games such as Warhammer 40K.

However, I wanted to try something new for BMG, so started using resin bases for my miniatures. If you haven't yet had chance to use such bases, I wholeheartedly recommend it, as they are easy to use, and look great on your miniature.

So, as I've just had a fresh batch delivered, I thought I'd post a quick review of my current base of choice: Fenris Games' Aftermath Resin Base Toppers.

Unlike complete resin bases, these are designed to fit snugly on top of a regular plastic DS profile base. Originally, BMG miniatures came supplied with these, but now Knight Models produce their own textured plastic bases (to mixed reception), so you will need to pick some plain DS bases up separately. They're pretty cheap though, and you can pick packs of 50 up for a few quid on eBay.

I prefer the toppers to full resin bases, as I find sometimes the resin bases are cast unevenly, and they look lopsided to my eyes. As such, I like the evenness the plastic bases and topper combos give me (the curses of OCD!).

Let's have a look at the actual product:

Yay, mail!

The bases come in little plastic bags, in a padded envelope. You also get a compliments slip, and a sweet, for those of you who get excited by such things (not me, honest)!

Let's have a look at the 30mm base toppers first of all. These are the toppers you are likely going to use most, due to the fact that most BMG miniatures are on 30mm bases:

You get 12 in a pack, for £4.50, which I think is fairly reasonable. It works out to about 37p a base, which is pretty good I think. The Aftermath range focuses on a post-apocalyptic city scape, which I feels fits the run down feel of Gotham City, particularly in the Arkham City game, quite well. The toppers feature various broken pavements/sidewalks, as well as crumbled walls and even a discarded purse and broken sink!

Overall, they have a nice variety, but when you've used them as often as I have, you start to run out of ways to position/paint them to make the look different. Unfortunately, the base with the sink, for example, is so unique, you can only really get away with using once in a force. I'd love to see Fenris release another set of these, with a bit more variation.

I do seem to have a selection of bases left over, namely the sink, the broken telegraph pole and the cobbles (though I used multiples of the cobbled bases for my League of Shadows crew). So, if you're reading this Fenris, more generic sidewalks please!

The quality is reasonably good, and I can't complain on the casts. However, the resin is subject to a bit of bubbling, and depending on what your batch is like, you will have to do some work on the underside of the toppers to get them to fit snugly in the DS base:

I've included a couple of before and after shots of one of my crews that I originally based with sand, and then them re-based on Fenris toppers:

I think the miniatures are vastly improved with the addition of any resin base.

Next up are the 40mm Aftermath base toppers from Fenris games:

You get 8 of these for £5.50, which works out at about 68p a base. Considering the increased size, and the fact that you probably won't use as many of these, I don't think that's bad at all.

Again, you get a nice variety of designs, all of which are very usable. I'd question the wisdom of having a hole in one of the bases, especially when used with a plastic DS base with a slot, but it's no big deal. They fit very well with the 30mm versions, and they look great painted up.

However, in my experience (and I've only ever ordered two batches of these so far), you do have to do a fair bit of work on the underside to get them to fit snugly, as they do bubble quite badly, and there's quite a bit of excess material around some of the detail, as below:

As you can see from the underside of the base in the middle, I've got a fair amount of shaving ahead of me.

Despite this minor issue, the bases are great once painted up, and again, enhance the look of the miniatures. Have a look at my Bane crew below, where I've used a 40mm and some 30mm bases for them:

For a long time, Fenris Games seem to be the only company out there producing resin base toppers that fit with the theme of BMG. Everyone else seemed to focus on complete bases, so I've really enjoyed using these. Other toppers have now started being released by other companies, most notably Gladius Game Arts. Their toppers seem to depict a very 'clean' and unbroken city, so it really depends on personal taste. I do plan on giving them a try though.

So far, Fenris Games Aftermath range have served me well, and I have no immediate plans to move away from them lock stock and barrel right now. I'd love to see more variety from them, so will keep an eye out for updates on their Facebook page.

Dan's rating: 8/10



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