by: Darren Baker [ ]
Black Dog has been producing resin bases for some time now, but this is the first time I have had a chance to give them an examination. This particular offering consists of four bases for the display of an individual 1/35th scale figure on each.
This offering from Black Dog is packaged in a reasonably sized end opening card box. The box does have an image of the painted stands on the front, inside of the box is a single Ziploc bag which holds the four resin bases and two additional detailing parts. Black Dog also add foam peanuts to help protect the contents during transit and storage.
This offering from Black Dog is definitely going to appeal to the figure modellers out there, there is very little required in the form of preparation and assembly; this means that the painters can crack on with the fun part of adding the paint and various little details that will give each base a unique look. The bases are not attached to casting blocks as such, a light sanding on a flat surface is all that will be required to clean up these bases. One of the bases has been provided with separate cactus throng detail that can be used in a number of ways. Otherwise the only other preparation I would suggest is to give them a good wash in order to remove any dust from the sanding process and to get rid of any release agent that may be present.
The four bases are square and measure 38mm x 38mm, this provides plenty of room to display a figure in a standing, crouched or seated position, but there is not enough room to display a 1/35th scale figure in a prone position. An examination of the mouldings resulted in my finding zero defects, no air bubbles or missed detail, perhaps most importantly there are no sticky areas which I have encountered in some resin products by other manufacturers. The only issue I have found is that some of the bases were not level when curing and so the sanding process will be a little more time consuming that it would have otherwise been.
The bases offered cover a rocky outcrop with Nopal cactus throngs, if I have correctly identified the cactus genus then this would be locked down to Mexico, but I may have the wrong genus of cacti. Regardless of this the cacti can be used individually, attached one to the other or not at all. This particular base only has room for a standing figure.
The next base I looked at is a flat wooded area with a tree stump remaining. This base is ideally suited to a seated figure as the tree stump looks pretty much an ideal size and even the tree ring detail has been provided. It should be noted that the tree stump having a flat top means it was cut down using mechanical device and not an axe, even sawing by hand leaves a different finish than is presented here. As such this base is not suitable for displaying an ancient figure,
The third base I looked at consists of a cobblestone floor and pedestal with a cap stone. The pedestal is of a brick construction and so depending on how it is finished could be used with a figure from as early as the Roman Empire. This particular base would be ideal for displaying a figure leaning against the pedestal, or perhaps looking at a map laid on top of it. Depending on how you utilise this base it could be displayed with the back being the front instead.
The fourth and final base in this offering provides a wooden log barrier on a soil base, for me World War One jumped into my mind, but again this type of defensive structure has been used for a very long time, it is likely as old as warfare itself. This particular base could accommodate a couple of figures, such as a figure providing another with a light. Regardless of your decisions the log balustrade at the back does offer a nice back drop to a scene.
These four resin bases by Black Dog are very well moulded, and other than some of them not having been perfectly level when poured, I cannot fault them. The diversity of finish offers a huge range of display options as regards time periods and locations. I really like this aspect of the bases as the raised areas draw the eye of the viewer. All told this is an excellent selection of vignette bases for the display of your figure masterpieces.