I think it’s inevitable that a modeler will search for ways to improve their model in any way possible. One of the best ways is to look for aftermarket accessories. (Except photoetch… bleh… 😉 ) So as I’ve progressed in my “genre expansion”, it has not surprised me to find that the same types of extra detail parts available in the aircraft world can also be found for Gunpla, scifi, and Warhammer 40K.
One particular area really caught my eye. I’ve noticed that quite a few of the folks who build and showcase their work online used some incredible bases that were obviously not just a process of adding items to the kit bases, but rather amazingly detailed single cast pieces. Not being familiar with the aftermarket channels for the genre, I wasn’t sure what were some good sources. (And, admittedly, being a bit lazy, I didn’t spend much time looking… 😉 )
Thankfully, Rob Baer over on Spikey Bits came to the rescue with a very timely video on the subject, and introduced me to Elrik’s Hobbies.
In the video, he showed a 100mm base that was the perfect size for a Warhammer 40K Armiger Helverin from Citadel that I’m working on. The particular base he showed was from Elrik’s City Ruins line of bases. I took one look at the plain, flat base that came with the kit, and the choice was clear – it’s resin time, baby! 🙂
Elrik’s Hobbies site has a wide selection of product principally suited for the tabletop gamer, including resin bases and accessories, basing material, and painting tools and supplies. Even if you’re not a desktop gamer though, you may find plenty of material suitable for dioramas of any sort, whether it be traditional military modeling, scifi, or other genres.
I zeroed in on the 100mm bases, and after looking at the various categories defined by landscape type, I chose the base Rob had shown in his video, a great looking selection from the City Ruins round bases collection, for the very nice price of US$7.50. Placing the order in their online cart was no problem, and I quickly received an order confirmation. A few days later, a shipping confirmation showed up, and a few days after that, I had my resin base in hand. (I actually ordered two!)
The piece is cast in a lighter gray resin, and it’s really a stunning piece of artwork. (Yes – artwork!) The attention to detail is evident throughout.
The base features exposed underground pipework, sandbags, a wonderfully textured cloth tarp, gorgeous tile work, some steel I-beams sticking up, and enough broken bits and textures to allow for some amazing depths and highlights to show off your finishing techniques. There are even a couple of the Warhammer “mandatory” skulls included along one side of the base.
The piece is cast very cleanly too – very little in the way of pinholes, and none that I observed which will require anything more than a bit of Mr. Surfacer to deal with. The photo of the tarp texture below is zoomed in quite a bit, and it exaggerates some holes there, but at normal viewing distance, they’re not anything I’ll even address, other than normal painting and weathering.
A test placement of the Armiger Helverin’s legs onto the base showed it to be a great fit, too, so I was quite pleased with that. If I’d have waited to glue the feet to the legs until after I’d purchased the base, I’d likely have had even more options for placement. (Live and learn…)
I think the only concern I have about the piece is wondering whether my finishing skills are at the level to do this base justice! It could just about be a finished display piece on its own.
While this is the only product I’ve ordered from Elrik’s so far, I can guarantee I will be buying more. Excellent quality at a very reasonable price is always a welcome addition to my modeling desk.
Be sure and visit the Elrik’s Hobbies website, and give them a like on Facebook too so you can keep up with their latest news.
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