Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Dragon Forge Bases Review

I have been buying products from Dragon Forge for a while now and after receiving my latest order I thought I would do a little something for the occasion.

This is because of two reasons. Firstly I have not seen a lot of in depth reviews out there. Secondly the bases I picked up, namely some of the 'Parched Earth' range, are entirely suitable for use with Necrons (for which the new miniatures are also conveniently out now).

Firstly who or what is Dragon Forge Design?

Looking at the FAQs on his site we get the following;

"In short, it is me :) Jeff Wilhelm, sole owner, creator, worker bee, sculptor, mold maker, caster, packer, shipper and head honcho do it all. Someday I would like to expand my ranks with maybe some freelance sculptors and out source production but until that time is possible I do everything. Some days all I do from the time I get up to when I go to bed is make new bases for you my loyal customers!"

There are also the following galleries of his work;

Portfolio and Golden Demons

Then there is of course his site, which caters largely for the resin base and plinth crowd.

Copyright © 2001-2011 Dragon Forge Design, Inc. All rights Reserved.

There is however a selection of other things including scale icicles, game tokens, heads and the very awesome white metal ribbed cables.

So let's take a closer look at some of his products, namely some of his 'Lost Empires' and 'Parched Earth' bases.

Upon opening the shipping box you should immediately be able to see that each separate item on your order list is neatly packed in separate zip lock bags. Allowing you to quickly check that everything is there, without fail my orders have been complete.

Resin bases have in times past required large amounts of sanding to flatten or level the bottoms. Most commonly single sided moulds that are either over, or under, filled cause this. However I have yet to encounter this issue with bases from Dragon Forge, which usually have very little flash all of which is around the bottom edge.

As a rule resin is known to be plagued with casting issues, especially bubbles that result from mixing the two component parts. They can also be the result of air getting trapped in complex parts of the mould.

I have always been hard pressed to find air bubble or air trap defects in Bases from Dragon Forge. However in this batch I got a surprise. My first ever air trap.

In this case the defect is really simple to fix, I will simply paint it up as if the tip of the crystal had been chipped off.

Keep in mind this defect represents a total defect rate of less than one percent, and even then it is no-where near unusable.

So now that we have checked our bases over there are several things to do before we begin painting. Firstly what we want to do is take a sheet of fine sand-paper, about 800 grit should be good, place the base bottom down on the sheet before making about ten clockwise circles (ok just make circles of about 50mm diameter). Then turn the base on and angle and drag the edge around while turning the base for two full rotations.

This will bevel the bottom edge about 3-5 microns. You want to do this for a couple of reasons.

It will remove the minimal flash to be found on the bases, and secondly the slight bevel will help stop the bottom edge chipping while you game with your miniatures.

Once this is complete I dunk the bases in some Simple Green for about an hour before giving them a scrub with an old toothbrush and then rinse them with water. This will remove any resin dust and mould release agent.

I must point out that all the Dragonforge Bases I have received have had little to no release agent evident, but I wash them anyway.

The final step, before painting, is to prime the bases. Personally I use Tamiya 9Fine Surface Primer, in Light Grey.

While the tin states that it is for metal and plastic I have found it to also work well on resin, provided the resin is properly cleaned. It is also a neutral mid-tone allowing for easier coverage with a wider range of colours. You could also use Automotive Primer; it tends to come in larger tins that cost less, the caveats of which I have discussed here.


So now we are all ready to paint the bases.

Ok so now the final ratings I have for Dragon Forge:

- Ease of purchase: 4/5

The web store is accessible, and safe. Losing a point on the sheer fact there is no local stockist.

- Customer Service: 5/5

Jeff has excellent communications and service skills, keeping you well informed of any changes in his prices and the status of your orders. This is coupled with delivery of your purchases in a timely manner.

- Variety: 5/5

The range of base styles and other goods is really broad, with new products becoming available on a regular basis. There is very little that you cannot get.

- Quality: 4/5

Working with casting resins is an, often, painful experience. However the consistent quality of Dragon Forge Bases is something we can be thankful of. As I previously stated I have found very few problems/defects in the bases I have received.


Overall Rating:

4.5/5

Excellent product and all around good customer service makes this my store of choice when it comes to buying bases.

Coming up:
Tutorial - Painting
'Lost Empires' and 'Parched Earth' Bases

Cheers

Subby

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Back in Action.

Image shamelessly borrowed due to my research into zombie pirates of late....
meanwhile...
I'm Baaaaaa-aaaaack (erm apparently so are the necrons)

Anyway I've been doing bits and pieces while unpacking stuff around work so I thought I would post a few snaps for you all to get things rolling. Note since something odd is happening to Blog edit today, to see the pics full sized you will have to open them in a new window... I don't know why, it is just how it is....

First up some WIP shots of my Nemesis Dreadknight
Assembled and ready to rumble...

Highlights and details to go

The Base all ready for the pinning on (Dragonforge Resin Bases, more about this later)

Just the details to go, both shin armour bits are done and fixed in place.

I will most likely do a little bit of weathering to him when I finish the details, not a whole lot, just a bit of dust around the feet, oil on the hydraulic rams, and scorching on the gun barrels/exhausts.

Then there is my GK Landraider Redeemer With Forgeworld Bits, a somewhat long running project that repeatedly got shelved due to my frustration over the failure of Extra Armour Kit that I was sent. I know, I could have got it replaced, but instead I decided to fix it myself. Long story short, I am finished the interior, the armour is fixed (and pinned on), and I am just modifying the top hull with a few more armoured bits to fit in with the sides. The top is going to be removable so you can see the interior details.

Yes that is a scratch built panel at the back, I was sent two of the same side back panels...
Notice the other gaps filled with plastic-card, yeah that is a 2.5mm gap.


Engine bay interior


More of the interior.

Close-up of the door interior.


Yup the doors open and close properly.

I am also working on some Warmachine stuff, hence the Zombie Pirate research, notably a Cryx Zombie Pirate Army led by Queen Skarre. Lots of zombies, in fact I think I went a bit mad, but I did manage to find a use for my Incursion Miniatures other than playing the game they were intended for... The Bomberzombies in particular add to the chaos, and well they just look like something a Cryx mind could conceive.
Then there is more Grey Knights, and well heaps of other random bits and bobs (in addition to making Home Brew Cider in my off shifts).

Anyways till later
Cheers
Subby

Incoming soon, Mega-Reviews of some new things.
Stay Tuned Gaming Fans.

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Stuff For Sale and A Free Giveaway!

Since I am going away again, and I might be moving again a couple of months after I come back I wanted to put some stuff up here that I am selling so that any interested parties can have a gander.
I also have a give-away going on, details at the end.

Take note that I have grouped them into bundles/lots, I probably won't split them up cause I am selling them cheap.
Note Each bundle/lot has a Flat Rate shipping fee of $5. All payments to be made through PayPal. All Prices in Australian Dollars.


Enquiries can be made via email (found in my blog profile), make a note in the subject line that it is about the stuff for sale.

Lot 1:
First up a pretty much complete Space Marine infantry army consisting of the following:
Cypher
4 x Old School Terminators
3 x Old School Dark Angels Veterans
29 x Marines including; 1 x Metal Plasma Cannon, 1 x Metal Lascannon, 1 x Metal Heavy Bolter, 2 x Missile Launchers, 1 x Plasma Gun, 1 x Flamer, 1 x Meltagun.
All painted to a basic gaming standard and themed as Fallen Angels. If you want to get hold of something for the kids to learn with, or want to expand your army then this may be a good start.
Asking Price: $70

Lot 2:
3 x Metal Empire Greatswords, 2 x Painted, 1 x Unpainted.
Asking Price: $6

Lot 3:
2 x Metal Night Goblin Fanatics, 1 x Metal Squig. All painted to Basic Standards.
Asking Price: $6

Lot 4:
1 x Metal Furiouso Dreadnaught, Assembled and Ready to Paint.
Asking Price: $20

Lot 5:
1 x Metal Dreadnaught with CC and Assault Cannon, Unassembled.
Asking Price: $20

Lot 6:
1 x Old School Chaos Rhino, painted to Basic Standards
Asking Price: $10

Lot 7:
1 x Codex Chaos Marines, (last Edition), Used but in Good Condition
Asking Price: $10

Lot 8:
1 x 6th Ed Warhammer Fantasy Rulebook, Used but in Good Condition.
Asking Price: $20

Lot 9:
1 x Tau Sniper Drone Box Set, New In Box, only opened to check contents.
Asking Price: $20

Lot 10:
1 x OOP Cold One Knights Box Set, circa 2001, New, Box opened but everything is there.
Asking Price $20


Lot 11:
1 x OOP Dark Elf War Hydra, with 2 x Beastmasters, circa 2001. New, Box Opened but everything is there.
Asking Price $20



Lot 12:
1 x Revel 1:76 Scale German Tank Destroyer Kit
Asking Price: $10


Lot 13:
1 x Revel 1:72 Scale German Hummel Kit
Asking Price: $10

I also have one Free LE White Dwarf Miniature to give away, he is missing his axe so I can't justify selling him.
I will be taking the names of both those who email me about the stuff for sale, and those who comment on this post (plus my loyal followers of course), putting them in a hat (in fact the hat below) and finding a beautiful assisstant to draw out a lucky winner (with photos to boot).


I also have a whole heap of PC case mod gear, it is all 12V so it can easily be used to mod Cars too (this is how I got cheap neon strips for under my dash). Selling it cheap, it is all new.

If I get no responses in the next couple of days I will be putting them up for seven day auction on Ebay. I have to have them paid for and shipped by the 14th of July, which is when I have to go away again.