Monday, September 03, 2012

Plastic Bases from Fortress Figures

What's great about the hobby of miniature painting is that everyone within the hobby treats your interest more like family - from conventions, to group get togethers, and even the vendors themselves.

Earlier in the year I was at my local gaming store and happened to come across an old box of bases by Fortress Figures (I had to blow some dust off it). They were 1" square bases - the type that had a recess where the figure could be placed (good for Reaper, Ral Partha, RAFM, etc. - putting them on a base helps stabilize them during in-game use). Many of the older figures from Fortress Figures came with this type of basing prior to the more popular slotta base.

I love the 1" square base with recess as I have for years purchased the Reaper base 74006 - 1" square bases from metal so that my figures didn't fall over during an rpg session. Unfortunately, as much as I love them, the price of metal has skyrocketed and Reaper reduced the number of bases in the package from 4 to 3 while the price has gone up to $8 - that's almost $3 a base - add that to every figure in my collection and it becomes quite costly.

I tried out those plastic bases by Fortress Figures and you can see the results with my Mushroom Men and Skeletons. The plastic base sits a little taller than the metal base, but I've found since that using a nice gritty sand paper (T2) can reduce that down a bit while making sure the plastic is level on the bottom (the plastic bases have a tendency to be a bit more warped out of the box than the metal).

The above sample picture shows a Reaper figure in a metal base, and then another in a plastic base. The third is after I fill the base with drywall compound (I let that dry and then carve my dungeon path) and the fourth is the new Reaper Bones mini in a filled in plastic base.

I went back to my local gaming store and I couldn't find another package - as mentioned, the one there had quite a bit of dust on it. So I contacted Fortress Figures directly - showed them some pictures - and asked if they had any more of those plastic bases. I received a reply from Jeff Rodman (owner of Fortress Figures) that it had been several years and he'd dig out the mold for me and see if it was still viable. It was and he made me a batch of 50 for $25 - that's $0.50 each - a heck of a lot better than $3 for metal. Particularly for the new Bones miniatures by Reaper - there's absolutely no reason to put a $3 metal base on a $2 plastic figure! Plus, it gives that plastic Bones figure a solid base so it won't get knocked over during game play!

Nice to know that there's great customer service with folks who care. With all those new Reaper Bones (I pledged at the Vampire level), I'm sure that I'll be ordering another 50 -100 bases from Jeff and Fortress Figures.

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