Saturday, July 19, 2014

Basing the Imperial Knight: Dragon Forge

The mailed fist of the Imperium of man!

When I was writing about Forge World’s Cerastus Knight-Lancer a few months back, I mused over basing options for Imperial Knights and ultimately decided that I wanted to use the newly released Dragon Forge resin bases.  To my good fortune, when ordering the bases, I discovered that they had just released a few more variants, increasing their selection to an impressive 13 different styles, including a Tech-deck variant (my favorite of their base themes)!  I recently received the base in the mail and thought that I would show you the process that I went through basing my Knight titan, complete with some repositioning of its feet to fit more flushly on the base .

The Tech-deck Dragon Forge base, solid resin and no bubbles on the surface!

Although I am accustomed to the thick, significant construction of Dragon Forge bases, I was still surprised and impressed upon receiving the base.  It is a single slab of solid resin, with the elevated portion of the base being twice the thickness of the GW plastic counterpart.  The cast was excellent, with very crisp, fine detailing and virtually no bubbles (the bottom of the base has some bubbles, but they are never seen).  The tech-deck bases look as though they are from inside a space hulk, metal grating and steel mesh.  The Knight base has a stepped design, with a portion of the base elevated above the grating.  Although this makes the base more dynamic, conveying a downward stepping motion, it presents a slight problem for the Knight.  Its feet and legs are locked into a single position that only allows it to stand properly on a base that is completely flat.

Due to the stepped design of the base, and the fixed pose of the Knight, you can see that the left foot does not completely fit against the base.

After experimenting with some different placements of the Knight on the base, I found one that I was satisfied with, which had the right leg firmly planted and flush against the base.  Only the left leg had some of its toes elevated off the ground.  I considered trying to find some manner of scrap that I could slide underneath the raised toes, but ultimately decided that might look awkward and would detract from the simple splendor of the base.  Instead, I decided to try to reposition the foot.  I initially started by cutting a little wedge in the top and bottom of the ridged joint piece of each toe with an X-acto blade.  I thought this might allow me to simply bend the toes into position such that they would touch the base.  The plastic ended up being a little too brittle and I broke three of the four toes off completely.  Since I was planning on using green stuff to fill in any gaps anyway, I was not too concerned that they broke off, and simply glued them back into position, angled downward to fit against the base.  Then all that was left to do was fill in the gaps with greenstuff and remodel some of the detail that had been marred, including the rubber jointing and connecting beams.  As I have mentioned many times before, Royal Sovereign Ltd Colour shapers are invaluable for virtually all greenstuff work, and with them I was able to resculpt all of areas that I damaged.

Even though you will not be able to see it, I felt compelled to resculpt the joint regions on the bottom of the foot.

A view from the side, showing the touch-up work done with greenstuff.

After the repositioning, the foot fits nicely against the base. 

Even though it may have been more time consuming and involved than simply shoving some platicard under the foot, I think repositioning the foot was well worth the effort and makes the model look much more natural and complete.  And although the model is not entirely finished (I am considering replacing the heavy stubber, and still need to attach all of the armour plates), I feel the addition of the scenic base goes a long way towards making the model truly come to life.  Instead of looking as though it was just plucked from the 41st millenium and dropped on my tabletop, a plastic shadow of it true self, it seems like it is striding through the ringing confines of a besieged Hive or a void compromised space hulk.  It has been a long process of assembling my first Imperial Knight, but it has been a really enjoyable process and a satisfying one.  If any of you are struggling to come up with a good basing solution for an Imperial Knight, I would strongly suggest you looking into what Dragon Forge has to offer!

-Eric Wier

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