Dark Art Miniatures bases – Review

Manufacturer

Product

I had decided to get some pre-cast bases for my 40K army. Dark Art Miniatures range included exactly what I’d been looking for – big discounted sets of bases with different diameters. I bought two of them – rocky and lava bases.

What you get for your money

Each set costs 9.80 GBP and contains 26 resin bases: 20 x 25mm bases, 5 x 40mm bases, 1 x 60mm base. You get a whole lot for what you pay!

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Bases are packed in zip-lock bags
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 60mm base
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 40mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Lava 25mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 60mm base
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 40mm bases
Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review
Rocky 25mm bases

As you can see, bases have different designs. There are enough flat surfaces on every one of them, so there should be no problems with placing and attaching minis to bases. Also, designs are not overly complicated which should save time required to paint them.

Casting quality

Here’s an example of a good cast.

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review

Unfortunately, majority of bases has some casting issues – small air bubbles mainly. You can see it on this photo:

Photo: Dark Art Miniatures bases - Review

Summary

Dark Art Miniatures bases are clearly provided for 40K gamers and they meet almost all gamers’ requirements – proper diameters, different yet simple and well-thought designs, discounted sets.

However, casting quality might discourage some clients from buying these (or returning for more). Personally, I don’t really mind small imperfections, but I’m sure some of customers would disagree with me and demanded better casts (can’t really blame them!).

In my opinion, this is a good product with a good quality to price ratio. I do hope though that Dark Art Miniatures are able to improve casting quality.

Instant Mold review and tutorial

Here is a little tutorial/review for the Instant Mold product that has been released by Cool Mini or Not (called CMON later in this article) some time ago.

Instant Mold review

The product should be available on their website in the Shop section. I’m not going to repeat what this product is aimed for since it’s clearly said in the description.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Instant Mold is cleary a nice product. You can do a lot of things, not everything but still lots. The level of details you can get is just breathtaking (of course it also depends on the original item). With a little training, you can do things like bases, weapons, and some other accessories, reaching a nice level of quality.

Warning: If you’re expecting to have in putty/green stuff/miliput or even resin the exact same quality as the original product, you would be disappointed and you don’t need to read what’s following. Though, if you can live with something that is of a nice quality but not perfect, then, you’re good to go.

CMON said on their website: “Make your own bits” and that is exactly what I needed.

For the record, I started a Salamander army for Warhammer 40K, but even though Games Workshop and Forge World released a few things for this army, they unfortunately forgot (or didn’t want) to add the Salamander’s Insignia in the drop pod kit, so I decided, thanks to the Instant Mold, to make one.

I’m not going to repeat how to use the Instant Mold, it has been seen on CMON website and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials on the web, though it’s always nice to have some little tips which I’ll try to give here.

Here is what I used

  • The item you want to mold (here it’s a FW front door for a Rhino)
  • Instant Mold
  • Something to cut with (scalpel, cutter)
  • Something to pick up the Instant Mold from the hot water
  • A little piece of plastic card
  • Something to make a container/framework for the mold and something to press the item in it (here some Legos, the number is depending on the size of the item you want to mold)
  • Some stuff (here it’s Green Stuff but you can also use Milliput, Putty…)

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

The box

The first thing you want to make is to make the box that’ll be used as container. I tried doing it without and I ended lots of time having parts that weren’t molded properly or bubbles which wasn’t nice. I noticed that with the container everything was molded nicely.

The flat pieces in the bottom are there so that you can press heavily the item in the mold without ruining it with the circles of the Legos

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now that we have everything ready, we can start working with the Instant Mold.

Heating it up

After having put it in hot water (I have a boiling machine like the CMON guy and I put it in a bowl and then through the Instant Mold inside it) and have it ready, I place it in my container. I’m doing this in multiple times to be sure that I don’t have holes in the mold, or stuff that will make the final result crap.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Once you have fill the whole space with the Instant Mold, as you’ll notice, now, there are finger prints and bumps/holes all over the Instant Mold, so to avoid having a bad mold, I put it back like this in the hot water, taking care of not pressing it or whatever to soften it again a little so that I’ll be able to remove the fingerprints and bumps/holes using the plastic card

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Push it!

As you can see, it’s not perfect, but it’s better. If you’re fast, you can directly press your item into the mold (I personally put it back in the hot water one more time, but it’s me) using something to press.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Once you’ve pressed it, you should have something like this:

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now you wait a little so that the mold hardened itself. Don’t try to remove the item from the Instant Mold while the Instant Mold is still soft, you might break some details here (and it’s not what you want). It takes usually 4-5 minutes to be completely hard, so be patient. You can check, while Instant Mold is hardening, if you don’t have bubbles or anything by flipping it.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

If there are bubbles or anything, you should see it clearly. When everything is hard, you can remove the item from the mold.

Cleaning up

Now the next step isn’t necessary, but I found it easier. Cut the part that aren’t necessary

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Molding

Once everything is clean, just prepare and put your putty/green stuff/miliput inside the mold.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now, you just have to wait for it to harden. I personally wait like 8 hours. Why? Simply because I just want to be sure that everything is completely hard, because there are multiples micro details that are so easy left inside the mold.

Done!

Once everything is hard, you can easily unmold it by peeling off the stuff you used from the IM, no need to put the mold in hot water again (especially if you want to re-use it for the same item) because, even when green stuff is still pretty sticky, it won’t stick to the IM. Now you can just see the result.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Do you think Instant Mold is the answer to your needs? Is the quality sufficient? Did you have any problems wih it? Why don’t you share your comments about Instant Mold here?

Thanks,

— Hellspawn