A while back I was the lucky recipient of a set of Dragonforge Designs Lost Empires bases. Jeff ran a contest on his blog for $50 of product from the Dragonforge shop and the fates were in my corner (for once)! I had seen the Lost Empires set while digging around their site a few times before, and knew where my winnings would go.
The package arrived in a small flip top box, and I immediately went to cutting the tape to get to the fresh resin inside. One of the first things I noticed was the coloring, it's not the same resin I've come accustomed to from the likes of Forgeworld. This resin has a lot more heft to it, it has a more solid feel, and even seems to have some plastic like qualities. It's hard to explain, but I really like the material and wouldn't mind seeing more companies using it.
The amount of flash and clean up was almost negligible. You can see in the photo above a good indicator of what most of the bases looked like right out of the baggies. I just ran a sculpting tool along the edge and was finished! You'll notice that there isn't any pitting or miscast details on the base, with a fantastic level of detail, just look at the surface of each hex for an indicator of the quality of each cast!
I really enjoy all of the variety of the bases, with 10 different 25mm bases, it's easy to mix things up a bit and should you need additional variety, a little fine sand will easily do the trick on the less elaborate bases. The larger pieces have a few really special details, like the statue heads and large yin-yang flooring. This is one of the few sets out there that walks the line between exceptional detail and functionality. A lot of good flat surfaces for mounting models, with creative and well executed detailing.
The biggest tell for quality when you're talking bases is always the bottom, and as you can see in the above, Dragonforge passes with flying colors in this area. The bottoms of the bases are good and level, no worries about off balance figures from a leaning base. They are also relatively free of pitting, only two small pits in even the largest base I picked up. This sort of pride in their product is evident from first glance to finished base, and really speaks volumes for the sort of pieces they are trying to produce from even a small home grown effort.
Overall, if they've got a set you've been eying for that next project, I say pull the trigger and pick them up. You won't be disappointed, and will have saved a few hours sculpting, carving and detailing the bases yourself. Just be sure you pin those metal models down!
I hope this small look at this wonderful set helped those of you looking to make a purchase in the future. I'll definitely be looking to do some additional reviews of this nature in the future. If you have any experience with Dragonforge products, we'd like to hear about it!