Wednesday, May 15, 2013

A Bucket full of Awesome

     So, I recently became aware of a company called Firebucket Games.  They produce resin bases, terrain options, and are working on production for an MDF table.  What makes that so special, you ask?  Quality... a level of quality that I've never seen out of an independent before.  Don't believe me?  Take a closer look. Step into my parlor... you might want to leave your credit card at home though.

     So this company, see, they make bases.  The make terrain.  They're made out of resin.  Now, "resin" comes in a lot of different levels of quality- from stuff I wouldn't want to regrout my toilet with, to high enough quality that prosthetic limbs and spaceship parts are made from the stuff.  I'm not saying I'm willing to go to space on these bases... but I know who to call if I suddenly need  a bionic finger or something.  I had been planning on not showing these at all until I got them painted up... but I just couldn't help myself.  They're too damned pretty to not start goobing about now!

     (Disclaimer:  all the resin pieces showed up in perfectly clean white resin.  You can see them on their page. Personally, I thought they were too "clean and polished" to photograph well, so I primed them white and gave them a sepia stain to show the details better.)  

     Let's start with this terrain piece.  A rather normal, unobtrusive defensive line.  Except that it is done in an art deco style- which, as far as I know, makes it incredibly unique on the market.  it's the same length as the defensive lines for the major games.  Oh, and it comes in 4 pieces- 2 long sections, two cornering sections.  That have pre-drilled and pre-installed magnets.  That's some nice service there.  It allows for a pretty good variety of setups.  I'm right now starting to paint this one up, and have it drilled for a PoweredPlay light kit... keep your eyes glued to this channel for that guy, all prettied up, by the weekend.  

      A statue base or plinth.  Again, nothing unheard of... just very high quality.  Perfectly designed to drop your 25mm rounder on top of, or to set the model on without it.  The nameplate wraps halfway around the plinth. The rope work carved into it is a really nice touch, and as you can see from the picture, the whole thing takes to stain very, very nicely.  You can two step or three step this one and have it look good, or go to town with it working in a lot of weathering and verdigris, because there's sufficient surface for it.  

Here's a selection of 25mm "Tile City" urban bases.  What struck me about these was the variety- not simply "curb and sidewalk and street" motifs  but a little more of the decorative stonework you might expect say in a mall flooring on some, and one has a circular piece on it that can either be decorative flooring, or a metal plate covering.  A lot of options for imagination and specific paint schemes- work equally well in modern or scifi.  The curb piece again has some nice decorative small tiles along the edge, just begging for a little extra attention to take your basing to the next level.

     Here's a pair of the 40mm bases of the same set.  Same neat looking "decorative tile" and curb we had seen before, but the curbed piece also includes a drainage run... all sorts of devious ideas spring to mind with how to paint that.  Added rusty metal?  A line of blood?  A trickle of water effects to add to a wet Blade Runner-esque basing motif?  There's a lotof options presented in a simple palate that will not take away from your model, but instead enhance it.  

     30mm "Crystal Field" bases. Now, I've seen a lot of these done up over the years for everyone's (least) favorite robots, but these really took my breath away.  The sculpt and design work was incredible, and didn't just look like "little prisms trying to be big ones to scale" like so often happens.  These actually had the appearance of gigantic terminations, right down to subtle veining in the geological structure. You can make some of it out in the blown up images... but sadly not enough. I"m hoping that once painted up these will be much more photogenic, because I just couldn't manage to do them justice with the camera.

     "Crystal Fields" at the 40mm base size. While these duplicate the elements seen in the 30mm, the added area allows for more variety of ballast.   These guys are about as far from "flat" as you can get.  Really top notch stuff on these, and it's nice seeing so many varieties in the same set, rather than the old fashion "2 of A, 2 of B, one of C" kind of build.  If you had enough 40mms in your force that you started to overlap, I think it'd be pretty easy to "break" one of the standing terminations to incorporate more designs. 

   The Big 50mm for the "Crystal Fields."  Standing and broken terminations, and a lot of varied ballast.  Again, this will nicely add to any model put on it, without detracting from the model itself.  TokenGamerChic snagged all of these right away, to use for her Dark Age Dragyri force.  I made her promise she'd get some painted up so you could see the finished products.  With her very "watercolor like" painting techniques, I tihnk these will look really impressive.  Stay tuned on that one.

      And now's where we start to get into some really artistic, never before seen stuff.  These are from their newest set, Boardwalk Bayou Bases.  These are 30mm bases we're looking at.  The old dead wood has incredible texture (TokenGamerChic actually sat and counted the rings in one of the trees!) but what really drives these home is the dockwood and the ferns.  There's some serious designing at work here.  Unlike a lot of custom bases where you get "fill ins" to make the molding process easier, these guys are very lifelike and have those empty spaces where empty spaces should be.  The water effects has just enough texture to make it obvious that it's water without going overboard (no pun intended), and the dockboards have enough texture that you can see it even in the small picture- the heavy bolts are perfectly sized as well.  The ferns are such a stroke of genius that I actually had to ask what they were made out of, because I couldn't tell.  They look incredibly lifelike- not too thin like you get from brass, not too thick like normally occurs with sculpted leaves.  

     For the squarebasers out there, these are 40mm "Forest Floor" bases.  I also have some 20mm squares, but again the details were just too difficult to make out even with the sepia- I'll show you those once they're painted up.  These 40mm sqaures are a bit easier to "read" in the sepia- nice variation of ballast which seems to be a trademarked quality of FireBucket, and again ferns and fallen wood that is simply unbelievable.  It almost made me pull out wood elf models. Belgarath97 was all but jumping up and down complaining that these weren't (yet?) available in lipped rounders, because he has a whole force he'd love to put on them.  I guess he'll just have to look forward to rebasing his models in the future...

     Just to add the cherry to the top of all this, FireBucket is currently developing a line of MDF buildings and scatter terrain, as well as an MDF urban board to match this whole art deco style.  With so many of us pledged up on Warzone, I think this terrain pattern is a no-brainer:  it will help to give your Warzone battlefields a unique look and feel far more matching of the old graphics than anything else I know of on the market.  Not to mention, at this point the definitive lack of skulls is appreciated.  Who ever thought we'd get worn out of skulls?  Too much of a good thing I guess.

     I know I just threw a lot at you.  Take your time, come back and look at  them again later, I don't mind.  Even better, head over to FireBucket's Ebay page.  Their website is not yet open for business... but you better believe good readers I'll let you know as soon as it is.  For now, keep your eyes peeled for that FireBucket Deadline/PoweredPlay Alpha Lighting Kit combo coming later this week, and hopefully soon a rundown of some painted bases.  Also, if you've used any FireBucket bases or terrain before, why don't you leave a comment below?  I'll see you on the other side of the table.

The Second Class Elitist

1 comment:

  1. Their MDF building seems very nice and the bayou base... Venus themed army anyone? Good pick again for my armies, bad for my wallet..'