Back when I started the Iron Warriors I envisioned them on an “Armies on Parade” style display with defensive troops firing from trenches while the assault elements storming forward to breach the walls. With that in mind, trench-line and/or rubble-strewn bases were a must. Unfortunately, I was spending so much time and creative energy on building the troops and vehicles that I had little left for basing. I decided early on to see if I could find third-party bases that would fit my vision.
Now, I had shopped resin bases before. I'd even used them on my "Do-It-Yourself Space Marine Company" project a couple years earlier. My biggest problem then, and to be honest still is, that most companies only offer 10-20 troop-sized bases in a given style or range. Not a problem for your smaller skirmish games like Malifaux or Infinity, but when you're putting 50+ basic infantry on the table, the cooler, more characterful, and more intricately detailed your base is, the more easily you and your opponents will recognize repetition. That cool base with the busted statue head is awesome, but loses its luster when it's in every squad. You can mitigate this by going with a company's less detailed, more generic bases… But where's the fun in that?
I kept finding bases that could work, but no single company had a range big enough to avoid the dreaded repetition. That is, until I looked at Dragon Forge Designs. On initial glance, I should have been turned off by the standard 10-20 bases per range. However, unlike most their competition, they had several ranges with a bit of aesthetic overlap. As I looked through their catalogue, I realized I could probably mix and match multiple sets in a way that maintained both unit theme and army cohesion. With a plan in mind, I ordered bases from the Desert Wasteland series (RBDW-001, RBDW-002), Wasteland II series (RBWL2-001, RBWL-002, RBWL2-005, RBWL2-006) and the Urban Rubble series (RBUR-003).
When they arrived, I was impressed with the casting. Crisp details with no discernible bubbles in the “face” of the base. They come exactly as advertised.
Dragon Forge 25mm Bases: store's (l), mine (r)
Dragon Forge 60mm Bases: store's (l), mine (r)
Aside from a few minor quibbles with large pieces of easily removed flash and bubbles on base rims, also easily fixed, I have no complaints. At a price point of $1 each for the 25mm, these bases are a steal. $5 a pop for 60mm bases is less of a steal, but completely reasonable if you need 60mm bases to match the aesthetic of the smaller offerings.
I had used the pics from the site to make a tentative plan as to what units would get what bases. It worked, for the most part, with only a few minor changes to balance ratios of detail.
Dragon Forge Bases: laid out by squad for my Iron Warriors
I painted up a few of them back in 2012 trying to come up with color schemes. They paint up easily and take to washes and dry-brushing well. Because I never found a color scheme I liked, I can also tell you that they’ll need a couple dunks in Simple Green before you can strip them fully. This isn’t a fault so much a testament to Dragon Forge’s detail.
I’ve painted them all “for reals” now (post coming soon) and a quick look at the site shows Dragon Forge's prices are still good with new bases in some of the lines I've used! I'll happily be ordering from Dragon Forge later this year when I expand the army. I’ve already got my eye on some 40mm bases...