Belated Happy New Year everyone, I hope you all made the most of your extra day off and got some model making done! This post has been a long time coming ever since the announcement of GW's 32mm base release. Now originally I was not going to switch, having just started the Night Lords project and based thirty or so infantry on the 25mm bases, however I changed my mind after playing about with some old 30mm bases (from Heresy Miniatures). This experiment, naturally resulted in a total change over to the 32mm bases (once I got them). Below is a quick before and after shot of some of my Terror Squad, as you can see the size difference is significant, as is the amount of details you can get onto the base as a result.
*Please note I am well aware of the gaming ramifications and have had debates on this subject, but understand I am looking at this as a model maker and nothing else*
Original 25mm bases
New 32mm Bases
I was in the very fortunate position of having mounted my miniatures on sanded cork bases, this meant it was very easy to slice under the cork and remove the original base. If you have glued directly to the base, you may have some difficulty, but one idea that has cropped up, is trimming the edge of the 25mm base leaving a flat plastic base that can be remounted. As you can see from the pictures above, I have been left with space around the mounting area, which needs to be re-sanded, this gave me an extra opportunity to add details such as broken armour, razor wire and slate debris etc
The Night Raptors were not originally based, so this was a normal basing scenario. As you can see, the additional space on the new 32mm allows you to add much larger base details ie the dead Space Marine on the far right. With original 25mm bases, these types of details looked awkward and resulted in the miniatures being top heavy - especially jump infantry. With jump infantry starting to look more and more dynamic with each generation of release, the 32mm will be integral during games, which require placement on areas with any form of gradient.
Above is an early shot of my Night Lords Praetor, he is armed with a Nostraman Mancatcher from Horus Heresy Book 4: Conquest. Still very early days, as he needs some hair, strips of flesh and general detailing with sculpting putty, but despite this I am pleased with the way he is turning out. Should I end up using Sevatar in the future, he will make for a nice Legion Champion or Command Squad member. Again you see how much detail has been crammed on the new 32mm base, it really does make the model look imposing, which is really the right direction for Space Marines in general.
Ok some slightly negative thoughts on the 32mm bases...And please note, there is some speculation here.
Last month we saw these bases given to Necron Warriors. Now while I can see them needing these bases due to wide stances, this move in some ways vindicates naysayers claims that this is a total change over. While I think the base re-size is great for larger infantry such as Ork Nobz, I would not agree with using them with say Imperial Guard and Gretchin. A large base needs a large figure to go with it and I honestly think it would be ridiculous to see 'normal' human miniatures on 32mm bases. There are other models that fall into this category such as Gaunts, Eldar and Chaos Cultists all of which sit comfortably on the current 25mm base. The only way to justify supplying 32mm bases with all 40K miniatures is if GW increases the average scale of it's entire range, which leads me to this final caveat...
Some rumours have been flying around about new Chaos Space Marine miniatures, namely Death Guard/Plague Marines plastics. One of the rumour mongers stated that the new models he/she has seen, were much larger to make better use of the new bases. Now again this is fine, if the limit is too miniatures that should be large in terms of background, however if all miniatures in the GW range use 32mm bases, then it is possible to theorize a scenario where GW is planning a across the range scale creep as part of it's 10 year business plan. Now if this is the case, this would be the one true time when the statement of 'having to buy a whole new collection' would actually be valid, and quite frankly I think that would be the move that ultimately sinks the ship. Before anyone jumps the gun, I am not talking about a immediate overnight shift to larger scale, the cost of re-tooling would kill the company; but a staggered release of larger scales models over a 10 year period, which is something very probable, considering the number of new plastic releases 2014 saw...
In regards to 32mm and Horus Heresy fans, I did actually call Forge World concerning the 32mm bases and they stated that they have no plan currently to switch to 32mm and that I should check with my opponents if they are ok with gaming against my 32mm Night Lords force. Lucky for me, my buddies are more preoccupied with seeing fully painted armies than winning a game (thanks guys!) but I am sure someone is going to give me a hard time in the future when I start playing away from home.
Thanks for reading,
The 14th Legion