I first saw these textured rolling pins last year on the prize support table during MuseOnMinis Wargaming Convention. GreenStuffWorld donated a bunch of stuff for prize support and these glass cylinders were part of their donation. They look unlike any other wargaming accessory I’ve ever seen before; I wasn’t sure if they were supposed to help my bases look cool or if they were going to power my time-machine. However, after being reassured that they would improve my bases I decided to take the leap of faith and ordered myself a sampler platter of rolling pins. There are multiple varieties of sets but the order I placed included the following:
– 1 rolling pin plain (no texture) – used for initially flattening the putty to smoothen the surface before using the other rollers.
– 1 rolling pin Runic
– 1 rolling pin Celtic
– 1 rolling pin Frozen
– 1 rolling pin Wood planks
– 1 rolling pin Factory ground
Now, there are a plethora of video reviews on how to use the textured rolling pins so I won’t bother with re-explaining what is already out there on Youtube. The simple fact is these things work. However, just because a product is functional doesn’t mean it is accessible. Anything can look great if you hire a studio painter. But I’m not a professional, I am an average painter who relies on average basing techniques. I wanted to know if an average painter could use these textured rolling pins to create bases that were easy enough to paint so that the finished result looked as good or better than the standard glue-gravel-and-flock-bases that I currently lean on for everything.
And in seven easy steps I now have ten stone bases. On their own they look okay, not great, not awful, but okay. To get a better idea of how well GreenStuffWorld bases compare to standard bases requires miniatures on bases, so here is a picture of three Guildball Butchers I based earlier.
As you can see, once miniatures are applied (and Adobe Lightroom), the textured bases look much better and stand up very well in my opinion next to the standard gravel base. However, just like painting has a learning curve, so too does basing. For example, I applied way to much snow to Ox’s base which covers up most of the runes the textured rolling pin created. Also, if you look closely at Princess’s base, you’ll see the textured area overlaps the lip of the base.
The cost of these rolling pins will almost certainly deter some people. I believe I paid $53.00 + shipping for my set of six. Some people will say this investment is trivial because you get the ability to create infinite bases. I don’t know about you but I don’t need infinite bases, so let’s analyze this cost a different way. I could buy nine swanky looking resin bases from CoolMiniorNot for $11 + shipping. So, in order to get my moneys worth on my GreenStuffWorld investment, I’ll need to make at least 45 bases. Is that realistic? For me it is. I play Warmachine and that alone is going to give me an opportunity to use 45 bases. I also dabble in other skirmish wargames so I could realistically make about 50-70 bases. But what if I only played a game with a smaller model count like Infinity or Guild Ball? If that was the case then I would not recommend buying a bundle of these rolling pins. Instead, you could purchase a single rolling pin for roughly the same cost of a ten-pack of the competitor’s resin bases. If the single rolling pin only offered one textured option then I would not recommend doing this, however, the surface area of each rolling pin is pretty large and there are multiple patterns on most of the rolling pins. Because of the variety, I think even purchasing a single rolling pin would be a decent alternative to buying a pack of resin bases. However, it is important to note that a single rolling pin purchase would not get you the smooth no-texture rolling pin that I used to prep my putty before rolling it with the textured pin and that could make things a lot harder.
After painting a dozen of GreenstuffWorld’s textured bases I’m convinced that they can provide an attractive alternative to my normal basing techniques. They are very accessible to a novice like me. And even though I haven’t put a miniature on all of the different textures yet, I have created bases with each and I’m happy to report that none of the rolling pins are duds. At the end of the day though, just remember that these rolling pins are simply providing you with tools to apply a new technique to your minis. Don’t expect to be a master of textured bases on your first or even second try. It would be like purchasing a double-sided brush and expecting to be a master of two-brush blending. But with more practice, I’m sure I can create even more beautiful bases.
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