Wednesday, April 22, 2015

REVIEW: Secret Weapon Miniatures Trench Works Basing Kit

Pic taken from Secret Weapon Miniatures

My new Alpha Legion army needed some suitably gritty bases.  Enter Secret Weapon's Trench Works kit.

I've been really eager to get something new going on these Alphas. Having reduced hobby time makes it tough to keep my posts fresh, but new materials makes for interesting posts! I really wanted my Alphas to look like they were on a true battlefield. So often, figures are based on pretty generic terrain, and while that's cool and all I really wanted to tell a story of a battle hardened force. Secret Weapon Miniatures makes a set of scenic elements they call Trench Works. It's designed to look like the trenches of WWI. It comes with gravel, grass, duckboards, and razor wire, plus some glue and water effects.

I'll start the review out by saying, I could do without the tiny bottle of Elmer's Glue. It's the easiest hobby supply in the world to get, and this tiny bottle probably won't get you through all the basing you do with this kit. Don't need it. Don't need to be charged for it. That's about all the negative I've got though.

The rest of the parts of the kit are all available individually on the site, though a lot of them come in larger quantities if sold separately. This kit gives you a nice balance of the pieces without overwhelming you with 18ft of razor wire. A little goes a long way, especially on small bases.

So, for the individual elements. The gravel (ballast) that they give you is fairly generic. I'm going to be painting this stuff, but the color is actually pretty good for brick fragments so I may paint it back to its original color after priming and maybe in the future I'll put it on last after painting. I could go for a plastic container rather than the baggie it comes in, but whatever. It works. The duckboards (that's the boards they put at the bottom of trenches to keep your feet out of the mud and prevent trench foot) are basically balsa strips. You could easily pick some up at your local hobby store if you've got one, but these are convenient and in a good scale for 40k. Balsa also takes scratching, breaking, and carving really easily. Nice.

The Razor Wire is interesting. This is my first experience with brass etch. The detail is great, and it's actually a little bit sharp, so be careful. I'm a little concerned with it latching on to the side of my foam storage trays, but that's the price you pay for looking awesome. It's pretty easy to clip off with the tip of your hobby knife, though you have to be very careful not to cut the wire itself when snipping the tiny runners that hold it in place. Once clipped, it's really easy to bend exactly as you like. This is probably the part of the kit I'm most excited about.

The grass and water effects won't go on until after paint is done, but you don't need a review on grass, and I've covered the water effects on my GK Bases. It's good stuff.

Got carried away on the first attempt- forgetting a figure needed to fit on there too!

Now, for me, trenches weren't going to be enough.  Not that they don't look great, but I wanted some more variety of battlefield debris so I also picked up a bag of Juweela bricks. These are really fantastic. They're actually ceramic, which means they scratch, chip, and break just like real bricks. They've all got fairly sharp corners and edges fresh out of the bag which I feel like you kind of need to knock down with some sandpaper or the edge of your hobby knife. I suppose you could just knead the bag a bit to dull them all down? Once roughed up a bit, they look incredibly realistic and can really add a lot to your bases.

So that's it for this week. I'm really excited to get some color on these and see how they look. They'll get some nice warm toned mud to balance my Alpha blue. I'm still debating a little bit if I want to throw some snow on top of this, but that may be a waste of all this good detail. Just something about the thought of a Demon Prince or a Maulerfiend dripping blood all over a pristine white snow pack that sounds pretty awesome.

Deep thoughts.



  1. I'm sure these will look great when you put them together with your alphas.

  2. Deet,
    Do you mind if I put a snag of this in the "blogger recommendations" section of FYN? I haven't seen someone review one of these before. It's just a short blurb back to your site, (here's the link if you want to verify!).
    (paints weathering section)

    1. there's a few other reviews we've done over the years you can see in the tab at the top, if anything else strikes your fancy.

    2. Aye it's on my to do list. :) Thanks! Was a great review.

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