Coastal Kits is based in Lancashire, UK, and began marketing their own range of display bases at the end of 2012. Since that time, their business has grown and concentrates almost exclusively on printed display bases for just about any type of model you ever wanted to build in just about any scale. Looking thru the offerings on their website is almost overwhelming there are so many choices, and they will even custom-make bases.
The display bases are manufactured from 3mm Foamex board, which feels like a rigid mousepad. The material is basically a waterproof plastic, with a printed display on one side. The pre-printed image is a high-quality image on a laminated, wipeable matt vinyl surface which, according to Coastal Kits will not raise or bubble like it was printed on paper.
This base provides an easy answer to displaying your models. The display base I reviewed is intended to show off your modern 1/35 U.S. AFVs. The display base has an image of a very worn concrete surface that could pass as a street in the Middle East, or a storage or training facility on a base in the U.S. One corner of the model has an American flag printed on it to signify that the model is of an American subject. Coastal Kits provides pre-printed bases like this for a variety of countries, the choice is yours. In addition to trying some armor models on the base, I also tried a 1/72 Apache and think this base could work for some helicopter models too. The printing on the base I reviewed showed no flaws and feels very durable.
Adding the nationality is a nice touch, but in this case, it creates two points for consideration for modelers of American AFVs. First, the flag that is printed shows 50 stars, so you probably want to only display post-1959 armor subjects. However, Coastal Kits has any number of other bases to choose from to allow you to pose just about any model on one of their prepared or custom-made bases. The other concern, which is more pressing, is that the flag printed only shows 12 horizontal stripes, not the 13 representing the original American colonies. I thought this may have been a printing error on my example, but the one on the website and the product packaging is the same.
I really like the idea of these products. I’m always looking for ways to display my models, and for just a few dollars, you can really set your model apart. These display bases are simple and ready to use right out of the package providing a creative and unique way to display your model, rather than just sitting it on a bare shelf or table. You can purchase these bases from a variety of retailers in the United States, or directly from the Coastal Kits website.
This product is highly recommended. Thanks to Coastal Kits and IPMS/USA for this review item.