Wednesday, January 30, 2019

Heroforge Custom Miniatures Review - DS

I was very excited about Heroforge when I first read about it on the web.  For those who don't know is a website that allows people to design their own custom miniatures.  Using the browser and 3d paper doll like function, you dress and equip your character using the variety of options available.  The figures are made using a 3d printer process.  There are a number of genres including, modern, fantasy, old west, and sci-fi.  You select the category of item or feature, click on it and it appears on your miniature.  There is some scaling for body size, from halfling to half-orc, and build and muscularity of characters as well as adjustment to face for expressions.

I have always been looking for the ultimate miniature for my AD&D paladin character I played in the 80s and 90s.  He had 2 henchmen, and I decided to make them too.  I have other versions of my characters from pre-existing miniatures lines (provided by Reaper, Red Box Games and Games Workshop), but I wanted to bring them to life with the Heroforge.

Freiderick the Halbardier, Saladian the Just, and Thomas (the Archer.)
When I initially saw finished Heroforge figures, and was reading web reviews of the products, they came in two plastic material options.  One was fine detail, and the other was strong plastic.  The fine detail miniatures had very crisp detail but had a fuzzy look from the 3d printing process.  It reminded me of a bad spray primer job when the paint mist dries a little bit when going through the air and leaves a layer of particles on the surface of the figure.  Although the detail on these figures looked great, the texture was a bit off putting for painting.  The fine figures were also brittle, and a one foot drop to a hard surface could take off weapons or an arm.

The other material option they had was strong plastic.  It was less expensive.  This material was much more sturdy and could survive incidental drop, but it lacked crisp detail.  I saw some example of them painted and was not overly impressed.

So, I played around with the creator, but never ordered anything

The characters on the outside are the regular Plastic materials and the black one in the center is the Premium Plastic.

I infrequently checked the website to see what new weapon, clothing, and other options they added.  One that particularly got my notice was they had changed materials.  They had a "premium plastic" version, that is a black plastic that vaguely resembles hard model plastic.  I ordered one premium model of my character (center of pictures above.)  It was free of the fuzzy texture and seems very sturdy (aka like a hard plastic GW model.)  I was very happy with how it turned out, and they were priced $29.99.

The regular "plastic" came in at $19.99.  The models come primed.  I ordered my character's 2 henchmen in that material to see what it was like.  I was quite pleased with how they came out.  The detail is not as high as the premium plastic, but I have no complaints.

Size comparison.  Converted GW Rohan Sgt, Heroforge, Reaper Hellknight Captain.
GW Imp Advisor, Reaper General Drake, My Heroforge Archer, GW Espern Locarno

Red Box Games, Heroforge, Hasslefree

The size of the miniatures is a bit of a guess.  There are sliders for height, weight, build, (and muscularity), and all these add to the bulk of the figure.  With all the sliders there is no measurement other than looking at the size change on your screen.  With height -you don't really have an idea of what size it's actually going to turn out.  Also the base is shorter than a typical slotta base so that's going to take a few mm off the total height.  I mostly use regular slotta bases on all my minis.  If the figure is not set up for a slotta base, and I don't feel like clipping/ razor work to convert it, I will glue them to a Renedra flat base if it will turn out roughly the same as slotta base height.

Slotta Base, Heroforge, Renedra flat base

I am planning on making a Warhammer 40k character using the Heroforge site.  I will push his height up a bit on the scale (from where their default height starts,) so he isn't too small.  The size I made my three fantasy rpg characters is a bit bigger than Red Box and Hasslefree figures (my favorite scale.)  In retrospect I might take a little off of what height I made them if I had had a better idea of how they would turn out.

In closing I have to give Heroforge a big thumbs up.  The $19.99 models lived up to my expectations.  The $29.99 were better, but I think I am going to go for numbers rather than the additional quality (except for special characters.)   

My advice to anyone buying one for the first time:  Play around with all the features and poses.  Explore the items and clothes and the scaling of body measurements.  There is a considerable amount of content to explore to create your own character.

Now I have to get these guys painted up!.  :)

Dave of the Dale Wardens Verdict:
Thumbs up to Heroforge Miniatures.  Well done sir!

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