Sunday, December 27, 2015

Heroforge Miniatures Review - Schlemazal

I've been keeping an eye on Hero Forge Miniatures since their kickstarter went live. For those of you who haven't heard of them before, Hero Forge makes custom 3D-printed miniatures designed with a web interface where you can pick from libraries of parts (heads, torsos, limbs, weapons, armor, handheld items, etc) with options for fantasy, scifi, western, modern or east-asian genre styles and quite a few different poses.
A dwarven rogue I threw together using the Hero Forge interface.
Though their parts libraries aren't massive (yet), the concept always had me really interested, so when I was recently commissioned by a friend to paint a pair of Hero Forge minis, I figured it would be a good time to post my thoughts about the end product. Both miniatures were printed with their 'Ultra Detail Plastic' which boasts a good paintability and a high level of detail, but low durability (as opposed to their 'Strong Plastic', which is supposed to be much less detailed and rougher, but more durable. Also cheaper, though I haven't seen the end product).

Straight off the bat, I got to see that one-star durability in action. One miniature was posed with only one leg on the base, and it had snapped at the ankle in transit from the commissioner (I do want to stress this was not from the company, it was repackaged to send to me), requiring me to pin the leg. Later, a short tumble snapped the quarterstaff off, though some superglue easily repaired the problem. The detail held by the plastic was actually impressive, though the sculpts themselves are limited due to the fact that all the parts are meant to be modular and somewhat generic in their system. There was, however, definitely a rough surface texture to both models.

Spray primer worked just fine on the two, though a thinner layer is recommended or you start to lose what detail is present. Once primed, I had very little difficulty with painting. It was basically the same as working with any other wargaming miniature. The rough texture remained present throughout, though in the end I think the only place the models suffered for it were in the faces where a little roughness can make a huge difference in the final appearance.

Overall, I enjoyed working with these two miniatures. At $25 each, I think they're probably a bit too expensive for most applications - the rough surface, fragility, and the medium level of detail born of modular parts work against the customization for value. While Hero Forge has a cheaper plastic variant, given the roughness present in their higher end material, I'm not really sure I want to see what those look like. That being said, if you're looking for a miniature for an RPG character and can't find one that fits, or you need a specific set of weapons, gear and posing, Hero Forge is definitely a solid choice. Hopefully they'll continue to build their parts library and increase the level of detail they can manage.

I'll leave you here with some more pictures of the completed miniatures:
This is labeled as the 'Come at me bro' pose. Bonus points for style.
The bamboo flooring base was really well made