As a roleplayer, it’s often a challenge finding a miniature that’s -just right- to represent my characters. That somewhat changed a few years back when Heroforge started producing customizable miniatures, taking advantage of advances in 3-D printing and designing a fairly robust website that let clients choose just what components they wanted for their figures. Different races, different poses, different equipment loadouts; it quickly became a quick and easy way to design character visuals, and most of my D&D Beyond character sheets have a Heroforge headshot.
Last year, Heroforge kicked it up a notch by adding custom colorization of your figure, and the option to have your model printed in glorious technicolor. As someone who enjoys the act of painting, this feature didn’t immediately appeal to me personally, but I totally get that there’s a lot of gamers out there who don’t enjoy painting, so for them it as an amazing opportunity.
Roll it forward to the recent holiday season and early January, and I got older, and my stepson decided he’d like to buy me a Heroforge model. This presented what we in the blogging world call an opportunity. I’m always keen to have more minis in my collection, and now we had a chance to not only get a mini for another of my PC’s, but also to see what Heroforge‘s colored models come out like!
Enter: Lago Ratburgher, Halfling Rogue drafted into the Ratburgh constabulary to serve as an archer.
Let’s be clear, this isn’t my first Heroforge model, so I knew to expect possible layer lines from the printer, and we got them. The graininess hasn’t been evident on all of the Heroforge models I’ve painted in the past, but it’s not unknown. The point of all this, though, was to look at the color.
Realistically I knew not to expect the same lustre and vibrancy that we got on the 3-D render, but I’ll confess I expected a little more than we actually got. The coins on the base are a dull yellow, the arrowhead and helm are greys – it may just be that metallics aren’t really dialed in yet – and the three gemstones on the base are all quite dull.
Conversely, I was impressed by the precision. Each quilted diamond of the armor has a darker center and lighter edges as portrayed in the render; the blue trim is spot on, as is the trim around the kneepads. There’s even color variation in the skin under his cheekbones.
What made me smile, oddly enough, was the shiny spot on the helmet. That white spot near the front right of the helm’s crown is present both in the render and on the model – they’ve got color gradation doing a pretty good job of presenting reflective surfaces on steel, even if the coins in the sack do look a little like ravioli. I mean, he -is- a halfling, it’s totally understandable if he’s been looting pasta.
As someone who enjoys painting, I will likely not be relying on Heroforge for color printed models. I’ll happily use Heroforge for custom figures, but I’ll tackle the color chores myself – both because painting is a big part of the hobby for me, and because I like my models to have stronger saturation. For a non-painter, though, someone who may not be into painting ? The color service provides a simple, straightforward way to put your favorite character on the tabletop.