Friday, September 18, 2020

Hero Forge Full-Color Custom Miniature Kickstarter Review

Back in February of this year, Hero Forge had a Kickstarter end for a custom prepainted 32mm miniature. I think anyone who plays with miniatures, particularly around the 28-32mm range, eventually wants a miniature of themselves. I've been on the fence for a few years now about ordering my own miniature from them and when I found out that they had a Kickstarter for a custom miniature that would also be prepainted when printed I figured it was time to order a MiniMe.

The Kickstarter campaign lists a delivery date of June 2020 but anyone who's backed a Kickstarter campaign knows that they are almost always delivered late. Now, this Kickstarter finished right as the Global Pandemic was ramping up so I assumed that the combination of these two factors would have my miniature arriving later than June. Add to that the fact that Hero Forge was5455454242422 producing miniatures starting with the first backers and since I was near the end I figured it would be awhile.

So cut to August 31st and I decided that enough time had gone by that I should put my order in. I put my order in and I get an estimated ship date of the end of October. Cut to September 14th and to my amazement I find my mini in the mailbox nearly a month and a half early so I was pretty excited.

First thoughts on this miniature and I have to say it looks great. I knew that the computer-generated 3D model would lose some detail when it was printed but I have to say that it lost very little. All the little details are there and I would put the quality between a Heroclix miniature and a metal mini from a reputable company, closer to the metal mini than the Heroclix in detail.

My mini is 34mm tall from the bottom of his feet to the top of his hat. As far as the actual miniature I would say he came out looking very good. My only gripe with him is his lever-action rifle on his back has a bit of a warped barrel. It isn't very noticeable and you have to look for it to see it so overall I'm not too concerned with it.

The real question is how does the paint job look and I have to say I think it looks pretty good. A little worse than I had hoped for but better than I thought it would look if that makes sense to you. For the most part, everything is painted correctly but there are a few issues.

First off I would say that the mini looks shiny in places, in particular, his blue shirt is lighter on the front side and the back is darker and shiny. Also, his revolver is dark on the bottom and lighter on the top. The only other major issue I can see is that on his open hand the top side is light while the bottom, or palm side, is much darker like a brown than the light skin tone that is on the rest of the flesh.

When I ordered this mini I had to decide on what I wanted for myself as a miniature. I play a lot of World War One and Two miniature games and I decided that a mini for those games isn't necessary because with the uniforms and weapons all that would be unique would be the face and I decided that it wouldn't be worth it. Right now the only other two games I play with miniatures are Old West and Post Apocolypse games so that is how I came up with the design for my miniature.

I figured that an Old West mini would work just fine in the Post Apoc so I designed it as a western mini. I mean really all he is wearing is a cowboy hat, boots, black pants, and a blue shirt so he could also be used in a modern setting to defend against zombies.

As far as the cat, well they allowed me to add something to the base for free so I put a mini of a cat to represent my cat in real life. Originally I was planning on cutting him off the base and basing him by himself but now that I have it in hand I'm a little afraid that I could ruin it so I think the kitty will stay where he is for the time being. If anyone out there knows a way to remove him without damage let me know.

Here's Steve French in real life and yes I picked the goofiest picture I could find of him.

I've decided that I will do a bit of painting on this mini, mostly to fix the errors that I mentioned above. The revolver, the dark hand, and possibly the blue shirt as well. He does look pretty good as is and I can be very lazy so we'll see what happens.

One thing that did surprise me was that this miniature was printed by Shapeways. This is my first experience with Shapeways and I'm impressed. I've been thinking about getting some planes printed by Shapeways for some of the rare and out of print Wings Of War miniatures so I'm happy I got to see what they can do and this experience has been positive so eventually, you'll be seeing some 3D printed planes.

1. Heroclix 2. Knuckleduster Mini (28mm), 3. Hero Forge 4. Artizan Designs (28mm) 5. Games Workshop

Overall I'm very happy with the way this miniature came out. The little issues I've mentioned aren't enough to make me say anything bad about him. Every person I've shown him to has been impressed, both miniature gamers and regular people. My daughter said she wants a mini of herself so I said she could get one... as long as she plays some games with the mini. If I was to order a second mini I wouldn't hesitate to order the colored miniature again. I would give this Hero Forge Full-Color Custom Miniature a 9 out of 10. If you want a custom miniature and don't want to craft him yourself and go through the trouble of painting him up then I think a custom Hero Forge miniature for around 45 dollars is the way to go.

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