In case you’re not aware of it, table-top role playing games (aka TTRPG) are having quite a resurgence. Some of that (ok, a lot of that) is driven by the popularity of Dungeons and Dragons, but there are a ton of great game systems out there. Whatever the system, Hero Forge has been ready to help you design (and then 3D print) a minifig to help represent your character in the game sessions. One of the bigger drawbacks – for most – is something that Hero Forge is addressing with their latest Kickstarter project – adding color!
In the past, when you’d create a character via Hero Forge, you’d end up with a design that you could download (and 3D print yourself), or have them 3D print for you (in one of two plastics, or a rougher metal). Once you had it, though, you’d need to prime and paint it. And, well, minifigs are small, so you’re using small brushes, small movements, and big portions of patience. I like painting – but with big brushes on a large canvas. That’s why this new Kickstarter project for printing in color is so interesting.
In my experience (designing a whole grand total of one miniature, which resides on my desk – unpainted), the tool that you use to design the character is very intuitive, and offers quite a bit of flexibility. That you can save it and come back to it later for tweak and such is just icing on the cake. And, it’s worth noting, they’re pretty regularly updating it, bringing in new features and design options. Bringing color into the mix is a logical step, but one that seems like a giant leap at the same time.
At a basic level, the additon of color – if you get in on the early bird pricing – is not that much more than you’d pay for a traditional non-painted custom figure from them. For $39 you’ve got access to the color tools, and of course a printed (in color) character of your design. Have your own 3D printer, and like to paint yourself? Well, they’ve got a package that will allow you to design 10 figures (and then download those files) for $50. If your coin purse is feeling particular full, or you just came into a lot of space credits, you can design your custom character and then have it hand-painted by an expert for $149 using the color design that you develop in the tool.
This is a pretty cool project that Hero Forge has going (not to mention the tools for creating tokens to use in online projects like Roll20, or the character portrait creator), and if you play any sort of TTRPG, this is something you very well will want to be checking out. As of this writing, the project is super-overfunded (40x) with the campaign wrapping up on February 13, 2020. project page