If you are reading this website, the chances are that you may be in the market for an awesome mini to use in your tabletop RPG. You may not have found that perfect mini that represents you or the character you are playing. For many gamers that mini is an avatar that comes from their soul, so there is a strong bond there that needs to be met with the proper representation. Luckily for us, Hero Forge exists.
Beginning in 2014 Hero Forge has offered gamers a chance to design a fully customized mini that would be printed in plastic or metal and then sent to them to paint or do whatever they fancy with it. In recent years Hero Forge has given 3D printer owners a chance to design their mini and then buy just the .STL files for them to print at home and on their own time.
Now in 2020 Hero Forge is upping its game yet again by offering to print minis in full color. This is great for gamers who:
- don’t have a 3D Printer
- do not wish to paint the mini themselves because of a lack of time or skill or perhaps both
- are intimidated at the prospect of getting in the miniature painting scene because of the high cost in money and time
This may still seem intimidating to some of you who may be wondering about the learning curve in designing your own custom mini. But I assure you that the process is almost identical to any character creator you have used in your favorite RPG. Choose your race, gender, clothes, face, hair, accessories, etc., one click at a time until you are comfortable that you have created the perfect avatar to represent yourself. I had such a blast just doing this that I started doing it for all the people in my Call of Cthulhu group and then my entire family! It is a ton of fun seeing how close you can get to creating something that represents people you love.
Sadly I am writing this late in the game as the Kickstarter ends in a week, but no worries as the website is up and you can make your minis when you want. You may just have to wait in line if you want full color as the Kickstarter has been a massive success and is 4000% funded.
So the cost to get yourself a 3D Custom mini colored in the Kickstarter is $39.00. Yes, I can hear some of you groaning from behind your monitors, but let’s think about a few things before any of you write this off:
- You are getting a custom piece of work and not something off the shelf of your local hobby store.
- It is being made with quality plastic, not cheap Reaper Bones plastic or Games Workshop pieces that are on a sprue and have to be glued and cleaned of mold lines.
- It’s already colored so there is no hidden cost in paint and painting equipment.
- Ready to go out of the box. You won’t have another addition to the pile of shame known as your unpainted minis that are just sitting in a box with your gaming equipment.
- Lastly, a personal mini is like an heirloom: it is something you will covet and happily display to other gamers.
If this still is too steep for you and you want the most cost-effective option, you can do what I do and just buy a downloadable .STL file and 3D print it and paint it yourself. These are only $7.99, which is the cost of a fast-food value meal. Certainly, you can sacrifice one Quarter Pounder meal to have your own custom mini design. I made my whole family and it cost only $28 in files!
I cannot recommend using the services at Hero Forge enough. Every time I have created a 3D image and paid for it the file was sent to me almost immediately and printed up easily on my Creality Ender 3 3D printer. People I know who have purchased the printing service have also been extremely satisfied with the product. The biggest issue that has come up in the community is becoming addicted to making minis and buying a little too many, a problem that comes from having a true quality product. Now that Hero Forge is offering full-color printing that allows gamers to go from box to tabletop I would imagine that the addiction will only deepen.
So be the first one at your game night to show off a brand new custom printed and colored 3D mini and let your friends be envious of you for once!
The opinions in this article are my own and not that of Hero Forge.
To read my previous articles click HERE.