My most recent commission, as my uploads will show you, was to paint two custom-made, “ultra detailed” 3D-printed gaming miniatures from HeroForge.com. It was a very interesting experience painting these!
The character progressed as she leveled up, from the smaller, fire-wielding character in the first picture to the larger, more muscular character in the second.
Side note: the thorns in the character’s hair were not printed by HeroForge. I sculpted those in (and I thought I worked small before??? This mini was only a little larger than a quarter!). The character braids thorns into her hair to make it more painful for anyone she’s grappling to try to grab her hair. Badass little nekkid gnome barbarian.
So..my thoughts on painting HeroForge miniatures, for those interested in doing so any time in the future:
In short, it was a perfectly fine experience, but the miniature handles very differently than pewter or plastic minis. Read on for details!
The first thing I noticed is that the material DRINKS UP whatever paint you put on it. After washing and prepping the mini, I set down a layer of brush-on primer, and before I even finished the other side, the primer on the first side had been all sucked up! Since these miniatures were the same character (and thus needed the exact same color scheme), I found that by the time I’d finished work on one mini, the paint I’d set down on the other had already been “absorbed.” As a plus, that made for a faster job, but on the down side, it made smooth wet-blending more difficult.
The strangest thing to me was the grainy surface of the miniature. Even after the miniature was painted, there was a somewhat sandy texture to the figure. I felt like it almost blurred the work I did on it.
I think the most important thing to note on these miniatures would be that they are FRAGILE. Like, seriously. NO BENDY! Case in point: I had accidentally gotten a drop of water on the mini, and I dabbed it very lightly with a gentle cloth, to wick up most of the water (there had been too much to just use my brush)…and SNAP! The miniature broke at the ankles. So seriously: you will want to be UBER-careful on handling your miniature.
(As a plus, it was a tremendously easy fix.)
One last word to the wise: it DOES say it on their website, but I feel it needs repeating: these miniatures, because they are custom printed, can take approximately one month to create and get to you! So make sure you’re going to be in the game with this character for the long haul before you order it!
That said, though, I really want to commend HeroForge for the great idea. It’s tremendously cool to design your own miniature and then be able to hold it and paint it and turn it into your perfect character. HeroForge has a bunch of races, a ton of character positions (including facial expressions), and even if you don’t end up buying a miniature, is still tons of fun to play around with.
Greenstuff adheres perfectly well to the miniature (as evidenced by the thorns in the hair of the second mini), and so you should feel comfortable sculpting on whatever you need – if they didn’t already have a detail on your mini that you wanted.
All in all, this was a very fun experience with a new material! While I think I still personally prefer pewter, I would certainly enjoy the chance to paint up some more of these really cool, 3D-printed minis.
Want your own custom-printed mini? Visit heroforge.com/.
Want it painted by me? Send me a message! You can also find me at: