Hero Forge Full Color Miniatures Review

Hero Forge 2.0 Color Miniatures

Review

Hero Forge Full Color Miniatures Review

December 8, 2021

By: Giaco Furino

 
 

Whether you're playing a Human Fighter or a Tabaxi Dragon Sorcerer, there's truly no character quite like the one you create in a tabletop roleplaying game. But finding the perfect miniature to represent your character can often be a challenge. That's why we were so intrigued to learn Hero Forge, who use custom web-based character modeling technology to allow users to customize and create their own miniatures. With the release of their new Color 2.0 printing tech, we designed a few of our own custom miniatures -- and tried out some of their presets -- to get a sense of the process and check out the minis.

Hero Forge Dwarf
We designed this red-bearded, hell-clad dwarf from scratch using Hero Forge Color 2.0 technology.

Designing your own miniature using Hero Forge is an extremely satisfying process. The miniature builder offers a wide range of building options, from Species (like Human, Elf, Dwarf, Turtleperson, Zombie, and more) to customizable and fully posable body parts, you can really hone in on the exact hero you're trying to build. We're especially a fan of the wide range of gear available, which features everything from swords and shields to modern conveniences like an electric guitar.

Building a miniature in the Hero Forge builder
Building a miniature in the Hero Forge builder.

Along with action poses and custom bases, the possibilities for creating a unique hero who really speaks to your characters on the table are truly endless. Traditionally, these Hero Forge miniatures were printed out and delivered in a base gray plastic. But now, with their new color-printing technology, you can bypass the need to paint your miniatures completely and choose colored plastics for your hero.

A Dragon Knight, pre-designed by Hero Forge.
A Dragon Knight, pre-designed by Hero Forge.

To get a sense of the full range of possibilities we choose, along with our custom designs, a few pre-sets that Hero Forge already had put together. This Dragon Knight (above), was designed by the Hero Forge team, but we were so taken with him that we decided to order it for ourselves. I especially like his stance, holding his longsword out in a challenge with his shield thrown behind him. The detailing of the colors, especially the black and red-striped undershirt and pants, look pretty incredible on the model.

 
 
A pre-designed Hero Forge Mage
A pre-designed Hero Forge Mage

This mage (above), also designed by Hero Forge, boasts a large wizards staff and a magical spell. We love the look of her stance and posing, and the color printing handles darker skin tones fabulously as well.

A custom designed Hero Forge Ravenfolk miniature
A custom designed Hero Forge Ravenfolk miniature

Inspired by one of the PC's in my home campaign, I set out to design my own miniature. This Ravenfolk spellcaster, with dark robes, black wings, and a raven familiar perfectly matches not just the design of the PC in my game, but his entire demeanor, too. Shrouded in cloaks but confident, this Ravenfolk is ready to send his raven familiar out scouting ahead for any signs of danger.

Finally, it's time to show off PizzaRaptor, the Hero Forge miniature that we let you, our readers on Twitter, vote on. We choose a number of pre-set options over four rounds of voting, allowing you to choose the miniatures Species, Clothing, Gear, and Pose. Our Twitter followers choose (because, of course they did) a lizard-person wearing yellow pajamas, holding a chunky 1990s cell phone and a pepperoni pizza. And for the pose, they decided he should have fallen to his knees screaming "WHYYYYY". Behold, PizzaRaptor:

You did this. You created this Hero Forge miniature by voting on twitter. What's wrong with you?
You did this. You created this Hero Forge miniature by voting on twitter. What's wrong with you?

I'm really impressed by this new color printing technology. The colors don't come out quite as robust as they look in the designer, and the Hero Forge system does a good job of warning users of that. Before you proceed with your purchase, the system shows you a mock of what the printed resin will look like. In general, I find the printed colors to be a little bit lighter and somewhat hazier than what I'd planned on the builder, but I ended up liking their look a lot more because of this. They seem more realistic, more lived-in, and more part of an actual world.

The really nice part of the color technology is that you can customize colors across the board. There are pre-sets for various skin tones, and style guides you can use to start customizing the colors on your miniature, but you can get in there and apply a specific shade to almost every surface or element on your miniature.

Final Thoughts

We were incredibly impressed with the Hero Forge Color 2.0 printing technology. While the colors aren't quite as crisp as they would be if you hand-painted your miniatures, they're certainly more evocative. They're certainly not cheap, with a normal-sized color model costing USD $44.99 each (regular plastic uncolored miniatures from Hero Forge cost USD $19.99), but the sheer level of customization -- especially when you add in all the color options -- is completely without equal in the hobby. You can even purchase an STL download of your design to print on your own, or a 3D Tabletop download to use with systems like Tabletop Simulator. In short, Hero Forge is a service that is an absolute must for gamers looking to truly bring their favorite characters to life on the table.

 
 

Get These Miniatures If...

  • You're looking to fully customize and design your own miniature
  • You don't want to paint your own miniatures
  • You're playing a fantasy, sci-fi, western, or modern tabletop game

Avoid These Miniatures If...

  • You prefer to paint your own miniatures (you can always order a Hero Forge miniature without color)
  • You're happy saving money with a generic heroic miniature

Credits used to create the Hero Forge miniatures pictured in this review were provided by Hero Forge.

Review Summary

Review Summary

We designed and printed a few custom miniatures using Hero Forge's new Color 2.0 technology. Here's what we thought of the results.

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