This figure has a bit of a story attached to it. At the
end of last year, I decided I would reconstitute my Ghost Archipelago
warband. At the time I originally made it, I was really
struggling with painting (because of a lack of glasses) and thus I was unhappy
with some of the paint jobs. Also, some of the figures just didn’t excite
me. So, I salvaged a couple, and then set off
to recruit a new crew. One, the Stargazer
, I’ve shown off already.
Well, all Ghost Archipelago
warbands begin with the Heritor.
I had gotten pretty attached to the concept of Cassandra (a.k.a. Big Red)
the figure just didn’t have the size and bulk I wanted. I looked everywhere for
a suitable replacement, but couldn’t find anything. Then a friend suggested I
check out Hero Forge
I must admit, I’ve been curious about Hero Forge for a
while. If you haven’t heard of them, it is basically a service where you can
design your own figure, by picking various races, clothing, weapons, poses,
ect., and then get it 3D printed. My friend even sent me a ‘quick build’ of my
proposed figure. Well, I had a little play with the system, and found it very
easy to use. There really is loads of choice, and if you want to dig deep into it,
you can make all kinds of subtle changes to a design.
Now, there is one big drawback – it is pricey. For a
single figure you are talking between $20 - $30… There’s no way I’d build a
warband that way, but for a one off figure, and as an experiment, I thought it
was worth the risk. In fact, I was so curious about how changing the posing on
the figure would affect the printing that I ordered two copies of my Heritor in
different poses. (An extravagance I slightly regretted, but turned out to be
very thankful for, as shall be seen).
It took a little over two weeks for the figures to
arrive, but when I opened up the box, they looked great! The detail was a little
shallow in places, but probably better than most plastics. With the figure you
see painted here, I honestly couldn’t have said that it wasn’t sculpted from the
ground up. The other figure, which was in a crouched pose, was also good,
although the way the leather straps hung over her skirt looked just slightly
unnatural. Still, I would rate both figures as good. Anyway, I preferred her standing up straight, and striding forward, as it made her look more powerful.
I ordered the figures in ‘premium plastic’, which had the
feel of normal plastic – but, as it turns out is a bit more brittle. The figure
came on an integral base, but I wanted it on a GW base, so I cut/broke it off
and re-glued it.
I took a lot of time painting this figure. For the most
part this was an enjoyable process, just trying to do my best work. I must
admit, the leather skirt-straps were a pain as the detail was shallow there,
but most of the rest of the detail was sharp and fun to work with.
After several painting sessions, I had happily completed
her. The next morning I blue-tacked her to some cardboard and took her outside
to spray with sealer. Unfortunately, a gust of wind caught the cardboard,
flipped it in the air, and landed figure-side down on the concrete. For a
moment, I thought she had escaped unscathed. Then I realized that her warhammer
was gone, neatly snapped off both above and below her hand (kind of astounding really).
After the anger and sadness passed, I started looking for
ways to fix her. I couldn’t find the missing bit of hammer…then I realized I
had an exact duplicate on the other figure I had ordered. So, I carefully cut
off my newly-painted Heritor’s hand, and replaced it with the one from the
other figure holding still holding the hammer. The wrist was too thin to risk
pinning so, it was all glue and greenstuff. Thankfully, the surgery was a
success. She now has a heavy ‘cuff’ on that wrist, but it’s not too noticeable.
So, Cassandra is back, ready to lead a new crew
into the Ghost Archipelago. Overall,
I’m happy with my Hero Forge experience. It’s expensive, and the material isn’t
as good for painting as metal, but if you’ve got a clear mental picture of a
figure you want, for an RPG character, or for the hero to lead your miniature
warband, it might be worth giving it a try.