The idea for my current project hit me as I was playing around on HeroForge. If you aren’t familiar, HeroForge is a website where you can build figures typically used in games like D&D. They have hundreds, if not thousands, of characters, equipment, bases, and accessories that you can piece together into your hero. You can adjust the pose and even color it.
From there, you can purchase the model. They will print and mail it to you in plastic or metal in color or plain. Personally, I’ve found the cost to be prohibitive. Luckily, for $7.99 you can purchase the 3D file and print it yourself! For that amount plus a couple bucks worth of resin, it’s competitively priced compared to other miniatures. Additionally, I can make it as big as my printer can handle if I so choose.
So, I was messing around with the Bear People, as one does, and ended up with a cool looking minigun wielding door kicker of a Man-Bear-Warrior. I decided he needed a sassy sidekick and made a tech-savvy rabbit to go with him. Where the scare bear is a plodding, destructive suppressive-fire machine, the rabbit is posed in a half-jump with some robotic improvements.
The files were delivered in a few minutes. I opened them in Chitubox (slicer) and started adding supports to the files. The bear printed without any problems, but it took three tries to get the rabbit right. No worries. My son loves to paint my print failures.
With a backlog on the printer, I went to TinkerCad to start designing a scene for them. I loaded the bear model file into TinkerCad so I could keep everything scaled. Complex 3D files won’t always load into TinkerCad, but the bear loaded up with no problems. With the size of my printer build plate in mind, I made a couple of walls for the background.
The story I was building in my mind started to come together. These two mercenary petting zoo rejects were hired to rob a club that is really a front business for a group of rat b*****ds. They were compromised mid-heist and are in the middle of shooting their way out. Hare Brain and Bear Arms have their backs against the wall (not for the first time) and are looking for an exit. The setting is cyberpunk to allow for the advanced swag their hauling and some cool neon.
This project shows that even if you aren’t a 3D sculptor you can see your ideas to fruition. HeroForge has enough flexibility to let you play around with different concepts and TinkerCad is limited only by how much time and effort you want to put into learning the system.
Details on HeroForge minis can look a little soft at times. Even the human characters tend to be of a more cartoonish scale. That’s not a problem for this project but could be for others. TinkerCad is particularly good for designing architectural objects but lacks a way to build organic shapes. I would have a lot of trouble designing a face, for example, using TinkerCad’s tools. The uptick is that playing around on both sites is completely free.
I’ll keep you posted on how this project progresses. Until then, I’m led to believe there are blueberry pancakes waiting for me in the kitchen.