Wednesday, March 23, 2016

GALLERY: Hero's Forge Commission

This is now the second set of Hero's Forge minis that I have painted as a commission, and it was once again, a fun break from the Warhammer world. 

The last set I had painted was a whole D&D adventure party for a group of people and I had a ton of visual information to work off of. One of the members of their group was an illustrator and had drawn a picture of how they envisioned all of the characters to look. It didn't all translate directly over into the miniatures I was given, but it was pretty close. For those who don't know, Hero's Forge is a website that lets you design your own models and have them custom 3D printed. There are hundreds of options for how the finished mini will look, so you can truly make yours unique. 

They definitely have a World of Warcraft vibe to them, but they are fun and fairly detailed. Some areas on the model turn out a little rough, with a gritty texture, but for the most part they are smooth. With this commission I was asked to paint a pair of minis. This first one is the Paladin type hero you see above. He was described to me as being very Batman-esque, wearing mostly black and grays. 

This presented its own challenge of how to make such a dark, almost monotone mini still look interesting. Luckily the clothing was layered enough that I was able to break it up a bit, plus he wanted the tabard to be an off white color, so that definitely helped. I was given a lot of free range with this mini as far as the rest of the colors went.

We decided on painting the runes, which he had sent me pictures of, red. He also requested that I paint the hammer like it had energy running through it, with his eyes to match. I'm pretty happy with how that turned out for such a small area. I had originally painted his hands like he was wearing black gloves, but I was then later informed there were actually meant to be bandage wrappings, with his fingers exposed. Repainting these actually really helped balance the mini out by adding in some of the off white and red on his arms. I also really like how the battered old armor turned out. I feel like it gives him a lot of character.

The second mini was a little more challenging since it was so much smaller. She is about half the size of the Paladin. The colors she wanted it painted were also a lot more specific, which takes some of the guess work out for me. She had specified exactly how she wanted the skin painted, which to me means the final shade it ends up being is rather important. To make sure I got it right I requested a picture of an example skin tone so I could be as close as possible.

It's always fun painting skin tones that I don't normally paint. It lets me explore different color mixes and forces me to use it in a natural looking way. The hair was supposed to be black, which can always run the risk of looking gray after it's highlighted. The hair on this mini had enough flat surfaces though that I was able to leave more of it black. 

Most of the rest of the mini was just following the directions I was given. Red shirt, cream lapels, light brown pants, leather boots, check. The book was also pretty straight forward, except it needed to have a golden potato on the cover, which you can just barely see in the picture above.

The last thing I had to do was the magical flame in her other hand. The original description called for a red flame with a blue center, which of course, is pretty hard to do with an opaque mini. After a little discussion we agreed on a red flame with a blue bottom. I had originally painted it in a more "realistic" way, with the inner areas of the flame being white hot and the colors becoming more saturated the closer to the tips of the flames you got. She decided she wanted it more saturated all around though, so I went back and repainted it in a slightly more stylized way, but I think it still looks great. It is a magical flame after all. 

This duo was a lot of fun to paint. I think these types of mini are my favorite commissions. They are usually low in number, each one is unique, and it allows me to paint in a slightly different style. I also take it as a personal challenge to ensure that the paint work hides any of the gritty texture of occasional soft detail. The clients loved the minis, which is always the best part of any commission, and said they may have some more Hero's Forge minis for me to paint in the future because their friends loved the two I did so much.

Have you ever painted any 3D painted minis? Post them in the comments below if you have. I would love to see how other people tackle these models.

Until next time,

Tyler M. 

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