There is a very specific culture shared by tabletop gaming of all varieties, and one of the larger parts of it is the ability to control the way that you play the game. Whether an RPG, a miniature army game, or just a desire to paint the models, customization is a significant, and integral, part of the hobby. Be it creating your character stats or building the army that you want to play, the options are entirely up to your whims, whether strategic or aesthetic.
Traditionally, people who wanted to have a unique figure or army needed to customize the figure themselves by using spare parts from different models and combining them into something original. It’s called kitbashing, and combining parts for radically different types of figures often requires more skill than casual hobbyists might possess. A few years ago when the mainstream 3D printing hype train started to pick up a serious head of steam, tabletop gamers were ecstatic about the potential for personalized character figures. While it took a while, eventually 3D printing technology advancements and a few businesses managed to bring both worlds together.
Spanish startup Imagine 3D Miniatures is launching their Mounted Heroes Kickstarter campaign tomorrow for a proposed line of 3D printable fantasy figures that can be customized using a web-based figure builder. The builder allows users to combine different poses, weapons, clothing, armor, and accessories into virtually endless combinations. After you have finalized your desired configuration of components you can save it and then use the integrated Shapeways 3D printing services to have it professionally printed and shipped to you.
“Our commitment is to bring the design of 3D models to a new level, offering originality and quality in the design, and allowing the consumer to interact and bring imagination into the final product configuration. With Mounted Heroes we intend to carry on this philosophy, designing high quality miniatures of great detail that will allow the customer to appreciate the work and dedication employed to perform them. We want that our miniatures combine the creativity of the customer and the quality of Imagine 3D Miniatures,” the Imagine 3D Miniatures team explain in their Kickstarter campaign.
You can see their Kickstarter campaign video here:
Currently Mounted Heroes plans to launch with two race options: the human figures or their enemies, the savage orcs. What sets Mounted Heroes apart from some of the other 3D printable figure builders available is the addition of large mounts for the characters to ride. The mounts are to scale with the rest of their 3D printable figures, so they can be used in existing games, or simply for a painting project. Each race has three unique mounts suited to the characters’ style and all of the mounts have armor and accessories options. For the human knights the mounts include a horse, a griffin, or a dragon while the orcs can choose from a wyvern, a boar, or a Lizardon.
At launch the figures will be available in either a basic white or black PLA material or a high detail frosted material. While both materials can easily be painted, the frosted material has a very smooth surface finish and is the material that Imagine 3D Miniatures suggests. However, if price is an issue you can save money by printing the mount in the lower quality material because it is larger and the lack of detail won’t be as noticeable. I would also imagine that any striation or rough parts could be smoothed out using a file or some sandpaper.
The available options include a single knight on foot for $30 or a single orc on foot for $38 with the mount prices ranging from $45 to $90, depending on the type and detail of the mount. The Mounted Heroes campaign will also be offering a variety of figure packs that allow users to build an entire squad or party of adventurers at a discount. That would also be handy for creating different versions of your character with different accessories, armor, or mounts so you could change it based on what your character is equipped with in game.
The Mounted Heroes campaign is looking to raise $30,000, which based on the quality of samples being shown off seems to be a very attainable goal. The campaign is also offering a bunch of pretty cool stretch goals for character types like elves, goblins, dwarves, and skeletons. And if you back early and the campaign reaches a stretch goal you can choose the new figure option in place of your original choice. Are the figure prices too expensive, or is it worth it for a completely customizable figure? Let us know what you think on our 3D Printed Fantasy Figures Kickstarter forum thread on 3DPB.com.