Miniature Masterpiece Countdown – #1

Find out who made it to the number one spot in this week’s Hero Forge Miniature Masterpiece Countdown!

All week I’ve been posting Hero Forge minis that best represent the degree of creativity the platform provides, and today we unveil this week’s cream of the crop.

Links to all these miniatures are provided so you can see how the pros do it!

Season 2 of the Miniature Masterpiece countdown is starting off with an innovative and creative way to push the boundaries of what’s possible in Hero Forge.

SolarSimon created a unique, but classic design with Test Subject Crankenstein. He’s obviously going for an old-school monster feel, but to achieve this he needed to graph two figures to each other. He manages to do this seamlessly and in a manner that emphasizes his theme without compromise. That’s why his creation made it to this week’s Miniature Masterpiece Countdown.

In order to truly understand how he managed this design, you’ll need to pick apart the miniature in Hero Forge. I’ve provided a link to Test Subject Crankenstein so you can unravel how SolarSimon built his monster.

By Rhino0s

This creature, Baalzebul, clearly slinks about the shadows and muck of some foul dungeon. Its hunched-over posture, folded hands and arms, and wide eyes (even though they’re at the ends of stocks) renders a clear impression of cowardice and groveling.

There’s no doubt that this miscreant is some overlords toady, and since there’s no doubt, Rhino0s performed his skill at designing this creature exceptionally well.

“Catwoman”by QueenMab made it onto this week’s Hero Forge Miniature Masterpiece Countdown because of its subtle and expressive use of details to convey the character’s personality. This is totally Catwoman. QueenMab simply did a good job at capturing the character’s personality. I especially liked the pose. She’s clearly putting on her clawed glove which is a classic Catwoman staple. This miniature masterpiece has some mischief in mind.

I have 3 criteria for judging Hero Forge miniatures.

1) technical skill

2) innovation

3) thematic expression

“Mushroom Leshy Druid” checks all three of these boxes. The designer, Garzhovog, masterfully blended the colors, the added assets (the animals), and extra details like the grass and the wrist covers. How they hide the figures’ faces in shadows is both innovative and challenging. They needed to manipulate the lighting around the figure quite a bit to achieve this effect. And thematically, there is no doubt this represents a stalwart guardian of the forest. Club in one hand, adorable woodland creature in the other, no one enters the Woodlands without permission from Mushroom Leshy Druid!

Zuggtmoy Demon Queen, By rhino0s, made it onto the countdown because of the designer’s exceptional use of the Hero Forge color palette tool and skilled implementation of the tail and wing assets. In this miniature, we see the figure dressed in a gown made of leaves. However, that’s not at all with those assets were originally designed for.

He repurposed an aquatic tail asset and colored it in such a manner that it appeared to be foliage. The wings were also painstakingly arranged in order to enhance the dynamic structure of the figure. And the hair is a blend of multiple horns and elemental hair. It gives the Queen an otherworldly effect.

Rhino0s spent a lot of time on this creation. The color palette, the unique manipulation of the horns and the aquatic tales, and the overall care necessary to project a unified theme with these disjointed parts are why Zuggtmoy Demon Queen made it onto this week’s Hero Forge Miniature Masterpiece Countdown.

Our number 2 spot draws its inspiration from a little-known comic character, “Man Thing”. This creature would fit right into a D&D adventure as a monstrosity lurking in the swamps. However the original character is something of a antihero. The comic has a pretty interesting story, but this Miniature Masterpiece made it into the countdown because of its designer carefully thinking outside the box. It isn’t always easy drafting a Hero Forge miniature that looks like a specific character, especially a character with such a distinctive look. But with a masterful use of the Elephant Folk template, Seldom Mercer was able to craft a surprisingly accurate likeness to the comic book character.

In order to really understand what he did, you should try opening the miniature in Hero Forge. I would pay particular attention to the color palette. Within that tool, you’ll also be able to play with the lighting tools. Which, of course is the tool that gives the eyes a glowing red effect.

Week 1 of season 2 has come to an end, and The Wizards Respite’s number one pick is titled Power Armor and Pilot, by Flynn Leboski. This miniature made it to the number one spot because despite knowing nothing about the designer’s motivations, I got a real feel for this character. I could see this guy in a campaign. Hell, I could imagine him in a steam punk fantasy novel. A halfling with spunk ready to go to war from within his magically augmented suit of armor? Yeah, I can totally see that! I even get a sense of this character’s personality. The colors, the pipe asset, and the pose leaves me with a rich impression of how this character could be worked into a fantastic fable. I almost want to write a short story about this guy!


Unfortunately, this week I had to skip my post on Saturday. Sadly, the number 2 figure this week didn’t get a proper post. A severe weather event passed through the area I live in, and parts of my property were damaged by a tornado. Everyone was okay and the damage was minimal, but it did delay my ability to work on the countdown. It’s a shame that “Man Thing” by Seldom Mercer didn’t get the recognition it deserves, but you can still see it above in the number 2 spot. Check it out, open it in Hero Forge, and have fun!

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