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Would you use a GW type version of Hero Forge?


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#1
Grotsmasha

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This topic has sprung from the IP thread, where I said;

 

I genuinely believe in the near future ~5yrs we will see GW with their own Hero Forge equivalent. I suspect it will be more for Characters, and not for Infantry. You'll be able to design and custom order Chapter Masters, or Lord Celestants for example.

 

To further clarify, I see this as a premium service, namely for the creation of HQ character models. GW would be printing them, and not selling stl files. The models themselves, probably under the base would have a unique identifier printed for authenticity. As mono-pose characters are $60-$80AU, I would speculate this to be in the $100AU range.

 

There we're a few specific comments that I think are worth discussing further;

 

 

I don’t think something like hero forge really seems to fit with their vision for the models and the rules. Just look at how restrictive the various Primaris captain loadouts are. They very much seem to want you to build exactly what’s in the box, exactly like it’s shown on the box. Creating your own custom heroes goes against that as they won’t even let us build custom ones with the bits they already sell.

 

Why charge us $80 for 1 multi-kit, when they can charge us $60 each for 4 different ones? When they release a model with new wargear, the rules are included in the box, and digital codex updated. I don't see a way in which a mono-pose 3D model changes this. 

 

GW selling 3d printed things would rather blow a hole in their hardline no 3d printed parts or models at tournaments or warhammer world. With the increasing use of monopose models, it's increasingly easy to see if 3d printed (or otherwise) non standard parts have been used; and some stores have reportedly been cracking down on custom parts too. Selling their own custom small-run parts would definitely undermine that approach.
 
GW are definitely familiar with 3d printing themselves for prototypes; the new van saar servo suit has some visible 3d printing layer lines on it, for the latest example. (they really need to learn to prep models before painting!) I just can't imagine them doing a complete 180 and suddenly embracing the tech they're working pretty hard to dissuade their existing customers away from any time soon.

The whole point of 3d printing is cheap manufacture of parts that aren't worth using large-scale production methods for - which also brings it nicely into the realm of making your own models at home now quality has risen significantly. GW from 30 years ago would probably have loved it for weird and wacky stuff (deodorant bottle tank!) and bits selling, but these days It's pretty antithetical to their business model of selling GW approved bulk production models for the highest price they can get away with, along with trying to be the only one-stop shop for hobby supplies, every other supplier frowned upon. If they could figure out how to ban non-GW paint at  their events, I suspect they'd at least consider it.

 

The very fact that they are constantly reducing the bits from forgeworld, keeping only the absolutely most profitable lines, fits into that - they don't want to sell you a big back catalog of parts to make older models more interesting, they want you to impulsively buy the latest 'only available until it sells out' new shiny box. And again, and again...

 

 

There was visible print lines on my Dark Angel Leviathan too, and while I agree with, or understand your other points, the bolded one is the one I'd like to address.

 

That is not the WHOLE point of 3D printing. It is certainly a factor, another "point" of 3D printing is the ability to make something that no one else has, the ability to create something that is uniquely yours. GW are already using 3D printing to some extent, expanding to use it as a Premium (over-costed) option is something I absolutely see people paying through the teeth for.

 

 

 

Now my big question, 

 

If this service was available, is it something you'd use, or at least consider? We'll guesstimate $100AU / $70USD / 55GBP

 


 


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#2
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I’d be all over this in a flash .


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#3
Bryan Blaire

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Grot, while I think it would be a genius idea, my thoughts on implementation are probably far beyond what GW would allow for and implement, and the options in the miniature designer would have to be supported by the rules, otherwise I might as well try to print them on my own without any support anyway.  It would also very much depend on what would be supported as far as flexibility - I’d much rather be able to pose via skeleton, which could be pretty complex given the need to ensure lack of armor and weapon clipping, etc.

 

As far as quality of the prints - for something professional, I would expect the resin to come to me without any presence of print lines, otherwise I might as well be printing it myself or using 3rd party manufacturing.


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#4
Noserenda

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I cant imagine it being a good replacement for kit bashing or conversion tbh. Selling parts sure, id be surprised if we dont see either GW or a licensed partner doing printed Shoulder pads, shields and weapon options in the future and a custom option there would be valuable for those who dont want the torment of freehanding.

But an entirely custom character? Meh, i deeply doubt it would be affordable if it did everything i would want. Heroforge certainly isnt right now, though it is very useful for doing D&D character design :D 


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#5
Brother Captain Vakarian

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Yes, I would pay for that in a heartbeat, price would be pretty irrelevant too as long as it wasn’t more than an army box.

I would prefer that GW released more kits like the Thousand Sons’ Exalted Sorceror box, though. I will happily buy a more expensive multipart, or multi character, plastic kit that gives me some ability to customize my characters.

Only a few of the monopose characters really hit the mark for me (for example, the Indomitus Captain is perfect and is my Space Marine army’s leader, but that sort of monopose character is both a matter of personal taste and something that is more often a near-miss than a perfect hit, for me at least).
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#6
The Blood Raven

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no.


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#7
Kierdale

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I’d buy that for a dollar!
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#8
MegaVolt87

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Grot, while I think it would be a genius idea, my thoughts on implementation are probably far beyond what GW would allow for and implement, and the options in the miniature designer would have to be supported by the rules, otherwise I might as well try to print them on my own without any support anyway.  It would also very much depend on what would be supported as far as flexibility - I’d much rather be able to pose via skeleton, which could be pretty complex given the need to ensure lack of armor and weapon clipping, etc.

 

As far as quality of the prints - for something professional, I would expect the resin to come to me without any presence of print lines, otherwise I might as well be printing it myself or using 3rd party manufacturing.

 

Yeah GW can't even manage their premium ranges that is FW, I doubt they will do the 11/10 job we are expecting if they aren't already doing it. Maybe in another 10-20 years when 3D printing becomes low cost for high quality and accessible for Joe Public GW moves to selling 3d print stuff like that. I could see FW selling files for $$$ in that future though. Might actually be the way for FW and specialist games/ boxed ones. Then we won't be hostage when products go OOP in FW, faster dev turnout etc. 


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#9
Grotsmasha

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Grot, while I think it would be a genius idea, my thoughts on implementation are probably far beyond what GW would allow for and implement, and the options in the miniature designer would have to be supported by the rules, otherwise I might as well try to print them on my own without any support anyway.  It would also very much depend on what would be supported as far as flexibility - I’d much rather be able to pose via skeleton, which could be pretty complex given the need to ensure lack of armor and weapon clipping, etc.
 
As far as quality of the prints - for something professional, I would expect the resin to come to me without any presence of print lines, otherwise I might as well be printing it myself or using 3rd party manufacturing.


If you haven't yet, head over to Hero Forge and have a play, their builder is pretty good, and last I used it was build by skeleton
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#10
excelite

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Wouldn’t do it, I wholeheartedly hate working with resin…

#11
Lord_Ikka

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Depending on price, I would use it for some unique Inquisitors. I can see something like that mainly used as way for me to create interesting painting projects, but probably not for a way to create a lot of new army pieces. Implementation will be the killer here- GW has shown that they aren't the best with rolling out digital stuff.

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#12
MARK0SIAN

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This topic has sprung from the IP thread, where I said;


I genuinely believe in the near future ~5yrs we will see GW with their own Hero Forge equivalent. I suspect it will be more for Characters, and not for Infantry. You'll be able to design and custom order Chapter Masters, or Lord Celestants for example.


To further clarify, I see this as a premium service, namely for the creation of HQ character models. GW would be printing them, and not selling stl files. The models themselves, probably under the base would have a unique identifier printed for authenticity. As mono-pose characters are $60-$80AU, I would speculate this to be in the $100AU range.

There we're a few specific comments that I think are worth discussing further;

I don’t think something like hero forge really seems to fit with their vision for the models and the rules. Just look at how restrictive the various Primaris captain loadouts are. They very much seem to want you to build exactly what’s in the box, exactly like it’s shown on the box. Creating your own custom heroes goes against that as they won’t even let us build custom ones with the bits they already sell.


Why charge us $80 for 1 multi-kit, when they can charge us $60 each for 4 different ones? When they release a model with new wargear, the rules are included in the box, and digital codex updated. I don't see a way in which a mono-pose 3D model changes this.


With the way things are now, I couldn’t go onto this hypothetical Hero Forge and make a Primaris captain with a powerfist and storm shield because there are no rules or points costs to support that character. GW have made it so the only way to take the powerfist is to also take the plasma pistol, no other option.

They would have to either radically change their approach and in the codex allow the captain to just choose from any wargear in the codex which would also match what you could choose on hero forge, or they would have to write bespoke rules and points costs for every character created on hero forge. Or the third option is they limit the hero forge options to the same combinations as you can buy in plastic.

Neither of the first two options seem likely and the third is pointless.

Don’t get me wrong, I would love a service where I could make my own character and have him supported by the rules etc, I just think it requires GW to change the way they do things too much.

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#13
Arkhanist

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GW selling 3d printed things would rather blow a hole in their hardline no 3d printed parts or models at tournaments or warhammer world. With the increasing use of monopose models, it's increasingly easy to see if 3d printed (or otherwise) non standard parts have been used; and some stores have reportedly been cracking down on custom parts too. Selling their own custom small-run parts would definitely undermine that approach.
 
GW are definitely familiar with 3d printing themselves for prototypes; the new van saar servo suit has some visible 3d printing layer lines on it, for the latest example. (they really need to learn to prep models before painting!) I just can't imagine them doing a complete 180 and suddenly embracing the tech they're working pretty hard to dissuade their existing customers away from any time soon.

The whole point of 3d printing is cheap manufacture of parts that aren't worth using large-scale production methods for - which also brings it nicely into the realm of making your own models at home now quality has risen significantly. GW from 30 years ago would probably have loved it for weird and wacky stuff (deodorant bottle tank!) and bits selling, but these days It's pretty antithetical to their business model of selling GW approved bulk production models for the highest price they can get away with, along with trying to be the only one-stop shop for hobby supplies, every other supplier frowned upon. If they could figure out how to ban non-GW paint at  their events, I suspect they'd at least consider it.

 

The very fact that they are constantly reducing the bits from forgeworld, keeping only the absolutely most profitable lines, fits into that - they don't want to sell you a big back catalog of parts to make older models more interesting, they want you to impulsively buy the latest 'only available until it sells out' new shiny box. And again, and again...

 

 

There was visible print lines on my Dark Angel Leviathan too, and while I agree with, or understand your other points, the bolded one is the one I'd like to address.

 

That is not the WHOLE point of 3D printing. It is certainly a factor, another "point" of 3D printing is the ability to make something that no one else has, the ability to create something that is uniquely yours. GW are already using 3D printing to some extent, expanding to use it as a Premium (over-costed) option is something I absolutely see people paying through the teeth for.

 

 

 

Now my big question, 

 

If this service was available, is it something you'd use, or at least consider? We'll guesstimate $100AU / $70USD / 55GBP

 


 

I was thinking of the origin of 3d printing. Initially, it was a logical extension of industrial CAD, like a laser cutter or CNC milling machine, a way to take something designed with all the power of CAD, and turn it into a real object. Print time and the cost of the early machines meant they were primarily for industrial prototypes, allowing for rapid testing of designs before bulk production, or making complex objects that you only needed a few of. Then you have the reprap project in 2004 - a "self-replicating" 3d printer that really kickstartered the whole idea of making cheap 3d printers you could have at home. Tech advances, to be better, faster and cheaper, and here we are, with many types of cheap printer working with multiple types of different materials, making objects of high quality from pretty much any thing you can draw on a computer.

 

As I see it, printing a unique model that only you have is still that root idea of cheap manufacture - it's just a production run of one! Same as a bespoke medical print for a single patient.

 

Making unique models is one of my favourite things about 3d printing. I'm not skilled enough to sculpt from scratch, but I can take existing designs and modify them, and/or cut designs up and kitbash from different models and/or designers.

 

So for your bigger question; no, I can't imagine taking advantage of a hero forge from GW, not at the price they would likely charge (i.e. higher than a styrene clam pack character). I might not be able to match the flexbility and range of hero forge, but I can digital kitbash well enough to make my own unique ones, and print it for 1/10th the price or less.

 

If they did a licenced STL service* on the other hand, that I'd be all over like a hot rash. But I honestly can't imagine GW in its current incarnation going either way, it would take an absolutely huge change of their culture to embrace rather than demonise the tech, and I just can't see it happening while they remain the wargaming giant they are. And much as I like 3d printing, I don't see it competing with GW sufficiently to bring them down sufficiently where they need to innovate to compete like smaller companies in only 5 years.

 

 

* existing 3d design patreons are already starting to switch to fingerprinted STLs that encode who bought them; if they show up on file sharing groups, they know who was responsible. DRM would be possible, but likely would be counter-productive with the current audience, and no DRM is foolproof, or ever can be.


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#14
Domhnall

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Yes, I would be interested in this. I've already got a hero forged Dwarf for my D&D campaign, so I'd pay for a special character or similar. 

As someone who's at a stage in my life where I've got far more adulting to do than I like, I've not had the time to kit bash the characters or diorama that I have had planned for the past 5 years, so being able to go online, customise and then get sent a figure that I want, I'm up for that. My tiny little single dwarf cost me 25 quid on it's own (did I say it was fantasy dwarf size?), so I'd probably pay a bit more for something I wanted. 

 

I do envy you guys who have the time and space for creating and printing your own 3D models, but I'm just not one of them sad.png

 

Terrain would be a good option too. selling 3D print files of trees, buildings, modular boards etc. Winner! But again, unlikely tongue.png


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#15
Domhnall

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A couple of very much non-astartes that I quickly bashed together on Hero Forge biggrin.png
Hero screenshot
Hero screenshot fabulous

 


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#16
lansalt

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There's no way GW does this, and is the same reason they ended selling small parts more than a decade ago: The cost of manual labor and logistics required (space, etc) makes it not profitable enought compared to just making small runs of characters or LE minis and leave people kitbash them.


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#17
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I do think it would work really well. And I don't think the limited nature of character loadout these days would be an issue.

 

The goal with something like this is to create a personalised character. It would be really easy to have lots of variations in style for the same option. For example, for a powerfist for a Primaris Captain, you could have twenty different options of style, decoration and chapter specific details all for that one part. From a marketing point of view I think all parts would have to be unique and unavailable in standard kits to really sell it.

 

I don't think it would effect the way they sell character models now either. The plastic models would become the 'default' option for those character types, with printed models being about personalisation, but functionally no different in terms of rules. 


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#18
Xenith

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There's no way GW does this, and is the same reason they ended selling small parts more than a decade ago: The cost of manual labor and logistics required (space, etc) makes it not profitable enought compared to just making small runs of characters or LE minis and leave people kitbash them.

 

Logistics? Once they design the range/the program that lets you design your model from parts GW have sculpted, the user/customer does most of the work - the model is then 3D printed, quality checked, then bagged and packed for shipping - basically what they already do with FW stuff. The 3D printing is print-on-demand, so they don't need storage space for a bunch of parts, like they did with the bits service, and just need space for the printers and raw materials. 


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#19
Grotsmasha

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There's no way GW does this, and is the same reason they ended selling small parts more than a decade ago: The cost of manual labor and logistics required (space, etc) makes it not profitable enought compared to just making small runs of characters or LE minis and leave people kitbash them.

 

Logistically, this would be way less intensive than Ltd Ed models. For starters, there's no need for any of the additional packaging, just their generic white boxes and packing foam, there's no need for box artwork / model photography, there's no need for instructions, there's no need for the little plastic inserts for the sprue to clip into. There's no need for the model to be cut up and fit to a sprue, there's no need for the mold to be cut.

They already have the delivery Logistics in place.

 

Going off of the supposed $100 guesstimate, and rough $20 minimum wage here in Oz, they could cover the labour costs (which is usually the largest single chunk of the pie) of a 5 man team on 10 models a day, which I don't think is a fantastical target. I'd put the production capability of a 5 man team (2 for Slicing / supporting, 2 for running the printers, cleaning the models / supports, 1 for quality control and packaging around 5 times that number for an 8hr work day. 


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#20
lansalt

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the model is then 3D printed, quality checked, then bagged and packed for shipping - basically what they already do with FW stuff.

I'd say that precisely the FW way of doing things with low volume products and more manual labor is something GW wants to avoid. Even plastic LE characters in a single sprue are probably more profitable due to better automation.


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#21
Doctor Perils

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I could definitely see myself using such a service if it were a slightly lower price-point. At that price, perhaps, but I could still see it working out for them.

 

They could easily start off with only Primaris options, as they already have the digital files I presume, and with minimal cloth and hair most posing shouldn't be too difficult to implement. Add in Horus Heresy Space Marine characters and Stormcast, and they'd have a really good service going already!


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#22
Brother Casman

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I don't know that I'd use a GW version of Hero Forge, but I'd definitely use something like "the official GW store on Shapeways" or equivalent. Put all the little upgrade sprues for custom shoulder pads, alternate weapon styles, or whatever on there and let interested people buy them that way.
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#23
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I don't know that I'd use a GW version of Hero Forge, but I'd definitely use something like "the official GW store on Shapeways" or equivalent. Put all the little upgrade sprues for custom shoulder pads, alternate weapon styles, or whatever on there and let interested people buy them that way.

 

This is the route GW should be going, trying to embrace and implement 3D printing into their business by having outside businesses with experience in it do it for them, but with an agreement of profits. A note there is there is no profits lost by GW doing this, you can't prove that me buying bits on the 3D printing site means I would of bought a model on GW site if I didn't have the 3D site HOWEVER I can point that if you have a conversion kit on Shapeway for models to make certain units I can assure you it does boost sales...in fact I will risk my neck a little and say I did get the Stormsurge I have now BECAUSE of the Stormwave conversion kit on shapeway...That literally SOLD me a model for GW. GW gained 80+ notes from me because some dude made an awesome looking conversion kit for the stormsurge, no cost to GW.

 

All companies that do this approach GW are currently on eventually die because they aren't willing to work with others and share some pie even if doing so will mean the amount of pie you get is far larger than you ever had in the past, all that matters to them is "all pie belong to us" and eventually, that pie which is made by the players, not gw fyi, disappears and things begin to crumble fast.

Kind of why Bethseda is in hot water and not really looking to favourable with their fans in a lot of ways. A company famous for letting players mod their game began trying to get a piece and bungled it badly. Don't knock a good thing which is what GW is doing.

 

I will add: I agree stomping out wholesale rip-offs, straight space marine models or the like. However as I pointed out, conversion kits should be allowed. Not like they are making those kits and if anything those existing actually drives sales of those models. Again, if the stormwave conversion kit didn't exist I wouldn't of got a stormsurge...because it looks ugly and derp as an oiled up grot in a squig-pen!


I Chapter Master 454, Chapter Master of the Angels of Justice, Warboss of WAAAGH Gubskul, Commander of a Catachan Regiment, Phaeron of a Tomb World, Shas'O to a Cadre and Princeps of a lance of House Taranis hereby pledge that I will not take up any further models til all other prior have been fully built and painted to tabletop standards. There is no time limit for this task, there is no deadline. My oath is to solemnly complete the armies I have now, to see it that they can have their glory. Paint will be stripped from the old in need, thick may it be like ceramite I will see it removed so that plastic and metal alike may see light of new paint. Models yet to be, boxed and in darkness will be assembled with due care and attention. For this task I am permitted to still buy the supplies needed to do my task but not one model more.

http://www.bolterand...one-model-more/ the thread to my oath. My own reminder.

http://www.bolterand...rk-in-progress/ my own chapter
"The objective of playing a game is to win. The point of playing a game is to have fun. Never confuse the two"

 

 

 


#24
Juggernut

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If I am lucky enough to utilize a friends and family discount from GW, then very likely yes.

If not, then absolutely no. The prices would just be nutty. I also have no problem 3-D printing whatever I want, and don’t particularly care about IP considerations. Yes, I am bad, and neither encourage such behavior nor will I discuss that detail further.

If they were “reasonable” with prices and offered a bulk discount, say, then maybe?

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#25
Domhnall

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In this thought experiment, how involved would the Q&A be? 

Would they be just checking the quality of the print and you can do anything that's within the system? Or perhaps cross referencing it against the rules, so you can only have game legal minis printed? 

 

First one could be interesting... 

 

Printer person: Ehh, boss?
Boss: Yes Lacky? 
PP: I have a questionable mini to print here... shall we allow it? 

B: What could possibly be a trou... oh. Oh my! Is that...

PP: Yes sir... I think it is sir... A Canoness sir. She appears to be... chastising a Black Templar sir. Quite vigo...

B: Quite enough of that now. Cancel the order, and send a refund.

B: And send me the file. 

 

You just know that someone out there, will push the limits of good taste teehee.gif

 

(if this post gets deleted, I'm totally fine with that biggrin.png sweat.gif )


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