How to make your own heroscape figures

Written by rachael cruz
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How to make your own heroscape figures
War-gaming figures are great to collect and can inspire you to create your own. (Michael Blann/Digital Vision/Getty Images)

Heroscape is a strategy war game set on the planet Valhalla, where the primary inhabitants, the Kyrie, have discovered magical wellsprings. By drinking from these wellsprings, some Kyrie have gained visions and powers. These super-Kyrie, or Valkyrie, battle to control the wellsprings, using armies summoned from their magical visions.

The game is played using linkable, stackable battlefield tiles that allow you to customise your playing field. Your armies are represented by 3-D figurines, each with cards explaining the figures' strengths and weaknesses.

The army figures available for purchase stretch across multiple genres and worlds. Sometimes, though, you might get your own idea for an army and want to create a figure for yourself.

Skill level:

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Things you need

  • Paper or sketch pad
  • Pencil
  • Miniature gaming base
  • Two-part epoxy putty (otherwise known as Green Stuff)
  • Disposable gloves
  • Sculpting tools
  • Craft knife
  • Armature wire or several paper clips
  • Wire cutters
  • Superglue
  • Primer
  • Acrylic paints
  • Paintbrush
  • Water

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  1. 1

    Sketch a rough draft of the figure you want to create. Using a pencil will allow you to make easy corrections as you go along. Sketch at least the front and back of the concept; this will help you envision the overall look of your 3-D model. You may also want to include a sketch of one or both sides of the figure. Add colour to at least one side of the sketch to give you an idea of what your figure should look like when it's finished.

  2. 2

    Select your figure's base. There are several options available; you should decide whether you want to sculpt the base your figure will stand on or if you want to purchase a premade plastic base. If you choose to purchase one, you will likely find properly sized bases at your local gaming store. Heroscape figures can range in size; you will want to purchase an appropriately sized base.

  3. 3

    Sculpt your figure using your sketch as a blueprint. Many war-gaming figures are sculpted using a two-part epoxy putty called Green Stuff. This putty comes in blue and yellow strips that, when mixed, will begin to harden (or "cure") over the course of two to three hours. You can find Green Stuff at your local gaming store. Be certain to use disposable gloves, such as surgical gloves, as epoxy putty can be toxic. Work in a well-ventilated area.

    Choose whether you will use an armature or not; you may also elect to build only a partial armature. Experiment with each style to see which works best. You may use special armature wire or a few bent paper clips to provide a "skeleton" to help support your sculpture.

    If using an armature, attach it to a solid surface so that you can start adding your Green Stuff to it. Build up your sculpture in layers; some sculptors prefer to first create the body of the figure, then layer the clothing or armour on top of it. Others layer the figure with clothing folds and armour lines already in place.

    Some people prefer to sculpt one piece of the figure at a time (such as the head, followed by the torso, followed by the legs and arms). This is a viable option for beginners, although it is fairly easy to misjudge the proportions. If you sculpt your figure one piece at a time, a partial armature -- select pieces of an inner wire skeleton -- may be helpful to support your figure.

    You can use actual sculpting tools purchased from an art or gaming store or you can use a craft knife. Some people even prefer to use toothpicks or other small, sharp items such as old dental picks. Be sure to keep your sculpting tools wet, or else they may collect Green Stuff on them.

  4. 4

    Give your figure time to set properly. Read the directions on the Green Stuff package to determine the recommended waiting period before it is safe to proceed with your figure.

    Attach your cured figure to its base with superglue or more Green Stuff and allow sufficient time for the glue to dry or the Green Stuff to cure.

  5. 5

    Paint your figure. Many gaming stores carry acrylic paint specifically made for painting war-gaming figures. It is highly recommended that you apply primer to your figure to help your paint stick properly; primer is available at most gaming stores.

    Once you have painted your figure, allow it to dry.

Tips and warnings

  • Your local gaming store will likely have a lot of what you need for this project: sculpting tools, epoxy putty, craft knives and so forth. They are also very likely to have experienced employees who will be happy to answer your questions.
  • Green Stuff, once mixed, will set over the course of two to three hours. Make sure you sculpt all of the details you want while the putty is still soft; otherwise you will have to go in with a hobby knife to cut away any further details you desire.
  • Two-part epoxy putty should not be used bare-handed. Use disposable gloves and work in a well-ventilated area. Read the directions that come with your putty and follow them closely.
  • Always be sure to ask permission to use your figure in a battle before doing so. If you have created the statistics for your figure by yourself, you may be discouraged from using it in a game or tournament for reasons of fairness or game balance.

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