Who does not love miniatures? I always wanted to change up the minis I made but alas everything was always super glued. But Renato Leite has unlocked that magic by sculpting minis with magnets in them so that you can mix and match heads arms accessories. If you have not heard of SwapMinis I suggest taking a look at Renato's work!
I am Renato Leite 44 years old . Creator of Heroes and Beasts miniatures based in Portugal I am the designer and sculptor of all Heroes and Beasts minis. Pretty much a one man show so far. Started HNB in January 2019 ( a couple months before covid hit) so … its been a bit of challenge launching a business during this pandemic.
What brought you into game design?
I worked motion graphics for almost 2 decades. It was time to get back to my original passion. I studied sculpture in the fine art university in Porto and always loved fantasy / sci fi character design. I Always had a thing for action figures and miniatures but in those days I couldn’t find a way to actually pursue the dream. finally 20 years later I did it. It was about time I start doing what I like most which is sculpting fantasy characters
What are Swapminis? Swapminis are modular magnetic minis for table top RPG . all Parts are exchangeable between all characters. Parts you can exchange are : Heads ,hands , legs , bases , chests , shoulders , backs . This was inspired a bit on the Diablo 3 game . Where you could have a mix of armor styles ( which I loved ). I thought D&D minis could gain from that and also giving the players the possibility of creating your own mini by mixing up parts. Like the dwarf could have wings or centaur legs .. or just simply change armor or weapons.. its all up to you. The more swapminis you have the more options you get.
What is currently your favorite game to play? I don’t have time to play at all. But D&D was my favorite game in the day but lately I have been looking into board games. ( some oldies I admit) . Dead of winter is a recent game here at home.
What did you find was the most difficult part of the design process?
Creating the actual template for the original swapmini parts. I had to consider all swapminis in the future, so its really hard to imagine everything you will be able to do in the future…when you just creating the first one. Over all I did a pretty good job but I admit sometimes I wish I could go back and just change that original template a little. What was your favorite part about the design process? oh ..for sure …when I am done with a new character ..and have just finished adding the magnets. At that moment I take a few swapminis and start swapping parts around with the new character … I just love the crazy options I come up with.. and some combinations I didn’t really plan for… I really enjoy the endless possibilities. What was the hardest issue you had to overcome?
Time for sure. 24 hours day are not enough. And creating on a deadline ( my patreon deadlines) is really hard sometimes.. and does suck the fun out of the creation process sometimes. The lack of time is directly connected to money of course. So my objectives is to get more support (patreon or tribes) to eventually take some of the tasks off my hands like online marketing and some of the 3d printing process too. One day. :D
Do you have any advice for up and coming artists? Work work work . Practice a lot. See a lot of what you want to make. Watch tutorials. Don't expect anyone to teach you. Help your self ! Teach yourself! Follow other artists work. And don’t be afraid to fail. We only learn with our fails. If you didn’t make it perfect this time… ITS OK! You will get closer next time. I am not always happy with my creations but I cant afford to linger on it too long. What's next for you?
Hopefully this year will bring more support on my patreon and tribes . Some kickstarters in the making and the big plan would be a swapminis Board game.So a lot of plans and a lot of work! This will be a great year for Heroes and Beasts. I can feel it !
What is the airspeed of an unladen swallow?
42 ? Unless you want to be more specific. European or African swallows ?
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