3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

DalekCheese
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by DalekCheese »

It looks absolutely brilliant, 3DPDW, but will it ever be complete until you’ve modelled that dalek operator inside? ;)

Hope you get better soon.
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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

I've finished all the accessories and articulation on The Sensorite figure.
This figure will come with two different sashes (though they probably won't be swappable after assembly unless you print them out of flexible resin or TPU), plain and banded forearms, the "Telepathic Transmitter" (which may be too small to print, it's only 1mm tall) and two versions of the weapon, both with and without the upper arched part. The version without the arch has some extremely tiny holes so it's possible you may be able to use wire, monofilament, or similar to complete the print. For the crosshair pieces you will probably have to use actual hair or paintbrush bristles if you want them to be the correct scale.

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Additionally, I've also finished a second "Leader" head. I've made this one a little droopier and wrinklier than the more generic "Worker" Sensorite. I'll also be including a clean shaven head with the rest of the files just in case somebody wants to try adding their own facial hair by hand to make even more variants.

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I've exported all the pieces out of TinkerCAD, and am now in the process of cleaning up and restoring all the surface detail that gets cut out when I import the model for articulation.

While I can't get away from this double-work step entirely, I have discovered that I can bypass it for faces by saving the original high detail face as a separate file, importing a copy into TinkerCAD (which reduces the polygon count to an ugly low quality amount) then adding my articulation and exporting the low poly version as usual, but then plane cutting all but the lowest layers of the neck directly above the plug part, and merging this with the high detail head I saved earlier in Meshmixer. There are a few other steps involved to up the polygon count of the neck joint, remove nonmanifold edges, smooth and repair the edges of the join, etc. but that's way easier than having to resculpt the entire face. Twice.

Unfortunately, I can only do this for the head, arms, and feet because they only have articulation on one end. The torso, because it needs to split open like a clamshell and be mostly hollow inside, can't be Frankensteined together in this way, at least not fully.
Still, it's another important shortcut to add to my bag of tricks that will make high detain figures easier to work on moving forward. (I really wish I'd know about this when I was going back and forth and back and forth with the Voord)

With any luck I'll have the Beta version of the figure finished and uploaded sometime tomorrow, and can begin test printing on Tuesday or Wednesday. As with the Voord, Raston, and Kronos, I expect it'll take a few test prints to get the articulation zeroed in, but all the fine detail work is now complete. It's just fiddling around and fine tuning from this point forward.

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skifflebits
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by skifflebits »

I'm really looking forward to seeing the printed Sensorites.
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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

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Well, as you can see overall print quality (at least in resin) turned out absolutely gorgeous, even including the weapon, which I wasn't sure about. Shoulder, elbow, and hip articulation all worked flawlessly on the first try. Yay me. The knees aren't bad, but they still bends forward in the wrong direction, but I'm pretty sure I can correct that with a minor tweak on the next revision. The only two significant problem points were the swappable heads and sashes.

Giving this figure hot-swappable heads was a great idea, but doesn't work because the underside of the neck plug doesn't have anything to support it and it just slides down into the neck cavity and is too tiny to really get enough purchase to properly support the head. All this means is that I've have to revert back to the original neck plug design, which I saved a copy of prior to alteration. So that problem's already fixed itself.

The sashes proved more problematic. You can get the single diagonal Second Elder's sash onto the body... as long as there's no head attached, but the First Elder's double sash won't go over the top of the body at all, even when printing out of a flexible resin.
So, since the double-sash is unusable and the single sash is only usable without a head, what I'm going to have to do is just make three alternate solid front and back chest pieces for plain, diagonal, and cross sash, and then you just pick which version you want to print. Luckily, this is pretty easily accomplished, and it means you aren't required to use a fancy flexible resin or filament if you don't want to. (Though I still advise at least a 25% mixture of flexible resin to if SLA printing to give your figure some durability and preventing it from breaking if it falls over.)

All things considered, the amount of modification to get this figure to a finished state is going to be minimal, and I'll probably have it all finished in time for a second (and final) test printing this weekend.

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skifflebits
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by skifflebits »

Wow. That's very impressive. Seriously, your work just keeps getting better and better with these things.

Regarding swappable heads: Has anyone tried a system with maybe a slot-and-flange arrangement whereby you could only insert or remove the head if it the flange was lined up with the slot, and designing that position so it was a position you'd never pose the figure in? Like, say, the head pointing straight backwards?

I know I'm not describing this very well... Maybe I can find an image as an example or something...
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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

I get what you're saying. And I was sort of considering that. If the top of the neck was triangular or had a square flange at one end, it'd fit and lock in place better, but the main problem is, to fit inside the head without weakening the side walls of the neck/collar, the neck plug needs to be just a little under 3mm wide. It's already so tiny, that it may not print as anything more than a vaguely circular blob on filament printers, so I can't really contract it any smaller or expand it out further to give it a tighter lock-in fit.

If I was doing something bigger with a much larger head; like a Tereleptil, Tetrap, or Tractator, I could pull that off without a hitch, but one of the biggest problems with doing humanoid figures at this scale is that everything you're printing is just barely at the boundary of what's physically possible to print without self destructing. If CO had scaled their figures just 10% bigger there's all sorts of awesome stuff I could do, like add separate wrist, ankle, and upper thigh articulation, the figures would be *way* sturdier, and you'd be able to see a lot more of the fine detail on the face.
But it is what it is, and at least I have enough experience doing this now that I can *usually* spot when a planned articulation isn't going to have enough room to function, and just do my best to work around it.

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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

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I managed to wear a respirator for about an hour this evening while I was doing some dremel work to clean up a few pieces, mainly my original test print of the Battle Damage Emperor Dalek which needed to be ground down significantly so the revised panels would sort of fit in the holes. I also brought out every single box and tray of parts that's been taking up space on my work table for the last 8 months, so that tomorrow I can finally start priming and painting while the weather's nice and it's not too hot or cold to work out in the garage. Spring around here typically lasts for about three weeks before it jumps straight from 70°F to 90°F, so I've got to get as much done as I can while Mother Nature is still in a good mood.

All together, I've got about 20 pieces in total waiting to be painted and assembled, and several of these are either going to go into the shelf clearing sale, or free up earlier prototype versions of the figure that will do the same.

Now that my lungs are almost back to normal, I expect it'll take me about a month to finish this lot, so the aforementioned shelf clearing sale should is now shaping up to start sometime around the last week of March/first week of April. (I'll be sure to let everybody know ahead of time when it's about to start, as well as post a full inventory of everything that will be included)

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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

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I wasn't keeping an eye on the calendar and realized this past weekend I only had 10 days left to create this year's annual April Fool's Day figure. (Where I traditionally try to create a figure for one of the most rubbish-looking or forgettable monsters from the show's past that would never in a million years be given an official figure. Past years have featured The Taran Wood Beast, cactus-form Meglos, and the Celestial Toymaker's tin robot.)

You can probably guess what this year's design will be. I managed to complete the basic body and articulation elements in TinkerCAD in about 24 hours, now it's just fine detail work in MeshMixer trying to make sure every wrinkle and bulge is as blobbily screen accurate as possible. I had hoped to already have it printing by now, but a bad case of food poisoning means I've lost a couple of days of working time. At any rate, even if I don't have it fully printed and assembled in time to show off by the 1st, I'm pretty sure the model itself will be ready for download by then without too much trouble.

The finished figure will have three accessories (this is one of them) and technically 4 points of articulation. I'm debating about whether or not to incorporate LED supports. It's going to have to be mostly hollow and split on some printers, so there's not a particularly good method of mounting a light-up mechanism, especially in a way where it's easy to turn on and off. I think I may just end up painting mine with fluorescent paint, and then air-brushing a thin slightly darker coat over the top of it, hoping that I get a very slight luminous glow when it's done.

And yes, before you ask, it will come with *that* appendage. :oops: I'm all about screen accuracy, after all.

In other news, because I got sidetracked with this figure (and the afore-mentioned food poisoning) I haven't been doing much painting this week, so the shelf clearing sale has been pushed back another couple of weeks. I'll let everyone know when I've got everything finalized and ready to go.

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skifflebits
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by skifflebits »

Ha! That's hilarious. Though I feel like you'd need to print it in rubber to really do it justice. ;)
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3DPrintingDoctorWho
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Re: 3D Printing Doctor Who - Print and paint your own 5.5" scale customs

Post by 3DPrintingDoctorWho »

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I may have slightly miscalculated the total size of Erato.
He's more or less to scale, but about 250mm by 250mm wide, which is too big to print as a solid piece even for my massive printer (and this is after I already compacted him once to make him a little less wide around.) I'm going to have to see if I can tweak the design even more to try to get at least one of the sides down to under 220mm so that he will fit on a typical filament printer bed... if split in half.

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While some may be tempted to shrink it, the figure itself isn't *that* much bigger than a regular CO figure. He's a slightly rougher version imported into TinkerCAD standing next to my 140mm tall Tom Baker stand-in. At current height, he's almost exactly the same height as a Pertwee/Baker TARDIS or Sontaran Scout Ship, which is pretty screen accurate. I've printed plenty of larger figures before, it's just that most of them have flat edges where you can easily carve them up into smaller more manageable pieces, and here he's just one *big* blob, so no matter where I split the design, there's going to be at least one visible seam.

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