Action figure WIP - now painted !

Discussion in 'My Work In Progress' started by Strangefate, Mar 13, 2013.

  1. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Hey all,

    I'm trying to build an action figure because well... I need a challenge every now and then... I picked songbird (a marvel superhero) because her costume is simple and tight with a few simple additional elements on top which seemed like a good and easy choice for a start with enough variation to be able to test detail and shapes.

    I don't have a print with all the joints I've done so far, only from the first test with a knee joint.
    I didn't bother printing head and arms as there was nothing there to see yet. It was printed in Strong and Flexible polished and turned out better than expected. I'll probably still want to try frosted detail plastic and see how that one feels too.

    Since it was just a test it was all printed as 1 piece. Later, things like the Belt would be separate with a peg to attach it to the body, that way it should bend up when needed rather than restrict leg movement, plus I like the idea of separate layers and depth to make the figure look more 3d.

    I was worried about the joints (still am about some). I wanted to create the same type of joints regular figures have (without the holes on the sides) and the pieces had to pop all in place, stay there and be tight.
    To my own surprise it worked, joint popped in well (used some hot water just in case) and is as tight as they are on your average new figure.

    Her height will be around 17cm / 6.7 inches with hair which felt about right to work with DC, MOTU, Marvel Select and the old larger Marvel legends.
    That said, I guess she can be scaled to any size as long as walls are thick enough and the joint pieces still feel strong enough. After Songbird I'd like to do some larger ones for your classic more hulking characters.

    I took some time today and gave her a quick paint job with regular acrylics to see what I was getting into and how the resin took on the idea of getting painted. Didn't wait for the paint to dry so coverage is random. That aside, paint adheres to it better than it does on regular plastics so far.

    So, by now the joints are all almost done, currently working on shoulders, then neck and wrists will be next. Hands are not posed yet.
    The goal with the figure is to have a base on top of which I can model and sculpt any hero or figure of my design that I want, and then just print it out without much fuss. Also I'm trying to find a good balance between articulation and retaining a good looking body shape.

    Also, I sculpted an additional version with pronounced musculature that I can gradually turn on or off to get the physique I want for the current character.
    I can also transfer any gear/chothes etc to the rigged version of the mesh and print out a posed bust... if I wanted that, takes some minor work and faces would need more than a neutral expression.

    And Songbird so far, leg detail still missing and everything was modeled for the rigged version originally, so the costume details flow over the joints atm, I'll fix that at the end.
    Her hair was done but was limiting head movement too much so I have to redo that after the remaining joints are done.

    That's all for now I think... I'll update if there's anything interesting to see, probably after the next print, I'm sure there will be some issues with some joints.
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  2. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Almost done with Songbird...

    New hair should allow enough head movement. Costume has been broken down to work with articulation.
    Shoulder pads still need tweaks to not block shoulder rotations... legs and feet are still missing some details.
    Waiting for second print to see which joints need more work.

  3. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    I got the new print today with all the joints done.

    Some of the inner cavity magic I had modeled in the inside to help snap the joints easier didn't turn out so good. It seems that negative spaces and small cavities are prone to collapse so all the nice mechanics kinda got fused together. No biggie, just means I'll have to tweak the negative spaces a bit to work without them, as it is now, assembling those ball joints took a crazy amount of strength (but hey, they're tight that way...), ended up going in with a knife widening the edges a bit to get them in... small tweaks, easy to fix.

    The wrist joint cavity was mostly collapsed and had to clean it up with a small drill first. Once it's attached it stays in just fine and is tight. Not sure I'll be able to do version of the wrist that will print clean, the hole is just too small. I might thicken the arms a bit in general so that may help, we'll see.
    Also need to exaggerate her eyes a bit, they print too soft.

    That aside, I was surprised that I was actually able to put it all together, had little faith in some things.

    She has a decent range of motion matching what I saw in 3D, the torso and neck were the only ones I couldn't really test out. Neck has a pretty decent range in all directions but the torso is rather limited, I'll have to see what I can tweak there now that I can see what the issues are.
    I'm overall happy with the posed results, she has a decent range without sacrificing looks.

    And that's it for now, I'll do tweaks over the next few days and order another print next week...
  4. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
  5. Dotsan
    Dotsan Well-Known Member
    Fantastic execution, well done.
  6. Maethius
    Maethius New Member
    Is it okay to say, "well CRAP!!!" on the forums? Or is that entirely unprofessional? Because... well... WOW.
  7. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Thanks guys!
  8. polaroid
    polaroid Active Member
    This is really well done man. Any chance you could give a little snippet of how you achieved the articulation so cleanly in 3d? I'm a big fan of the action figure type stuff, and always love seeing when they are done well like this.
  9. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Polaroid: Most joints were done with booleans and clean up afterwards. More often, the difficult part was picking where exactly the pivot for the joint's rotation should be and finding the matching size for the boolean, ie: if the knees outer circular cut / boolean is too small or too big then it will either not allow you enough rotation or it will look bad when rotating the knee.
    I had to recut a few joints several times in a quick and dirty fashion until I felt I was getting the best movement range vs. visual integrity deal.

    Sooo... I painted the second figure I had ordered, had some accidents (never painted a figure befoe), most notably ruined the eyes and had to redo them (which made them look worse) but other than that, it was exciting to see it all come together.

    I need to try rearranging the orientation of the mdoel bits, the current set up seems to encourage shapeways more often than not, to print it with the worst orientation, resulting in some stepping artifacts on the front. We'll see what I can do about that.


    I've also updated the shapeways entries for anyone interested:
    Last edited: May 5, 2013
  10. wedge
    wedge New Member
    Looks good. The paint Job is Ok. Ok the eyes ... but painting eyes is in everey size hard ...
    I would add a little shading, to bring out the deatails, but this kann destroy the action figure look, and it then looks more like a scale model.

    To paint woman face it is also good to have some knowledge about make-up ... :)
  11. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Yeah I've never painted anything like this, so I kept it simple and straightforward, just needed a painted sample to show.

    I've tweaked the eyes on the model a bit in the hopes they'll print a bit more defined making them easier to paint, we'll see if it helps on the next figure :)
  12. Luke68
    Luke68 New Member

    I am new to this, so my question maybe silly.
    Why don't you use Color 3D Printing?


  13. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    No silly question.

    The problem with full color sandstone is that it has a rather rough surface finish and if you look at the material properties in the materials page, the material itself is subpar to the regular White strong and flexible, couldn't handle strong joints etc needed for an action figure... also, the printed colors are rather muted / pastel-ish, not comparable to actual paint.

    I'm sure that with time they'll come up with something that works, but for now people get to enjoy the fun of painting :)
  14. CADatonic
    CADatonic New Member

    Do you have any pics of the joints pre-assembly? I produce master prints for clients using the strong and flexible plastic, but I'm not sure what the best technique is for articulating joints. I have some ideas, but I'd rather not waste time and money if I don't have to. Thanks so much! Your figures are outstanding by the way. Are you on instagram?
    @CADatonic - instagram/twitter
    KIk - CADatonic
  15. superstring
    superstring New Member
    Whoa! Sweet, that's awesome. Looks great! What are you modeling in? How long did it take to model? Have you considered trying the polished material?
  16. Strangefate
    Strangefate New Member
    Wow, old thread...

    CADatonic - Some of the instructions may show what you want to see perhaps ? tions/Assembly.jpg

    Some joint types are easier than others to implement, but how things will work, often depends on the material density around the joint socket as it will allow the socket to expand a bit to fit and snap the peg in a nice tight fashion... or not.

    No instagram, I post things related to what I do (done by me of people that buy the figures and accessories) on Pinterest: on-figures-and-accessories/

    Superstring - Thanks :) I use modo for modeling. The original body with articulation took a few months, mainly because you always have to wait around 3 weeks for a test print, which slows things down a lot..
    From there, each new figure takes 2 to 6 hours depending of the complexity, as I reuse the body and just add the clothes/uniform on top.
    Polished material.... yes, everything you see is done in the polished material. I did have some orientation issues back when I started this thread which translated into crappy prints with stepping effect here and there.

    All the other figures don't have those issues, although shapeways' polishing isn't always consistent and some figures are somewhat more granular than others.

    If you want to see more, there's plenty of images on Flickr and the pinterest link posted above

    Some of the stuff done since I started the thread here:

    Gamora, she was rather easy to do, the sword was printed too. I realized from it that I needed to make swords thicker and more toyetic, and avoid certain angles to avoid the stepping.
    [​IMG]MAR_1666 by strangefate, on Flickr

    A female Dr. Fate with a custom design. Itried the elastic material for her cape... which is rather granular but I guess worked fine for a cape.
    [​IMG]FR3_MAR_1427WEB by strangefate, on Flickr

    Shield agent.
    [​IMG]MAR_1815WEB by strangefate, on Flickr

    A barbarian girl
    [​IMG]WB-MAR_1952 by strangefate, on Flickr

    with lots and lots of removable gear. Shapeways actually forgot to polish this one, so they printed me another but by that time I was almost done painting the unpolished one :/
    [​IMG]WB-MAR_1945 by strangefate, on Flickr

    Darth Talon. Made a handful of lightsabers to go along, too. She was printed in red but I still gave her a coat of red paint as it made for a nicer finish.
    [​IMG]DT3Final by strangefate, on Flickr
    [​IMG]MAR_2710 by strangefate, on Flickr

    And I just finished a female Thor some week ago. She was printed at 7.36 inches to be more in line with the Marvel Select movie figures. Hammer was printed too. For the design I went with a mix of movie and Comic Thor.
    [​IMG]Thor06-WEB by strangefate, on Flickr
    [​IMG]MAR_2790-WEB by strangefate, on Flickr
    [​IMG]MAR_2807-WEB by strangefate, on Flickr

  17. numarul7
    numarul7 Well-Known Member
    Nice ones.

    Regarding the eye paint , it is not so bad , there are commercial dolls with same paint job on them. I think the scale make it hard to paint that part.