Tony and I, at WorkingClassVillains, enjoyed some success with our hand-cast CG Dungeon Grate, selling them online and at conventions, an item that was first sculpted back in early 2012. It's a project that we are immensely proud of, and have been asked about quite often since we stopped casting them more than a year ago. As interested as people were to get our grate kit, it was no match for how badly we wanted to make our kit perpetually available to those interested. We finally decided that hand-casting them just wasn't the way to go forward. So, we took a cast of our grate kit, and had it 3D scanned, and brought our physical sculpt into the virtual world. Now I know my limits, and currently, 3D modeling is way past them, so we contacted famed sculptor, and all around swell guy, Brian Dugas (Wizkids and Privateer Press). Brian cleaned up the entire scanned 3D model, added the engineering cuts, and even made a few improvements. And here we stand, with the WCV CG Dungeon Grate Kit 2.0.
A little background: Our kit is based on the Dungeon Grate sticker included with the original Castle Grayskull in the classic He-Man toy line. Originally sculpted from Super Sculpey with mixed media details, we were pressure casting each grate, one at a time, from two-part resin, in hand-poured silicone molds. It was incredibly time consuming, and we could not keep up with demand. So, we worked with Artec 3D Printing in Palo Alto to digitally scan our sculpt for 3D output. Every detail was preserved, and just like our hand-cast grate kits, Grate 2.0 has the exact same footprint as the original sticker.
One of the features our original grate offered was a removeable hand, that when placed in the Classic Castle Grayskull, would have otherwise interfered with the peg on the Jaw Bridge; That feature was retained for Grate 2.0! For owners of the new Mattel Castle Grayskull, Grate 2.0 can of course be displayed anywhere in the castle, but also fits inside the jail cell. Just like on our resin kits, the Furry Arm is removable, allowing for the grate to be placed inside the cell without removing any pieces of the castle itself: Just insert the Grate base through the door, and then plug the Furry Arm into its socket!
One problematic area of the original resin kit were the pair of "Crab Claws", a notoriously thin and bubble-prone part. To avoid further 3D printing issues with these slender parts, Brian Dugas suggested they be resculpted, contouring to the rock border instead of remaining proud of the grate surface. A great call, and one that improved the overall look of the whole project.
The cast resin kits had six separate pieces, which was necessary because of casting limitations. Grate 2.0 has only 4 separate pieces, while still maintaining the artisic integrity and detail of the original. The assembled grate is approximately 4 1/2" x 5 1/2" x 1 1/2". Each kit contains: 1 Grate Base, 1 Furry Arm, 1 Manacled Hand, 1 Grate Fist, and all pieces are unpainted.
Lastly, price: I wish we had more control here. The bulk of the cost is determined by how much room each Grate takes up in the 3D printers. We looked at hollowing out the grate to use less material, but the minimal cost difference wasn't worth the sacrifice in structure. We looked at encapsulating the four separate parts in a sintershell, to bring down the cost of labor involved with the separate pieces, but that increased the printed space, and canceled out any monetary savings. We looked at both thinning down as well as scaling down the entire sculpt, to lessen material as well as space in the printers, but this would've resulted in a lower quality product than we wanted to produce: Thinning down the grate would have made the kit feel cheaper than its resin counterpart instead of an upgrade, and scaling the grate down would have negated the intention of having this be the definitive 3D version of the original sticker ever produced.
Thank you for considering the purchase of the WCV CG Dungeon Grate Kit 2.0. We are confident that you will not find a better sculpted, more highly detailed, or more accurate 3D Dungeon Grate, anywhere.
Skot and Tony