500% Minimate Completion
June 12, 2015

I made some time in the spring to finally finish up the 500% Minimate. I went with automotive paint for the metal flake appearance. After multiple coats, I topped it off with a couple clear coats for protection. Unfortunately before I was able to apply the clear coat to the head, I dropped it on my patio. It chipped out a sizable chunk and I went back to the fill-sand-paint routine for a while. Now I can't even tell where it chipped.


The light was changing on me while I was taking photos, so the color balance is off a bit from picture to picture. The closest color match is probably the side-by-side size comparison shot below.


As you can see it is still fully poseable. Though the paint on the ball joints is wearing away and it doesn't look great around the joints.

The printer is back in operation, so next I'm going to see just how big I can make one of these suckers. Two Internet points if you can figure out the scale.
 LabTable: Print Surface Prep
September 25, 2014

Time to get back to the large printed Minimate. All of the major pieces are printed (or reprinted) and I've done some heavy sanding and filling to get a smooth finish. Before applying another layer of paint I took these photos of the cleaned up prints.





Look at all that texture.
 Lotus Hip
September 23, 2014

When the topic of "redo"ing a Minimate comes up, sometimes Dr. Strange is mentioned. While it is widely agreed the version from the Defenders box set is excellent, it is almost seven years old and some would like to see a new version incorporating recent advancements in Minimate technology. Like extra pieces to show alternate looks.

One request is for a new hip piece to allow a Minimate to sit in a crossed-leg or lotus position. (Yes, I know that's not Strange, but Picard was closer at hand.) Since I have a 3D Printer I took it upon myself to see what was possible.

Here are my various attempts in order from left to right. The first was simply to turn the hip balls vertical, but there was no clearance to actually move the legs. I had to keep tilting and extending until there was enough movement.

This is the final (rough) print. One side is longer so the legs can be more easily placed on top of each other. When they are the same length, the legs tilt and it doesn't look good. It might have worked if you could get the toes and heels to touch, but due to the limited bend of the knee that's not possible.

If anyone is interested in ordering some of these (with higher quality of course), let me know and I'll put it up on shapeways.
 LabTable: Hall of Armor
December 26, 2013

I'm really impressed with the Sideshow Hall of Armor modules for their sixth-scale Iron Man figures. The big stuff really isn't my thing (apart from big Minimates I guess), but I would like to have a Minimate scale versions for the recently released Hall of Armor 10-pack. Time to break out Blender.

Here are the first renders. I still need to work on making it modular and how to best light it. Oh yes, there will be LEDs.

Updates to come.
 LabTable: Printed Minimate
December 19, 2013

In early 2013, I purchased a consumer 3D printer. Not one of the industrial types that Shapeways uses, but an open source, plastic extruding, home model. Specifically the Ditto from Tinkerines Studios. After assembly and many hours of refinement I started printing Minimate parts. Large Minimate parts.

Using the models I created for animation I was able to produce a scaled-up version of the basic Minimate.

Like anything new there are bound to be problems. I printed many versions of the various pieces to get the fit and feel just right. I've also had a couple controller chips die so I end up waiting for replacement parts.

Print lines are very obvious in these early prints. It seemed whenever I would print a torso, about halfway through the printer would get off track just a bit. It would either skip layers or go over the edge a bit. It's gotten better, but still not ideal.

Also you can see the little blobs that indicated the starting point of each layer. These have been minimized quite a bit with recent prints. But I'm still sanding and filling to get the finish I want.

I've also purchased the Ditto Upgrade Kit that should improve prints as well. Unfortunately it uses a thinner plastic filament so I have to use up my stock of plastic before upgrading. I've got about three spools to go.

This is still an ongoing project. I don't yet have a fully assembled jumbo Minimate. When I do, it will be posted here.
 Metal Minimate
October 3, 2010

What do you get when you combine a 3D model with an emerging technology?

In this case, something with some heft to it.