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.
 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.
 Stained Glass Phoenix
December 24, 2013

I've wanted to try my hand at creating stained glass pieces for years. The color, the light refraction, everything about it just seems to hit all the right buttons. When the Minimate Multiverse put together the Marvel Minimates 10th Anniversary Masterpiece Contest (with prizes from DST), it seemed the perfect opportunity to jump in.

When starting something new, my first reaction is to go slow, experiment and learn how to do it right. I quickly realized that wouldn't win me any contests, so I went full bore with a roughly 14" by 14" Phoenix image with over 100 pieces of glass. Here's the result.
This is actually a scaled-back version. My original template had a much larger fiery Phoenix Force in the background. I do plan on finishing the full version in the upcoming months. Keep checking back.

Back lit on a bright, sunny day. Here you can really see the texture of the glass. I wish I hadn't used such small pieces for the sash. They really caused a lot of difficulties and detract from the overall look. Oh well, lesson learned.

Against the work room window. In these photos you can't really see the solder lines. That's the part that I'm least satisfied with. They are uneven and a bit lumpy.

Here's a big reason why I love stained glass. Refraction. It's so cool way the light bounces and flows as you move the piece. The way the different types of glass bend the light.

You can see all the anniversary contest entries here.
 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.
 World War Hulk Cover
October 23, 2011

The Minimate Multiverse Cover Contest made its return this year and I decided to take a stab at it and create a 3D entry using Blender. After some difficulty deciding on which cover to replicate, I settled on World War Hulk #4. It had five new Minimates that I hadn't yet converted to 3D models along with a few opportunites for special effects.

This is a fairly image heavy post that shows each step that I took to recreate the cover.
 Spider-Man Turnarounds
July 15, 2011

Well unfortunately, I didn't get the large rendering project done before Comic-Con like I had planned. As penance, I threw together a couple new turnarounds using existing Minimate models, both Spider-Man. The first is the basic Spidey from the Day-O Dancing Animation.

The second is 'tron-ified' Spider-Man from this post.

I'll have a work-in-progress version of the long teased 'large rendering project' at Comic-Con. If you're in the San Diego area and interested in seeing it, just ask. It should be easy to pick me out from the other 130,000 con-goers, right?
 Cyclops Turnaround
July 4, 2011

The 'large' Minimate animation project I'm working on is taking longer than I originally estimated. So in the meantime I'm posting another turnaround from a completed project. This one is Cyclops from a short video I posted several months ago.

There will probably be one more of these before the large project is complete. (Hopefully before SDCC.) On the plus side, I'm getting better with LMMS by creating the short sound tracks behind the turnarounds. Now if I could only get some talent...

 Dr. Doom Turnaround
June 22, 2011

Here's another Minimate 3D model, the inscrutable Victor von Doom. This was a very straightforward build. The belt/skirt and holster were easy to put together. The hood and the cape took more effort but still came out nice. It really mimics the look of the plastic Minimate cape.

This would have been posted a couple days ago, but I didn't realize I had forgotten something until after I uploaded the complete video to youtube. I overlooked the clasp on the cape. It existed, I just didn't import it from the other project before rendering the turnaround. I don't know how I missed something so obvious.