Since I saw the first Bulbasaur planter (chrisma0 's) I've wanted to make my own because I love both Bulbasaur and cacti. So this is my version of it.
I belong to the Pokémon generation and I was one of the few kids that chose Bulbasaur over Squirtle and Charmander in the first game. It's never been the popular one (note that nintendo made pokemon blue and red but not green, they even made pokémon "yellow" with Pikachu, but no green at all). At my school Bulbasaur was not popular either and it was hard to be a Bulbasaur kid. Some other classmates that chose it restarted the game with Squirtle or Charmander because they wanted to be cool, but I didn't betray it, I kept playing with it for months and months, vine whip here and there till I won the Pokémon League ;D
LONG LIFE TO BULBASAUR!!
Step 1: Materials
I didn't want to spend much money on this project a I decided to use materials I already had at home.
- Concrete, resin or in my case filler
- Acrilic paint
Step 2: Finding a Paper Model
There are many Bulbasaurs in the internet. I wanted one that wasn't angry and whose face could be seen well. I chose this one from Paperpokés designed by Brandon: Bulbasaur Papercraft
Step 3: Making the Paper Model Waterproof
As I'm going to pour a liquid casting material in the papercraft I have to make it waterproof.
Once I assembled the paper model, I applied a layer of resin to make it more consistent and waterproof. Before pouring the filler in the papercraft make sure there are no holes or fissures through wich your casting material could filtrate. I used some filler (dense mixture) to seal the papercraft.
Step 4: Casting
The technique I wanted to use for this project is a technique I studied in materials science called rotocasting. I decided to use it because this is not a solid casting, I just want to get a thick layer on the surface of the papercraft.
Many people think it only works if you have a machine to automatically spin the mold on multiple axes, simultaneously, for several hours while the casting material sets up. Turns out if you use the right quick-cure resin or in my case a dense mix of filler, it’s practical to rotocast thin hollow shell-type parts just using your hands. I applied the filler in a small number of batches/layers (4-5), each of which cure in a matter of 3-4 minutes.
You can compare the first and last layer of filler in the pictures.
Step 5: Adding Waterproof Layer
Although it is a cactus and the substratum won't be saturated of water, there's going to be humidity inside the planter. That's why I decided to add a final layer of epoxy resin, to make sure that no water will penetrate in the planter.
Step 6: Sanding and Painting
I first thought of removing the paper, but I was afraid that it could be too weak and break. That's why I felt the outter paper layer. Then I sanded the edges and smoothed the surface.
The colors and proportions I used where:
Base: 1 part of Turquoise Green (661) + 5 parts of White
Spots: 5 parts Turquoise Green (661) + 1 part Black + 1 part White
Eyes: Primary Magenta (369)
Mouth: 4 parts Primary Magenta (369) + 1 part Black + 1 part White
Tongue: 1 part Primary Magenta (369) + 3 parts White
I started painting the base color. In the begining I tried to avoid painting the spots and the eyes, so that I could have a reference for when I painted them, but it was not comfortable to paint it like that. I decided to paint it all with the base color and then printed and assembled the face again to make a stencil out of it.
When I sanded the base color to have a smoother surface and while working on the Bulbasaur, I got some flaws (as you can see in the third picture). I used the spots to cover these flaws (note that I drew the spots around the flaws). The new spots are not placed exactly in the same place as the original ones, but I tried to make an homogeneous distribution.
Step 7: Choosing the Right Cactus
It was kinda hard to find the right cactus for the Bulbasaur. I wanted it to be as similar as possible to the original bulb he has on his back. This is what I found. It should be a little bit bigger to fit the scale of the planter, but it's just a matter of time that it grows to the right size.
Step 8: Transplanting the Cactus
I used a substrate that's specific for cacti, but here's a recipe of what your cactus needs:
- 2 parts Fine Gravel
- 1 part Moss (to keep humidity)
- 1 part Soil