Introduction: Life-Sized Minecraft Armour Stand
My grandson is a mine craft fan, and for his 7th birthday, he was "dreaming" of having a real minecraft armour stand to put his minecraft helmet on. (from a school “dress up”)
Step 1: Making the Full-size Minecraft Armour Stand.
The model was scaled to 1200 mm high from online photos and was constructed of plywood and pine, made into hollow tubes to minimise the weight but to maintain strength, with a base large enough to resist tipping.
The wooden construction is straightforward , except to say that the pine inserts in the end of each vertical tube need to be accurately made as a push-fit into the tubes.
The painting takes some time!
Step 2: Materials:
3mm plywood at least 900 mm x 900 mm for the tube sides
6mm plywood x 600 x 450 for the base
2.5 metres x 80mm x 15mm radiata pine for tube sides
900 mm x 120mm x 15mm radiata pine for larger horizontal tube
9 x 79mm x 55mm x 20mm radiata pine for tube ends
1 x 74mm x 50mm x 20 mm radiata pine for base of the top tube.
2 pieces 38 x 38 x 500mm radiata pine for the base
2 pieces 38 x 38 x 370mm radiata pine for the base
1 x 38 x 80 x 420mm radiata pine for the cross piece in the base
15mm panel pins
PVA wood glue
Primer/Undercoat to cover whole model
3 x 250 ml sample pots of grey paint (Dulux colours):
Dieskau (GR12), Stepney (GR11) Silkwort (GR12)
3 x 250ml sample pots of brown paint (Taubmans colours):
Turtle Tan (T10 8E-2), Bran Muffin (T10 8F-1), Brown Basket (T10 8F-2)
250 ml Clear satin acrylic (if desired)
Green or blue masking tape
4 stick on rubber feet (if required)
7 x 30mm 10g woodscrews
2 x 50mm 8g woodscrews
Step 3: Tools:
Drill and bits to make the screw holes & countersink them.
Paint brushes or a sprayer.
Ear and eye protection. (hammers and power tools are noisy)
Table saw with a fine tooth blade
Driver bit and cordless drill.
Step 4: Model Dimensions:
For accurate dimensions, see the Fusion 360 diagrams and model. I scaled mine to be about the same height as my grandson, but it could be made to any size you wanted.
Step 5: Construction Detail:
There are no step-by-step photos. (construction is simple)
1) Make the base:
The base sides are 4 pieces of wood: 2 x 38 x 38 x 500mm 2 x 38 x 38 x 370 butt jointed, glued and nailed to a piece of 6mm ply 450 x 500mm. It has a piece of 80 x 38 x 420mm wood laterally across the centre so that the screws which secure the “legs” have something to grip onto, and so that the load is more evenly distributed over the base.
The base was made to be detachable for easy transportation. If the armour stand is likely to scratch the floor then adhesive rubber feet can be attached near each corner.
2) Build the boxes:
To simplify construction I used 15mm pine for each 2 opposing sides, and 3mm plywood for the other 2 opposing sides.
Once the wood is accurately cut into strips of the appropriate width (preferably with a table saw) it is cut to length and glued and nailed together into square tubes.
The vertical boxes for each level must be exactly the same length, and any discrepancy should be corrected at this stage.
3) Make the ends for the boxes:
Two 20mm thick end plugs are needed for each vertical box, and they should be accurately cut to ensure a snug fit inside each box. (nominally 79mm x 55mm). The top vertical box and the horizontal boxes have a 3mm plywood “cap” over them rather than a fitted “plug” of wood.
Step 6: Assembly:
- The plywood ends are glued and nailed onto both horizontal boxes and sanded flush. Sanding is much easier at this stage, and putting the ends on the boxes adds rigidity.
- The boxes that form the horizontal parts of the model should have the 15mm thick sides on the top & bottom so that there is enough wood for the screws to bite into. In the end, it is the PVA glue that will hold it together, but the screws keep everything aligned until the glue is dried.
- At this stage, end blocks can be glued into the lower end of the 2 lower legs, so the legs can be screwed to the base when the main body is complete.
- Holes big enough for the 30mm screws can be drilled and countersunk at the centre of all the end plugs except the lower 2. These ones will have smaller pilot holes drilled later when the stand is joined to the base.
To attach the “legs” onto the lower horizontal box:
- Mark and carefully measure where the blocks should go
- Drill pilot holes
- Glue and screw one of the end blocks in position.
- Glue on the leg. Before the glue starts to set between the end plug and the horizontal box, do any fine rotational adjustment to align the leg perfectly with the edge of the horizontal box. If it doesn't align, this step will need to be re-done.
Repeat for the other leg, then the same for both the vertical “body” pieces, making sure at all times that the verticals are 120mm apart and parallel.
Repeat the measuring and positioning for the longer horizontal box. As this box is fitted to the top of both of the vertical “body” boxes at once, it needs to be tapped down evenly to prevent binding. A piece of flat scrap wood is handy to prevent the model being damaged by the hammer.
Once the vertical box is on the top, the body is complete!
Step 7: Attaching the Base:
When the glue is dry on the main body, attach the base using 2 x 50mm woodscrews through the 38mm cross beam in the base.:
- Measure 100mm each side of centre on the 38x80 cross piece,
- Drill & countersink holes for the 50mm screws. The countersink should be deep enough so that the screw is about 5mm below the surface of the wood
To ensure accuracy:
- Mark out where the legs should attach to the base using a pencil, or masking tape. It is possible to stand the main body up on the base, and support it or have someone hold it while you mark it.
- With the main body flat on a table or bench, support the base so that it aligns with the marks.
- Put one of the screws into the base, and when it is properly aligned with the leg, tap it with a hammer to mark the position for the hole in the bottom of the leg.
- Put the base aside and drill a pilot hole in the mark you have just made.
- Retrieve the base, screw the screw a few threads into the hole you just drilled, until it is just firm (not all the way in)
- Re-align the legs on the base, ensure that the legs are parallel, then tap the screw in the other hole to mark the other leg,
- Loosen the first screw
- Drill the pilot hole in the second leg
- Screw both screws all the way in to legs through the base.
This might seem like the long way around, but it gives more accurate and reliable hole positioning.
Step 8: Painting the Main Body:
Prior to painting, any holes or gaps should be filled and sanded smooth.
After this is done, the whole model should be given a coat of primer/undercoat and allowed to dry overnight.
Before any more paint goes on, the entire base should be masked. I used newspaper to cover the large areas, and held it down with masking tape.
From the materials list you will see there are 3 browns and 3 greys.
Those with a discerning eye may notice more than 3 of each colour in online photos, like this one from Gamepedia.com:
To get more than 3 colours:
- Apply 2 coats of the lightest colour as a base-coat, leave it overnight.
- Mix some of the next darkest colour with the first colour. It's best to use a separate container so that you will still have the original colours, and so any touch-up or corrections will be easier.
- Working from a photo, mask the bits that you want to remain light, apply the next 2 coats.
- Remask re-mix, and repaint until you get to the last and darkest colour.
Do this first for the armour stand body then the grey base.
The masking tape should be either green or blue, as it peels off easier than standard masking tape.
I used acrylic paints and allowed a day to dry for each colour before masking up and re-painting. I did this so the paint would be strong enough to resist peeling with the tape. Even so there was still some small amount of lifting which had to be fixed up later.
Where you put the squares is up to you, but it's best if they are some easy fraction of the width of the arms & legs. Eg. The top horizontal piece is 120mm x 120mm, the other components are about 85mm wide. A square of around 40mm works fine. (They don't have to be "exact")
It's best to look at a few online examples, and copy them.
Step 9: Painting the Base:
Once all the coats of paint are on the main stand, peel off all the masking tape, fix any glaring errors, re-mask the legs to prevent the grey from the base getting on them, then repeat the paint-mask-mix-paint sequence on the base.
Once all the painting is done, remove the masking tape, and fix any serious errors.
I gave the whole stand a light sand to smooth out the ridges where the tape overlapped the paint, and I put a final coat of satin clear acrylic over the whole model to improve wear, make it easier to clean and to even out the textures.
The armour stand was a great hit at the birthday party, and still gets plenty of use.
It works well for Minecraft armour (made from cardboard boxes) and is also very handy for school clothes....
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