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For anyone who has an avatar they use online, this is one way you can turn it into a 3-d model, to show off round the house or wherever.

This method is old-school modelling, not 3-d printing, so assumes a degree of sculpting ability, but it is a simple method that requires no expensive kit and will give you a completely individual result.

Some useful stuff covered in this instructable is:

  • how to recreate a plasticine model as a solid object using a mould and casting method.
  • a simple mould-making technique using recycled domestic containers, cardboard and tape
  • how silicone latex is a good material for making multi-part moulds as it can be cut into sections to allow the cast to be removed later without it getting stuck
  • that hot glue is a useful, quick and durable casting material (essentially a thermosetting plastic that pours)

 

Custom This example is a custom figure recreated from Twitter profile image (shown left), used by a good friend and colleague of mine who was leaving work. He is a keen collector of custom toys, mostly in vinyl. This was an appropriate leaving present, but this method could be used for anyone you know who has a unique game avatar, etc.

It is roughly based on a munny body shape, but was completely handmade rather than based on a blank toy. It was modelled in plasticine, by eye, from the head featured in the twitter profile image.

Although not realised at the time, the twitter image is actually a detail from a picture of a custom toy:
Frank Kozik’s  “The Peoples Soldier". The original toy is a custom toy based on the Monqee Qee platform.

My version was made not having seen the original, and is custom-made to reflect the owner, so had an additional beer glass and characteristic favourite green top and jeans.

Step 1: Modelling the Toy in Plasticine

Custom Custom The most important step in the process was really to get the model looking right. This was done by eye from the Twitter profile image (shown left). Interpreting a 2-d image as a 3-d model is a challenge. The main focus was obviously the head and the only reference was the detail in the face. The body was also modelled by hand, the shape being loosely based on a munny, a common vinyl blank produced for making custom toys (shown right).

The modelling material was Newplast, which is essentially a hobby modelling material, just like Plasticine. The tools used were mainly stainless steel modelling tools. These are great and came originally from sculpture suppliers Alec Tiranti. These are not essential, as almost any small tools round the house can be used, like knitting needles, kitchen utensils, bamboo skewers.

Shown here is a household butter knife which is excellent for smoothing convex surfaces (the head here) without leaving fingerprints. This is done by gently rolling the flat of the blade round the head.  Another kitchen object here is the stainless steel egg cup used to hold the head whilst working on the detail. This was very stable.

Note the body and head were not permanently joined together to make a single model. They were held together as required whilst working on them, to judge the fit, but were modelled as separate pieces. This was because they would be cast separately later.
Great documentation, and the result speaks for itself. Nice job!
Hey, thanks - very kind. <br> <br>I try to put in anything that might be vaguely helpful to someone else pondering such things. <br> <br>Glad you liked. Appreciated

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Bio: I like making all sorts of stuff, out of found materials: furniture, wild food, whatever! I've learnt loads from generous people out there, so ... More »
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