Introduction: DIY Real Size Yoda
Step 1: Introduction and a Bit of Background Story
This guide will help create a real size Yoda, as similar as possible to the original with all the props from the movies.
Approximately 10 years ago, I went to a Star Wars event at my local town where I got to see most of the props and the outfits used in the movies. Between all of that, was a Yoda puppet (image above) that caught my attencion. Since then I always wanted one, but of course I had to be the one doing it, DIY style.
So, for the past 6 months I have working on a real size Yoda and here is the result of that.
Note that the Yoda I tried to make was the one from Episode III (best Star Wars movie btw) not the one from the image above that's base on the Episode V. So the costume and props are different.
Step 2: Materials
The materials I used were these ones:
- 3D printer;
- Glue gun and glue sticks;
- Some old t-shirts;
- Super glue;
- Hair spray;
- Some acrylic paints and spray;
- Birds nest material;
- Wood stick;
- Sand paper;
- PVC pipes;
Step 3: 3D Printing the Head, Hands and Feet
For this part I used my 2 3D printers to make his head, hands and feet.
Here is a list of the STL files I used for each body part:
Unfortunately, both my printers have a printing area of 20*20*20 cm. So I couldn't get to print the head of Yoda as it comes in the STL since it was too big. The next step was to slice the head in different parts so I could print it and glue it together after.
To create the hands I had to separate the 3D model and get only the hands, to do that I used the Meshmixer software since it's very helpful in this situations.
For the feet I used the same method as the hands.
The need for 3 different 3D models of Yoda is because I wanted to use the best of each model.
Step 4: Sanding and Painting the 3D Printed Parts
Since I opetd by 3D print the head, hands and feet it was mandatory to sand them so the final result could get better.
UnfortunatelyI don't have any images of sanding process, but basicly I used 3 different grads of sand paper. The first one was the 80. After the major irregularities were removed it was time to move to the second one, the 120 to start to smooth the surfaces and elimante some lines, created by the printing process, that were still visible. The last one 240 was only used to make the surface smoother.
After the sanding process was done, it was time to paint it. First was apllied two layers of primer, then just a bit of sanding with a 400 sand paper to remove some of the roughness caused by the primer.
The next step was to paint all of the body parts with predominant green color. With the green color dried, I used a nice technique that I learn from Chris Stanley, (his youtube chanel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCU5DSVGZOI78sFsVb...). This technique is bascily a way to make the little details pop out, in this case, the Yoda wrinkles. It consists in applying a bit of shoe polish over the areas where we want to make emphasize it and then clean it with a sponge.
A big detail that make a big difference it's the eyes. Knowing this, I gave my best to make the eyes the more realistic possible. To do that, I used some acrylic paints since it was too difficult to paint those areas with a spray can. A big shout out to my firend Ivo, who's a designer, for giving me some tips on how to do this part.
With the head, hands and feet ready it was time to move on to the body.
Step 5: Body Structure
Since the rest of the body is covered by his cloths I decided not to 3D print his torso, arms and legs so I could save some money and time.
To create some good body structure I modeled some 3D pieces that connects the PVC tubes between his head and the feet holding them with some screws. That way his feet were align with his head and gave a nice structure that I could work from now on.
To give some volume to his body I used the stuffing from the pillow and some old t-shirt to make the rest of his body, always paying attention to the body ratio.
Ah..and of course, I had the help of my cat xD.
Step 6: Creating the Robe
To create the robe, I used a t-shirt that had a similar colour to the one he wears. I started by creating the legs and then move to the torso and arms. The process here was just to cut, measure, adjust the measurements and then put it on for good.
Step 7: Creating the Cape
Here the process was the same as the last one. The hard part here was to create the hood since it needed to make that hollow effect so it could fit his head.
Step 8: Applying Some Hair
The hair was made with the birds nest material that you can get on your pet store. To make sure that the hair wouldn't get off I used the glue stick since it doesn't leave a trace of colour or something else and put some hair on the areas that I tought it makes sense.
To get a more permenant look, I used some hair spray and then I comb him to look stylish xD.
Step 9: Lightsaber
The lightsaber prop was made on the 3D printer, with this STL file :https://www.thingiverse.com/thing:1866782
The process here was the same as the head, arms and feet. First the sand job and then the painting part.
Step 10: The Walking Stick
In this part I used some old wood stick that was laying around my house and the first thing I done was cutting it with the real size.
The next step, was to create some curves on it and to make sure that it would end on a pointed object. To do this I used mostly the sand paper and a handsaw.
Step 11: Final Result
Here is the final result of 6 six months of work and anticipation.
In a near future I will add some voice to make him more interactive, but for now I'm happy with the result.