What could be better than being a giant monster and beating other giant monsters into submission? Well, clearly, being a giant monster that isn’t represented by a cheap piece of printed cardboard with a small plastic base, but instead a good sized solid three-dimensional plastic figurine! Unfortunately, the Internet has been lacking in the department of 3D-printable King of Tokyo monsters, so I set out to deal with the issue.
I had some experience with modelling with Blender when I started the project (nearly two years ago!), but sculpting organic shapes was something I had never tried. So far most of my models had been mostly composed of geometrical shapes. That being the case, this project was a great learning experience.
The figures were modelled in a mostly neutral pose, after which an armature was added so the figures could be posed to look more interesting. Getting the armatures in Blender to work reliably and as one would expect was an absolute nightmare. There are plenty of tutorials on the web about how to use them, but there are still things that I (and seemingly anyone else) don’t understand. Even when following the tutorials, there are weird things that Blender does with the orientation of the joints. I still don’t have a process for getting armature joints to orient like I’d want them to in a reliable manner. That’s a topic for a another full blog post. Suffice to say that plenty of trial and error was needed to get the figures to where they are now.
After I printed the first versions of each monster, I noted any faults that needed to be addressed, fixed the issues in Blender, and printed another version. Some of the monsters came out pretty ok on the first attempt, but for some the fifth printed version was acceptable. All parts were printed in ABS and glued together using ABS slurry. A briefly considered treating the models with XTC-3D, but decided that the printed finish was good enough for me. The resin would in any case obscure some of the details in the designs.
The painting process began with a couple of coats of filler primer from a rattle can, after which a base coat applied with an airbrush. Each model got a mostly single coloured base coat, on top of which more colours were added.Shading, highlights and some of the detail work was done with a paint brush. For paint I used generic acrylic hobby paints and inks. Since the models are meant to be used and not to be kept in a display cabinet, I kept the paint jobs fairly simple and straightforward.
All the models are available on Thingiverse, as well as right here as STL and Blender files. Published under CC-BY-SA-NC.