Not only kids dream about adding a Star Wars AT-AT Walker toy to their collection. Adults who love the franchise also collect articulated figures. But they often prefer 3D printing action figures rather than purchasing a factory piece, just like Tom Anton did. This hobbyist 3D printed articulated action figure of AT-AT Walker, impressively painted this 3D print and applied fantastic Star Wars crafts skills to recreate the explosion inside the model.
The maker is glad to share his experience working on a posable 3D model and turning it into a unique version of AT-AT Walker with Gambody’s readers. Learn how to make your own action figure using a 3D printer, articulated figure’s STL files and tips for painting 3D prints by Tom Anton.
3D Printing Action Figures
The list of Star Wars action figures is vast. The famous universe consists of many iconic models, and AT-AT Walker is one of them.
You can find the updated AT-AT posable 3D model STL files on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace (Tom Anton worked with a previous 3D printing version of AT-AT Walker). 3D print this action figure and adore all the intricate details the Imperial Army’s most recognized weapon boasts.
Modelled by 3D designer Elyiot, the AT-AT Walker 3D printing model has received particular attention to its heavy armour, cockpit, interior elements, cabin exterior, and cannons.
The high level of detail impresses! The model comes with articulated connecting elements and special joints. Thus, you can 3D print one of the most stunning Star Wars action figures and pose it however you want. Be crafty and create unbelievable effects using acrylics, 3D printed parts and your imagination!
Make Your Own Action Figure
3D printing enthusiast Tom Anton knows how to create your own action figure using posable 3D model STL files, a 3D printer, a creative mind and some dedicated Star Wars crafts techniques. Read his interview, and maybe your collection of 3D printed desk toys will welcome another stunning Star Wars figure!
1. Tom, we are impressed with your new 3D printed action figure! Great job! Please tell us more about your fantastic idea to make a destroyed version of AT-AT Walker from the Star Wars universe. When and how did it come to your mind?
Hi there, to be honest, I had it on my mind even before I started 3D printing this posable 3D model. I pictured the battle at planet Hoth. And I was wondering if I was able to recreate that masterpiece using the AT-AT Walker 3D model for printing.
Besides, with every new model I decide to 3D print or make, I try to learn something new, try new things or techniques.
2. How many 3D printers do you have in your workshop now? Which machines did you use to make the unique 3D printed articulated action figure, your AT-AT Walker?
Ahhh! It is a tricky question. I should say I have a dream job. I work for one of the biggest (if not the biggest) e-commerce in middle Europe. This shop is called Alza (depending on where you are, it can be Alza.cz, Alza.de, Alza.at, Alza.hu or Alzashop.com).
One of my responsibilities is to take care of the 3D printing segment. Thanks to that and our policy to test every product before launching it on our website, I usually have three to ten 3D printers at my office or home.
Still, this Star Wars figure, AT-AT Walker with explosion effect, was mainly printed on two 3D printers, Creality CR-10 V2 and Artillery Sidewinder X1.
3. You spent 300+ hours on 3D printing the AT-AT Walker. How much time did it take you to put it into the desired defeated position?
As I said, I was lucky that I already had that picture in my mind as I would love to have it. Since it is a posable 3D model, it took just a few minutes to place this 3D printed articulated action figure in this position.
There was only one thing that took me a lot of time of thinking. I couldn’t decide if I should make some of the 3D printed parts submerged into the resin base or not. Creating a custom resin base also took me a lot of time due to a few layers and a long curing time.
4. Where did you learn about making the fake explosions effect?
Proudly to say, those were YouTube videos!
The only challenge I was facing was the preparation of the light source. The thing is, I have Big-Zero knowledge in electric circuits. So, I decided to disassemble the cemetery LED candle and make the explosion light from it.
5. Was it a challenge to turn the cotton into the “fire” or not?
Actually, yes, it was more challenging than it looks. It wasn’t easy to make it look nice. I am not exactly happy with the result even now. One day, I will work on this AT-AT Walker 3D printed articulated action figure and make a new “fire” cotton. The current effect reminds me more of a mushroom than an explosion.
You can see version 1 and version 2 in the pictures because I was not happy with how the first attempt turned out.
6. What LED did you use for the resin base for your 3D printed AT-AT Walker? Did you have to build it yourself, or did you find a ready-to-use product?
To be truthful, I am prouder of this Star Wars crafts idea than I should probably be. But it is my idea made from scratch.
I designed the base in Fusion360. It was a new experience for me. Besides, I learned something new about resins and how to introduce the LED strip. I also got my first 220V hit from the circuit. Nobody told me that if I cut the LED strip on one end, I must not touch the metal wires when plugged in. Well, I learned.
7. Please tell us more about your unique base sized at 80×40 cm for your 3D printed AT-AT Walker Star Wars figure. Did you print it on FDM 3D printers and then added resin to create the icy surface?
Well, my first design was without the LED part, so I reworked it. It was 3D printed in PLA, and I wanted to pour the resin into it.
The first thing I did was sealing the print sealer. But as I can see from the photos, it did not work as I wished. Still, I got lucky again, and as I was pouring that significant amount of resin into it, I had an idea in my head. I decided to put a plastic bag underneath to avoid leaks. It was how I prevented its sealing with my table.
Another fear I had with the sealer was the heat from the LED. I know that LEDs should not produce a lot of it, but it still bothered me. If you make a 3D printed model like this, you want to make it for a lifetime! So, I used Aluminium tape all around the LED base part.
Then I began pouring resin layer by layer. The first layer looked good, but half of the resin leaked through the base after a night. It was because I did not use resin with a brush to make a seal layer in the base. Instead, I just poured like 1 litre of resin into this base, hopping for the best.
Between each layer, there were two days of curing time. In total, I believe I had five layers. Starting from the third layer, I added blue colour. And for the last layer of this Star Wars craft, I used smoked white paint and made it very thin to look like ice.
Before the base fully cured, I made cracks in the ice using a knife. I wanted it to look like the ice started to crack under the weight of the AT-AT Walker. The result is not bad for the first time using resin, right?
8. Can you describe for which parts of this 3D printed action figure did you use the wood burner?
The AT-AT Walker posable 3D model for printing is perfect. But for my purposes, I needed a totally destroyed Star Wars figure as if it saw too many battles, and finally, it crashed.
Using a wood burner sounded great. But honestly, guys, I need to buy some air filters for these types of Star Wars crafts. The air fumes from burning PLA with a wood burner are not the greatest thing in the world. It is best to ventilate your room a lot and not just wear a mask as I did.
There could be issues. For example, you choose to create your own action figure and spend 300 hours on 3D printing AT-AT Walker Star Wars figure, removing supports, preparing the model for painting and fully assembling it. When your 3D printed articulated action figure is ready, placed in the correct position, you begin to add damages from the battle with a wood burner. And you only have one attempt. If you screw anything, you will have to start all over again.
So, I would recommend taking it slowly. Set your wood burner to 250 degrees instead of 400. Think about your Star Wars craft technique. Imagine how you wish your damaged Star Wars AT-AT Walker toy to look and only then create scratches, wholes, etc.
9. Did you airbrush the defeated AT-AT Walker with Vallejo Air? How many colours did your palette include this time?
Yes, I airbrushed this Star Wars figure. I know you can use almost any colours, brand or whatever you want, but I got used to the Vallejo Air paints for both model lines – Model and Game. They are just lovely, easy to use and most of them have fantastic coverage. I also use all of Vallejo’s varnishes, thinners, etc.
I am like a girl in a fashion store when we are talking about paints. So, I usually keep a lot of them in my 3D printing workshop. Currently, I have over 140 different colours, all from Vallejo. Besides, I use some from Citadel, and I have almost a complete set of paints from Warpaints.
10. Was it hard to recreate the rust effect on the 3D printed “metal” AT-AT Walker body? Would you mind describing this process to our readers?
Honestly, it was more complicated than I expected. I hoped it would be like this and this and – tadá – done. But in reality, as you think about such Star Wars crafts, you understand one thing. When you build AT-AT Walker and you know it has to survive in different conditions, you will protect that massive piece of metal from rusting. Am I right?
Thus, I added various damages, scratches that would damage the original antirust seal. This way, the rust would appear in Star Wars action figures. I still believe that with the rust effect, the less is better. That was what I did.
11. Also, is working with fake snow easy or complicated when it comes to 3D printing action figures?
For the 3D printed AT-AT Walker model, I used three different products of fake snow. I never used fake snow before, so that was my first time. For my following 3D printed action figure or static model, I would at least know what to avoid or how to create the fake snow effect.
Fake snow is tough to use because it changes its size and properties while drying. Once again, when you 3D print action figure, you wish your model to last forever if it is possible. Testing and trying, I ended with a third brand and a huge seal from the Varnish. There is one secret. The biggest waves of snow in the 3D printed AT-AT Walker Star Wars action figure are made with the decorative fake snow spray. People usually use such sprays to decorate home for Christmas.
12. You tested so many impressive techniques while working on the 3D printed AT-AT Walker diorama. What were the most challenging minutes for you?
When you make your own action figure using a 3D printer, the most challenging things could also be the most impressive. For me, it was pouring resin to create the custom-made base and making the fake ice and snow effects.
When you spent approximately five days just pouring resin, you want to make it perfect because if you fail, you will have to start over again from scratch.
While turning the AT-AT Walker posable 3D model into a 3D printed diorama, I worked with many things for the first time in my life. It was fake snow, fake ice, pouring resin into the base, artificial explosion, LEDs. Also, it was the first time I used the fake rust effect. In the end, I am pleased with most of the results.
13. What is the final size of the 3D printed AT-AT Walker diorama? How much does it weigh?
The size of the base is 80 x 40 cm (31.4 x 15.7 inches). The height is about 30 cm (12 inches).
Since these Star Wars crafts “ate” a lot of the resin due to the base, the AT-AT Walker diorama weighs over 5 kg (11 lbs).
This 3D printed articulated action figure is like a big baby for me.
14. Where do you display your 3D printed AT-AT Walker masterpiece – at your home, office or your company showroom?
As I was 3D printing more and more models at home, you can imagine how it looks when you love your hobby. Soon I was out of space. Luckily all my friends loved the 3D printed desk toys, so I gave a few models to them to free some space for new 3D printing models.
But as I 3D print figures, my shelves were full again. One day my boss visited me at home and asked why we didn’t show the 3D printed models to our showroom visitors. In Prague, we have the biggest showroom focused on electronic goods. It was how we found space for the 3D prints. Seeing kids and men watching the 3D printed action figures and other projects, taking pictures with them gives you a fantastic feeling. These 3D prints bring joy and might inspire people to try something new. It is what I love to see!
The 3D printed action figure from Star Wars, AT-AT Walker, is displayed in our showroom. The distance between my home and the company showroom is about 20 km (12.4 miles).
15. What 3D printing action figures are you working on now?
During the Covid, I took a long break from 3D printing. I had a lot of work and was very busy. But a few weeks ago, we watched with my GF the Game of Thrones again. And I fell in love with the Viserion Ice dragon 3D printing figure, which STL files you can download on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace.
So currently, I’m 3D printing this fantastic dragon figure. Of course, I made it bigger (upscaled the 3D model to 200%). I am also making something special for it, something extra which will push it on another level, as I hope. So, wish me some luck, and happy 3D printing to everyone!
While working on your new 3D printed articulated action figure, think of all the stunning effects introduced to the AT-AT Walker by Tom Anton. Maybe his impressive mind and unusual Star Wars crafts ideas could inspire you to add more 3D printed desk toys to your collection. Join Gambody 3D Printing Community to showcase your new 3D prints!