Fantasy stories devised by J. R. R. Tolkien introduce us to the incredible Middle-earth world. Beneath its Sun, you can see the most extraordinary creatures walking. Giant Treebeard is one of the oldest living things in the Lord of the Rings universe, and it looks incredible as a figurine. Maker Seppus Endertus created a fantastic Treebeard 3D print and agreed to share his tips on printing, painting and decorating the Fangorn diorama with Gambody readers.
From this interview, you will learn how to paint a 3D printed figure, decorate the tree-like-bark legs and body of the Treebeard 3D print with moss, create a natural beard from fibre and add stunning leaf details to the scene.
Treebeard 3D Print
Before you explore useful tips on how to make a fantastic Treebeard 3D print at home, you might like to discover some facts about this 3D printing figurine.
Treebeard 3D model for printing is available for downloading on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace. Talented designer Liam Morgan sculpted this 3D model, which boasts many intricate details and stunning resemblance to the giant resident of Forest of Fangorn that exists in the Lord of the Rings universe.
Looking similar to an oak or beech, the Ent or Treebeard 3D print can become an impressive decoration of your garden or windowsill. It will look beautiful on a shelf. It can fit the room of a real fan of Lord of the Rings or become a fantastic gift to friends. So here is what Seppus Endertus, Gambody enthusiast, has to say about the creation of the 3D printed figure from the Middle-earth.
1. Sebastian, Gambody community is in love with your fantastic Treebeard 3D print. Can you please introduce yourself? Tell us your story of when and how you found out about 3D printing and made it a big part of your life?
Yes, of course. My name is Sebastian. I come from Germany, and I am 34 years old. I have been painting digitally for several years. I also create photo montages in the sci-fi and fantasy area. From time to time, I like to model sculptures by hand.
In January I came across the “Warhammer conquest” magazine in the supermarket and picked up issue number 1. I always wanted to try to paint miniatures because I came across great tutorials on YouTube. That was my introduction to painting and resin printers (for Warhammer bits). Since I only knew FDM printers so far, where the quality for miniatures didn’t appeal to me, I found out about resin printers and bought one in mid-February 2020. I quickly discarded Warhammer and now mainly print large figures and busts.
Next, I will try digital sculpting.
2. Are you a big fan of the Lord of the Rings trilogy? Why did you choose to 3D print the Treebeard figure?
Yes, I am a fan of the Lord of the Rings films. Admittedly, earlier more than now, but I always enjoy watching them.
I decided to create a Treebeard 3D print because it is an extraordinary figure from the Lord of the Rings universe. The details are exquisite. The character looks very similar to the film model, and I was able to use my plant material while working on it.
3. Did you choose to make the Treebeard 3D print at 100% scale? Or did you scale it up?
It is printed at 100% scale (the original size of a 3D printed Treebeard figure is 28cm). I always print individual models between 18cm (7 inches) and 25cm (10 inches).
28cm (11 inches) is a great size for the shelf display, and a small Treebeard figure would be strange. Also, the parts of the figurine fit on the printing plate without adjustment.
4. Which 3D printer did you use? Was it one printer or several machines?
When I was making the Treebeard 3D print, I only had one Elegoo Mars 3D printer. I have now two 3D printers.
5. Which printing material did you choose for the famous ancient Ent, Treebeard? Did you work with the same material for the body parts and tree leaves? Or did you select different materials for different parts of the model?
I printed the Treebeard figure entirely in resin (Elegoo standard grey).
The base is a natural hardwood plinth, and the tree is a real wood branch.
6. Did you model the extra tree and the platform yourself? Were all the leaves and tree branches 3D printed by you? Or did you make them from some other material?
I had an idea in my head with more trees and a bigger platform. But first I took what I had there and modified it a little.
I modelled the roots with Milliput epoxy putty and other branches with Green Stuff putty. The leaves are not 3D printed. I worked on an artificial plant from a decoration shop with airbrush and picked it up. But this was an emergency solution because sheets from the model railway stuff in the right size were sold out everywhere I looked. Maybe I will revise it again when these are available.
7. What was the most challenging part while you were making the Treebeard 3D print? Did you face any issues while making each part of this assembly model?
The print was not a problem, and everything worked right away. But it is annoying, as always, to remove the supports.
8. Can you please share tips and tricks on how you prepared the Treebeard 3D print for painting? Which paint brands did you use?
Here are some tips on making your Treebeard 3D print stand out. Wash the figure with alcohol or soapy water before priming. Let it dry, then only touch it with gloves.
An airbrush primer enables an excellent primer (Vallejo Primer). Let your Treebeard 3D print dry for at least 12 hours.
I always prefer black as a primer so that hard-to-reach areas where the brush might not be able to stand out in grey.
My favourite colours are from Vallejo and Scale75.
9. Did you airbrush or work with regular brushes?
Both. I primed and painted the Treebeard figure with the airbrush. Then I outlined all the details with the regular brush.
10. How did you create the realistic tree bark and wood-like texture?
The model’s designer greatly outlined the tree bark texture. I used dark, light and greenish-brown tones and a dark brown wash colour for deepening and highlighting the Treebeard 3D print and support the realistic tree bark look.
Here is a tip for creating wood grain, which I used on several Harry Potter wands. You can try to paint the desired brown tone with the airbrush and draw lines with a brush plus black or dark brown wash (Quickshade from the Army Painter).
However, do not use the front brush hairs. It is better to draw the lines with the metal end that holds the bristles. The bristles are only used to hold the colour and only touch the object minimally.
11. Where did you learn about the fine ground flock material perfect for creating the moss effect? Were you fond of tabletop or railway modelling in your life? Which “moss” products did you use and how did you apply them?
In my town, there is a tabletop painting meeting every Monday, and once a month they meet to build terrain. I got an overview of the various materials and tips on designing and glueing.
The moss on Treebeard’s legs is fine tree flakes (Woodland Scenics Flock) which I glued onto them with wood glue.
The greening of the base was made with fine grass. I proceeded as follows: I brushed the base with wood glue, sprinkled dried potting soil on it and let it dry for 24 hours.
Then I tapped off the excess soil, applied another layer of wood glue, and diluted with water, where the grass is sprinkled over it using a fine sieve. I let this dry again for 24 hours. You can always repeat if necessary.
Through the ground, there are irregular little bumps that look natural and earthy spots. Grasses, plants and flowers are also available from Railway Modelling Accessories or the Army Painter range. I can’t say which brands I used as I got some packages from a friend.
I have no experience with railway model making.
12. Where did you find the decorative moss for making the incredible giant-tree beard?
In a decoration shop, there were packages of dried moss. There were long, thin fibres (similar to coconut fibre) in between that I used for creating the beard.
Unfortunately, there were only very few of such packages, and the moss is no longer available in the shop. Hopefully, I will find it again in autumn.
By the way, I glued individual leaves into the beard of the Treebeard 3D print. I found those leaves among the railroad accessories. As I already mentioned, the moss on the Treebeard figure legs is fine tree flakes.
13. How many days or hours did it take you to 3D print and paint the fantastic Treebeard model?
I didn’t notice the time. But there were at least five printing plates with a printing time of 7-9 hours each.
14. How big is this figure? What are its height and weight?
The Treebeard 3D print is around 28cm (11 inches) at height. It weighs about 1.5 kg (3.3 lbs) due to the solid wood base.
15. Do you plan to 3D print other characters and models from the Lord of the Rings universe?
Yes. I’m waiting for the hobbits, Merry & Pippin. I hope they will be made suitable for the Treebeard 3D print. I want a well-made Legolas Greenleaf for my daughter, a Moria Goblin Archer and Oliphant with a body as well.
16. Anything else you would like to say to other hobbyists and makers who would like to 3D print the Treebeard character?
Do not be hasty.
17. What model are you 3D printing and painting now?
Currently, I am printing and painting Breaking Bad busts, a Diablo demon hunter, Space Marine diorama.
The Illidan Stormrage figurine for 3D printing from Gambody is also waiting for me. A lot of work!
Would you also like to make a fantastic Treebeard 3D print? Gambody believes that your work will be unique and impressive. So, make sure to add your photos of the Ent or other impressive models to Gambody 3D printing community on Facebook. Let other makers admire your pieces of art, share your tips, secrets and tricks and enjoy advice from other talented hobbyists from all over the world.