Giant Master Yoda 3D Printed Model from Star Wars: Interview with Tom Anton

Baby Yoda and Master Yoda are among the 2020 trends thanks to The Mandalorian TV series and new Star Wars episode. 3D printing community is keeping their hands on the pulsating trends, so seeing many impressive Yoda masterpieces is something pretty much expected. However, some makers can still surprise you by scaling up their prints and coming up with a giant 3D printed Master Yoda model as Tom Anton did it.

A talented hobbyist from the Czech Republic is a part of Gambody 3D Printing community on Facebook. Tom has a lot to say about the creation of his giant Master Yoda 3D print, fantastic plans for the upcoming Comic-Con Prague 2020 event, unique chance of testing multiple brands of 3D printers, and so on.

Details about giant Master Yoda 3D printed model

Master Yoda 3D Printed Model

Many fans of the classic Star Wars universe are more than happy to display a Master Yoda 3D printed model at home. If you are fond of 3D printing technologies and have a 3D printer at home, it is easy to download Master Yoda 3D printing model STL files. They are available on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace. You can turn these STL files into a beautiful figurine.

If you are fonder of the latest Baby Yoda trend, Gambody has something special for you as well. You can download Baby Yoda 3D printing model STL files and recreate this cute character from The Mandalorian.

Tom Anton About His Giant Master Yoda 3D Print, Life and Comic-Con Prague 2020

Those 3D printing enthusiasts who already have a 3D printed model of Master Yoda or Baby Yoda (or have none) might enjoy learning some secrets and tips. For example, get details on how to paint a fantastic figurine with an airbrush, prepare a giant model for printing by scaling and slicing it into pieces, etc.

An interview with Tom Anton unveils many stunning details about his giant Master Yoda 3D print, 3D printing experience, and unique idea to join Comic-Con Prague 2020 event in a 3D printed costume.

1. Tom, can you please introduce yourself to Gambody readers? Tell us a little bit about your background and love for 3D printing.

Hi All! First of all, thank all of you for your support and feedback, which I’m getting on all models painted.

So, as you already know, my name is Tom, and I’m coming from the Czech Republic. I’m over 30 years old.

Tom Anton Gambody enthusiast talks about Comic-Con Prague 2020
Image: Tom Anton

I think it has been over three years since I first got introduced to a 3D printer. One of my friends – Oldřich (he is also a member of Gambody Facebook group) – shared a few pictures and prints with me and I was amazed. To be honest, 3D printers were not so popular in the Czech Republic a few years ago, even though the Prusa i3 is manufactured by Czech company Prusa Research.

For Czech people, 3D printers were too expensive, and nobody knew what they could do with them. But for me, I knew it the moment I saw it. I dreamt to 3D print and paint Marvel superheroes. Since my childhood, I always wanted to have a proper Man Cave full of statues, figures and props from the movies. So, I decided I would buy a 3D printer.

Since they were expensive in Czech and thanks to my work (I’m visiting China twice per year), I bought one in China. It was Anet A8, a terrible idea, but I loved her, and I still have this machine at my home. I started to print, and I think my first print (for sure after at least 20 #3DBenchy boats) was a small miniature of Batman. I still have it in my office.

It was a terrible print and paint job. But I fell in love with 3D printing, so I decided after a few months to buy a new 3D printer. It was the end of 2018, and Ender-3 became a top-seller, so I bought one.

I was printing almost 24/7 and painting models with just a regular brush and paints which I bought in a local shop. It was far from being perfect, but I was always patient, and I was trying to repaint the models over and over again if I didn’t like something.

To be honest, I repainted a few models 4-5 times before I was at least a little happy with them. I was trying to find how I could be better, and this was how I found out about airbrush. Oh my god, I love it! I have never been like Art boy or anything similar. As we say in Czech, both of my arms are left. But with patience and focus, you can achieve nearly anything. For me, it’s still just a hobby which I enjoy at weekends or during the nights after a regular job. It is important to keep trying and never give up.

Master Yoda 3D printed model
Maker: Tom Anton

2. Fans of Star Wars universe were impatiently waiting for the end of 2019 to watch the new TV series, The Mandalorian, and Episode IX – The Rise of Skywalker. Were you among these people?

To be honest, I was never a Star Wars fanboy. At least the new movies did not make me go crazy over them. Loved the old films, but I skipped the most recent 3 or 4 releases.

But Yoda? Everybody wants to have a Yoda at home. And Mandalorian? When I saw the first episode, I loved this new TV series. And since Baby Yoda was involved, even my girlfriend was watching it with me. The Mandalorian made me impatiently waiting for every new episode as a child is waiting for his birthday.

Xenomorph bust and Lich King 3D printed models
Maker: Tom Anton

3. Why did you choose to 3D print Star Wars’ version of Master Yoda and not the Child, Baby Yoda, from The Mandalorian?

It is because I have a new 3D printer with a pretty big print bed (45x45x47 cm) at home. I was always trying to push it over the limit, so I used it to print the bust of Iron Man, the bust of Xenomorph which was 45 cm tall, and then craft a Master Yoda 3D printed model.

A quick guide on painting the Xenomorph bust

It is great to have big models for painting. But I always go back and print some standard size models as well.

4. How did the idea to scale Master Yoda 3D printing model to 700% come to your mind? How well did the manually enlarged parts of the project fit on your 3D printer bed?

Precisely as you said, I was pushing it to the edges of the printer bed. And 700% was the maximum which I was able to fit there without slicing the Master Yoda head in half.

Master Yoda head 3D printed model before painting
Maker: Tom Anton

I cut the body and the other parts in two or even more parts at Nettfab. I think I made three parts of the body, but I wanted the face to be a one piece. The rest fit on the bed as it was prepared by Gambody team and creator of the model, Brad Shawn.

Btw, Brad did a fantastic job! Keeping in mind that I scaled his model to 700% and there were still so many details at the face and cloak. Wonderful job!

5. Do you remember which printing settings did you use? And what is your 3D printer brand?

That’s hard. I’m working for the biggest eCommerce company in the middle of Europe, and part of my job is to take care of our 3D printers and accessories portfolio. Thanks, it’s my passion and my Boss decided to let me work on it, which means I’m testing every new 3D printer which we want to sell and then determine if we will sell it or not.

In other words, it’s hard to remember all the printers which I used in the last two years. I’m pretty sure it’s over 20 printers from 7 to 10 brands.

Giant Master Yoda 3D printed model at 57 cm
Maker: Tom Anton

In total, I have from five to seven 3D printers at home, and only 2 of them are stable. They are Prusa MK3 and Creality Ender-3. Now it’s also Creality CR-10 v2 but, to be honest, I think the head of Master Yoda was printed with Prusa MK3, and the rest was mixed at Cr-10 Max and maybe CR-10s PRO.

For profiles guys. I’m using mostly Simplify3D for slicing, so if you want profiles, for sure I can share them with you.

6. Your stunning video on YouTube on making and painting the 57 cm tall Master Yoda speeds up the process. Do you remember how many hours did you spend on this project in total, including 3D printing, glueing and painting it?

Thank you, to be honest, this was the idea of my friends. I always ask my friends for their opinion on the models which I paint. I like to know what they have to say about the shades, colours, etc.

Speed-up painting of Master Yoda 3D printed model

And most of them were asking me to make a video of the whole process of painting Master Yoda 3D printed model or other models.

So, one day I took my old phone and placed it next to me. I started to record time-lapse, and then I added a second old phone to record everything from two angles. And now I’m also streaming it on the Twitch, so if you want, feel free to come and chat with us.

The printing time of Master Yoda model was close to 200 hours. Then I spent around 2 hours on sanding plus putting and glueing this 3D print together. Then I was sanding it again and, finally, I could start to paint it.

Painting usually takes under 10 hours. For example, with Master Yoda, I was not sure of which colour I would make his cloak and even skin, and that is always hard to decide which colour will fit most. I do all of it for myself, so I always choose colours which I like.

7. On the video, you airbrush your Master Yoda model next to your monitor. Some commenters seem to be a little bit shocked. Do you always work in front of your computer screen? How do you protect it from airbrushing?

Painting giant Master Yoda 3D printed model
Maker: Tom Anton

Ha-ha, yes. To be honest, I have no idea why they are so scared and shocked. It is just paints, guys.

In the room, I always have a few litters of Isopropyl alcohol which I’m using after a single evening of painting. And believe me, all the drops from the monitor are going away smoothly.

The reason why is simple. It is a lack of space. There is no other place in the room where I’m able to paint 3D printed models and have enough light for painting and shooting videos. I have there three lights and two monitors, which are something like extra light for me, but I’m moving soon into a new flat where I will make separate space for gaming and painting. But still, they will need to be close because I’m using pictures on Google as a reference while painting figurines.

8. So, you use reference images while working on your projects?

Yes, sure. But I never try to do it the same as on the reference image. For example, Master Yoda from Star Wars. He has a brown cloak in the reference image I used. But for me, that was all too brown, so I decided to make the cloak of a different colour and similar to Yoda from the original Star Wars.

To recreate the colours from memory without a reference image is impossible for me.

Sometimes I spend 10 hours on painting. For me, it is a week or two of normal life where I’m trying to paint the model a little bit every evening, but not after 10 p.m. or the neighbours will kill me for the compressor sound. I’m just trying to make a prefab image using different reference pictures for different parts of the project.

9. How do you create shadows and lights to make the Master Yoda green skin so realistic? Where did you study airbrushing?

It is all just about a feeling. As I said, I never studied art or anything similar. Lol, I spent my childhood years playing ice hockey. I did it for 14 years and art was a rude word in the cabin.

I think it’s like 5 – 6 months when I started to use an airbrush and I never held it in my hand before. I just saw a few tutorials on YouTube, and the rest is just practising.

To be honest, I’m pushing myself to use it even when I know it will be easier to use just classic brush and paints. Why? Because I want to be better every time I’m using it, and that is important not to be scared to try new things. It is all about practising, training and testing fresh and new methods of how to paint or make shades, highlights, etc.

Tips on how to paint Master Yoda 3D printed model
Maker: Tom Anton

10. Which paint brands do you like to use in your work? Why?

I’m using Vallejo Air products. They have two main lines here, Model and Game. Both of them are amazing and ready to use for airbrush and, to be honest, I like them.

For sure I will need something like Flow improver and thinner, but Vallejo makes all of it.

In the beginning, I had classic paints for brushes, the cheapest one from the local store, but it’s hard to mix them properly for airbrush. I tried also Warpaints. They are fantastic for a brush, but with the airbrush, they don’t fit me too well.

11. Master Yoda’s cloak looks like a real piece of clothes. The shadows and cloak’s structure are so life-like. Did you master any unique technique on painting folds of clothes and different textures?

Nope, I was just trying and trying to make it better, and this is the result. As I said, keep practising and never give up.

12. Do you know the final weight of your 57 cm tall Master Yoda 3D printed model? How many rolls of PLA did the project require?

In total, I think it was three rolls, so it weighs about 3 kg.

One advice. Please use any slicer or cutter to split models into more parts. Why? If you print one big piece, for example, 100+ hour print and it fails after 50 hours, you can throw it in the trash. But if you cut it for like 30 hours print you lower the risk of failure, and also if you will use the brain, you can save a lot of time and material on supports. This is why it doesn’t take too much time and materials because most of it was 3D printed without supports.

13. Also, can you tell us your little secret of making Master Yoda 3D printed model stay on its own thanks to its hidden heel at the foot? Did you craft it yourself? How did you attach it to the model? Maybe you can also share a close-up picture of it?

It’s not so big a secret. But yes, I made small help for him to be able to stand generally without any supports.

Best Master Yoda 3D printed model (figurine)
Maker: Tom Anton

What is weird I made it from a melt glue gun. It’s that gun where you put the tube of glue, and it heats it and melts it down. Btw it holds PLA very good.

There are two reasons why I used it here. Firstly, it is transparent, non-slippery and also gummy/softer. Secondly, it absorbs shock from the ground and helps Yoda to stand as he should.

Unfortunately, I can’t take any pictures of it now. The scaled to 700% Master Yoda 3D printed model is at the display at one of our company showrooms in the middle of Prague, and this is the third most visited place in Prague as well.

14. Since you already chose to scale up a Star Wars character by 700%, does it mean that one day you might 3D print a life-size model?

Yes, I’m not sure if it will be Master Yoda, Baby Yoda or any other character. But to be honest I have it on my schedule. But I still don’t have a place where to display it after all.

Baby Yoda and Gollum 3D printed models
Maker: Tom Anton

Spoiler alert, I like the Iron Man.

Read also: Guide to Iron Man 3D Print Painting: Interview with Thomas Kunert

15. Where do you display your 3D prints?

Since I don’t have any more space at my Man’s Cave, I have a few models displayed at my office or YouTube studio at our company. I even gave a few prints to my friends as gifts.

So now it’s terrible with free space. Besides, I have a few prints being already painted on the floor at my apartment. And I need to take care of them because for some reason my dog wants to play with them all the time.

Once my dog brought me a Yoda’s hand before I glued the model together, lol.

Demogorgon and Predator 3D printed models
Maker: Tom Anton

So, the big Master Yoda model, as I mentioned, is currently displayed at our company showroom in the centre of Prague, just next to the 3D printers. I added a note so that visitors know that this Master Yoda was printed on 3D printers. We want to show our customers what they can do with 3D printers, and Yoda is perfect for this purpose.

But one day, when I move to a new apartment, I will take him with me because technically he is Mine.

16. Are you 3D printing anything at the moment? What is it?

Hell yeah! A few weeks ago, I finished the Lich King 3D printing model, and I can easily say that it was the hardest model to paint for me. I love Lich King, and I played a lot WoW at the Wrath of the Lich King expansion. It was my dream to make it, and I wanted him to be perfect.

Tom’s Lich King 3D printed model

Lich King painting took me over 15 hours, and how did it turn out? You are to judge.

Read also: Top 10 3D Printing WOW Characters to Make

And now I will have to do the most significant project yet. In 2020, we will have the first time Comic-Con in Prague (the festival takes place on February 7-9, 2020, at the O2 Universum). What person would I be if I do not go there in a costume, right? So, that was an easy decision, man. My choice is a Mandalorian suit but without all of that shiny beskar armour.

I want armour all to be destroyed due to all the fights that he had, and this is what I’m doing now. My Mandalorian costume for Comic-Con is already printed, and most of it is painted. Now I’m doing just the cosmetic stuff like belts, etc.

I never made a costume before so it is my first time and I hope I can handle it. If you want, there are a few videos on painting and assembling my Mandalorian costume on the Twitch archive. There will be for sure a video on my YouTube channel in a few weeks.

Making a life-size Mandalorian rifle

And what next? That depends on you, guys, seriously! To be honest, Gambody is the first site where I search for models when I’m looking for something to 3D print. Your 3D printing models are at the top level, and your support is fantastic. Please keep the same level forever, and I think I will have enough things to 3D print until the end of the world.

Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace is grateful to Tom Anton for taking his time to answer questions about a stunning Master Yoda 3D printed model. It was incredible to learn about his 3D printing experience as well as hear about his plans for the future. We hope to see Tom’s photos from Comic-Con Prague 2020 in his 3D printed costume in Gambody Facebook group. It is always a pleasure to enjoy new masterpieces from popular movies, games and animation series posted by talented people from all over the globe.

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