Painting 3D Printed Godfather Don Vito Corleone Figure: Interview with Garry Ogden

Fans of the 1972 crime film The Godfather who enjoy 3D printing can add an impressive Don Vito Corleone figure to their collection. While painting human faces could be a real challenge, you can follow the tips shared by Gambody enthusiast Garry Ogden. As if he waved his magic wand, this talented maker brought to life a realistic Godfather 3D print that resembles the famous movie character so much.

Explore Garry’s detailed guides on mixing paints to paint human skin, eyes and add highlights and shadows to recreate your favourite character’s realistic figure.

Godfather 3D Print

The stunning Don Vito Corleone figure for 3D printing is available on Gambody – Premium 3D printing marketplace. 3D artist Zack Miller designed it.

Godfather figure collectables for 3D printing

This model boasts a highly detailed formal tuxedo with a rose flower in the chest pocket and other details, including a bow tie, shirt buttons, a wedding ring, shoestrings, etc.

The Godfather posture chosen for this 3D printing model impresses with its power. You can feel the strength and inner magnetism of Don Vito Corleone even in a 3D printed figure that hasn’t been painted yet. As its face and eyes get colour and come to life, you become overwhelmed with the fantastic character, so many people love and respect. And it does not matter how menacing and ruthless the fictional prototype can be.

Here is what Garry Ogden has to say about his Godfather 3D print.

How to paint 3D printed Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure

1. Garry, we are glad to talk to you about your 3D printing experience. Can you please introduce yourself and tell us when you discovered the 3D printing technology and turned it into a hobby?

Hi, I’m from Canada (British Columbia). I’m one of those old-school plastic kit builders from aircraft to cars and tanks, including dioramas. I was probably around eight years old when I started. My dad spent time building with me at first.

I grew up, started working full time, raised my two kids and stopped building and painting for about 25 years. It has only been about three years that I’ve gotten back to this wonderful hobby.

One thing it sure has grown today. I still love the old-school garage kits, from clay sculpts to moulding and castings. For me, it’s all about the details in a resin piece or a 3D printed model.

How the Godfather 3D printing figure was sculpted

When you have exceptional details, it makes it easier to paint the figurine. Remarkably, today we can share ideas, do searches of subjects we are working on, google and watch YouTube videos on painting 3D prints and find all possible ideas and information. The hobby has come a long way.

I’ve been doing commissioned paintwork and repairs lately. And I have to say that this hobby is fantastic, you can acquire so much. For me, seeing individuals getting involved is incredible. It doesn’t matter how well your skills are. What matters is the pleasure you get.

3D printing and painting are not based on competition and all. Personally, I find it giving me a relaxing time from everyday pressures and stress. It is my peaceful time.

Don Vito Corleone figure 3D print
Maker: Garry Ogden

2. You made an impressive Godfather 3D print, Don Vito Corleone figure. Are you a fan of The Godfather films?

The Godfather is one of my favourite movies. The actor Marlon Brando also played in the 1979 Apocalypse Now.

Godfather 3D print was made for my daughter’s boyfriend, who also liked the Godfather films. The 3D printed and painted Don Vito Corleone figure was a Christmas gift for him.

By the way, I would love to see a remarkable Marilyn Monroe 3D printing figure one day.

3. Which 3D printer do you use? Did 3D printing settings suggested by Gambody for this model work well?

Now, I did not print this 1/8 scale Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure. A friend of mine printed it. I don’t own a 3D printer.

But I still think that 3D printers are great only if they are resin machines. And the Godfather 3D print was made in resin on Elegoo Mars.

Godfather figurines for 3D printing
Maker: Garry Ogden

4. Did you have to do much post-processing work after 3D printing Don Vito Corleone figure from The Godfather?

Well, the Godfather 3D print turned out very well.

But if we talk about post-processing work, you should get into the cleaning process of smooth sanding without destroying the details. You can polish the model with 1000 grit wet sanding, work your way up to 3600 and 4000 wet sanding, etc. You want to get rid of scratches and all without losing textures and details.

You also should wash the figure well with dawn detergent and rinse it. Let it dry; that’s it.

5. Many hobbyists believe that painting skin of 3D printed models is very challenging. Your Don Vito Corleone figure looks exceptionally life-like. Where did you learn to paint human skin so realistically?

An excellent place to get ideas for skin tones is definitely YouTube. Searching helps a lot.

It was difficult for sure for me at the start. But with practice, I learned how to mix my colours. There is also a good acrylic set of skin tons I like to use.

Don Vito Corleone figure reference
Image provided by Garry Ogden

I also used actual pictures of the main character from Google images as my references. It is a way to get that natural look.

I know from a few people that it could be a challenge to paint realistic skin tones. It requires patience, practice. You can look at your subject to figure out where you want the light coming onto your figure. This way, you can create shadows and highlights. Also, never get frustrated while painting a 3D printed model.

6. You said that you switched to AK acrylics paints brand. What makes it stand out if compared to other paints you have worked with?

I switched to AK acrylics because of the bottling. I found AK interactive 3rd generation just perfect for my needs. Another great acrylic paint brand I should mention is Scale 75 Acrylics in a tube.

Also, with proper diluting, they work great in an airbrush.

Painting 3D printed clothes of Don Vito Corleone figure
Maker: Garry Ogden

7. Can you share your tips for mixing AK acrylics to obtain a fair skin tone?

Using a wet pallet helps keep your paint diluted, flowing smooth and making it easy to blend. Such a pallet is great for saving you paint for a few days to eliminate waste.

To make a fair skin tone for a 3D printed Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure, I chose shades that were not too orange and not too pink. You can start by mixing a little bit of red, yellow and brown. You can add a bit of blue to this mixture and gradually add the white colour to achieve a perfect base skin tone.

Once you mix the base colour, you should create two more sections on your wet pallet. Here you should add a bit of brown shade for shadows and some white colour for the highlights.

Painting the skin of the Godfather 3D print is all part of the process of blending in the shadows and highlights. I will say I always airbrush my base skin tone first. Then I start working with my brushes to blend. I also use good quality soft pastel chalk, which simplifies the process.

Also, make sure to seal your work for each step you are taking. That way, if you make a mistake, you can wipe it off with a water damp q-tip.

8. How do you paint human eyes? Do paint brushes 00, 01 No:7 from Windsor & Newton help you a lot?

For eye painting, I always use a sharp pencil to get the correct location. We don’t need cross-eyes, right? But it all still depends on the size you have chosen. 

The white part called the sclera is never really pure white. It has a very light grey tint.

Godfather 3D model for 3D printing
Maker: Garry Ogden

Using an excellent fine paintbrush is perfect. I love the Windsor & Newton No: 7 brush. I know it is not cheap because it is made of pure Sable hair. While brush brand doesn’t matter that much, a good quality product is always an advantage.

The brushes 00 or 01 with a good point help to work on tiny parts. So, once you have painted the white area, you should let it dry and then seal this area. 

Paint a good circle or even a 3/4 moon for the black part of the eye because the upper eyelids always give a shadow. Once you have that even same shape cycle, let it dry and seal it with Krylon Matte finish or something similar.

Now choose the colour for the iris. Paint inside with black, and begin working on your iris colour from the centre to the edge, leaving a fine edge of black. Seal again, then use your iris colour mix with a little white added to make a lighter shade. Paint in cross hatches of the eye. It would help if you looked at real eye pictures. You will get the whole idea. 

The last step is painting the eye pupil. Use a fine paintbrush to create a black dot to the centre of the eye. Then let it dry, and seal it with a Lacquer Gloss. I usually apply two coats.

Painting eyes and skin of 3D print Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure
Maker: Garry Ogden

It is a cool idea to watch videos on how to paint the eyes of a 3D printed model.

9. Can you explain how to paint parts of The Godfather 3D print into black (silver), red and white colours? How do you add lights and shadows to the suit, shirt, rose and shoes?

When you are painting the clothing, you should keep in mind that even black clothes have shadows and highlights. I achieve such effect by masking areas that don’t need overspray. I mainly mask with good-old silly putty.

When I am working it in contours, I mist with my airbrush slowly creating the first adhesion coat. Then I add more coats of black paint. I make black highlights by adding a dark blue tint to some Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure suit areas.

I also misted a diluted black and brown to create a translucent effect.

The rose on the suit of the Godfather 3D print is all hand-painted. It also comes with the primary colour, shadows and highlights.

10. The fantastic Godfather 3D print comes with a platform which you painted like a polished wooden floor. Which paint colours helped you to achieve this effect?

You are not the first person to like my flooring. It’s all hand-painted using the Vallejo Model Air Mahogany paint.

Godfather 3D print wooden platform
Maker: Garry Ogden

To create this Godfather 3D print platform, I used a wide brush. Load brush and paint in one direction. Each application will create the floor grain.

You can practice on scrap plastic. A wide brush will create those streaks like wood grain, making the realistic wooden floor effect.

11. What is the size and weight of your Don Vito Corleone figure?

The Godfather 3D print is about 10″ (25.4 cm) tall.

It was solid printed, so its weight is about 1 lb (0.45 kg).

Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure for 3D printing

If I decide to 3D print the Godfather Don Vito Corleone figure again, I will go larger and make it around 1/6 or 1/4 scale instead of 1/8 scale.

12. Are you making any 3D printing model right now? Is it something from Gambody marketplace?

3D printing for me is all about the detail and close resemblance. I do plan to do more printed pieces from Gambody in the future.

13. What do you like the most about 3D printing?

To be truthful, I get my 3D printed pieces being done professionally in China. Their 3D printer is not like an affordable 3D printer under $300 for home use. It is a high-end machine.

Maleficent bust second-place winner in New York Want-A-Fest Model Contest in 2020
Maker: Garry Ogden

I prefer large life-size busts created by famous sculptors, very well-known in the hobby. Above is my Maleficent bust, the second-place winner in New York Want-A-Fest Model Contest in 2020.

Here is another stunning example of a 3D print painted by Garry Ogden:

Joker movie 3D print STL files
Maker: Garry Ogden

You can see how realistic the Joker figure looks and how many details the hobbyist added to his scene from a famous 2019 movie. You can download Joker figurine STL files for 3D printing to work on your version of the impoverished comedian Arthur Fleck as well.

3D printing miniatures for Joker scene
Maker: Garry Ogden

14. What can you advise newbies who have just got their first 3D printer and wish to master the printing and painting techniques?

The advice I give to newcomers is patience. 3D printing and painting take practice and mistakes. Enjoy the hobby. It is very peaceful, especially during these times. We all need to find something to do.

Many people would do everything to stay away from mafia as far as possible. But you can get closer to the ruthless mafia bosses using your imagination and a 3D printer.

Adding the Godfather 3D print to your collection is very easy. And once you paint the Don Vito Corleone figure following the instructions shared in this interview, go ahead and join Gambody 3D Printing Community on Facebook. Here you can share your 3D prints’ photos, seek help and advice, find like-minded creators and many great friends.

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