Doctor Who figurine

06 December 2011

The unmistakeable features and stance of Tom Baker playing The Doctor are depicted in the form of a very detailed eight inch character statue, part of a collectors range inspired by the cult TV sci-fi series

The unmistakeable features of Tom Baker

The design

With the emphasis on getting the most lifelike product possible, the design is a blend of artistic talents and sculpting know-how from the team at Designworks in Windsor.

From screen to shelf

After initial sketches have been approved by the client the designer is tasked with sourcing as much pictorial data as possible to work from. A special waistcoat from an early episode? Consult the internet.

In the weave

The designer lays textures over the 3D CAD model to help achieve the most realistic results – items of clothing like the thick woven scarf can be more accurately sculpted.

Face time

In some cases the actual actor can be digitally scanned, giving a guide to the real life scale and features. However accurate the scan is, a sculptor is always needed to capture a more ‘human’ expression, movement, plus the hair and eyes the scanner can’t pick up.

Touchy-feely

The designer uses 3D CAD to digitally sculpt the figure – this is done using Sensable’s FreeForm software, as well as one of its Phantom arms – a haptic device that gives the user feedback as though sculpting a block of clay in real life.

Prototyping

The CAD model is sent out to Industrial Plastic Fabrications (IPF) in Essex, which builds prototypes using a highly precise Envisiontec Perfactory Mini MML that prints in resin for the faces, and an Objet Connex500 for the bodies.

Approval

A full prototype is completed and set before the actor and persons from the BBC for their approval.

Manufacturing a Doctor

The final tooling and production takes place in the Far East, with the figurines moulded in a special polyurethane resin that gives the appearance, coolness and weight of a porcelain statue, before finishing and painting.

Price

Your own Tom Baker for under £60? “It’s the end!”

Comments on this article:

I loved to learn about the process, and I would really like to have more details on the manufacturing and production side of a 3D designed piece. I always seem to produce items that are too difficult to manufacture, but this “Far East” production plant seems to have no trouble with details at all!

Posted by Natalia on Tuesday 04 2012 at 06:10 PM

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