Captain America SEN-TI-NEL Statue
Case Study: Captain America 3D Printed SEN-TI-NEL Large Replica
Table of Contents
3D Statues + Next-gen Technology
“What if Tony Stark integrates each of the Avengers’ superpowers into an armor?” This prompt was the inspiration behind our newest 3D Character Model. Created by SEN-TI-NEL (a company based in Hong Kong which produces high quality action figures), Tony Stark’s Captain America is the third character of a new action figure series “Fighting Armor”. WhiteClouds was commissioned to create a 7-foot tall replica of this new action figure.
Some might wonder why our Captain America was printed rather than sculpted. The answer has to do with the correct balance between cost, strength, and timing. 3D printing allowed our team to take a digital model and bring it directly into the real world. Sculpting would have taken much longer to achieve the high-level of detail required for this model, whereas 3D printing offered our customers the capability to use intricate pieces with a relatively strong material in a much shorter amount of time.
The material used was PLA (polylactic acid), a polymer plastic made from biological materials most widely-used material in 3d printing. It has almost universally replaced previously used materials such as ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene) and HDPE (High-Density Polyethylene) due to its strength and eco-friendly nature. Other materials may be stronger, but taking into account price, strength, and ease of use, PLA is the best of all worlds for 3D printing filaments.
Cap was based off a couple physical toy prototypes SEN-TI-NEL provided and a digital 3D file. The action figure is described as being ‘designed in pursuit of articulation as close as possible to that of a true human body’. Our welders made Captain America a custom metal ‘skeleton’ for each 3D-printed piece to be assembled around for strength. Expanding foam was also poured around the skeleton to give him a high-level of structural rigidity.
Due to the intricacy of the prototype, 88 pieces were required to piece Captain America together. Overall, it took approximately 72 hours on more than 80 WhiteClouds printers to print the pieces. Our team welding together the seams of each part to make one cohesive piece using a proprietary method.
The final process of sanding, painting, and finishing the model was made more difficult due to the level of detail required to bring the famous soldier to life. Our artists needed to make sure every line was perfect. A smoother or less complicated figure would have taken much less time for those same processes, but for the Captain, anything less than perfect would never suffice.
To finish out the process, our team’s exceptional airbrushing artist started out by priming the entire figure. A second coat of primer was also applied before starting the final painting process in order to catch what may have been missed the first time. The heavily armored Captain was given a silver base coat to help give off a metallic look to him. Finally, the iconic red, pearl white, and blue paint was applied, matching the colors to the toy prototype. Once the painting process was complete, everything was finished off by adding a clear coat to protect the paint and statue.
Despite the challenge the team faced emulating the level of detail incorporated in the action model, they pulled through to create an iconic Captain America figure — complete, of course, with the universally recognizable vibranium shield in hand. Seeing Captain America’s iconic red, white, and blue colors, shield raised high in a powerful stance… anyone standing nearby can’t help but feel awed and inspired. The American Spirit shines through with an almost-tangible air of patriotism accompanying the 7-foot tall statue. One can almost hear him crying out the famous battle-cry “AVENGERS… ASSEMBLE!”