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3D Printed Jabba on Throne Statue (STLs from Zsculptors.com)

September 30, 2019

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If you’ve seen my YouTube channel, you will know that I have made quite a number of videos about 3D printing. In fact, I had originally intended to make this a video review, but I’ve been finding it very difficult to make the time to work on videos. So for the moment I am going to write it up here on the site. There haven’t been many high-quality 3D models of Jabba. In fact, when I made my life-size 3D printed Jabba statue, I had to commission a model myself (which is freely available for people to download and print on their own). But even my Jabba was just the character by himself — if you wanted to make a complete throne room display, you were basically out of luck.

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That’s why I was so excited to see that Zsculptors.com (a site that sells 3D models for people to print on their own) was selling files to print a complete Jabba diorama. I immediately got in contact with them to see if they would be willing to provide the files to me for review, and they kindly did just that. So for the record, I did not pay for these files, and they do cost a fair amount of money — $45. But after working with these in detail, I can definitely say that they are worth the money, assuming you are interested in printing a full Jabba diorama like this. The models are also available individually if you so desire, but I imagine most people would want the whole set.

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These files have been created with enough detail to allow you to print them at quite a large size — similar to the 1/6 scale Jabba the Hutt statue from Sideshow Collectibles. I was initially going to do this, and may still do so at some point, but a lack of time as well as a rather critical lack of space for large collectibles like this made me decide to print it at a scaled down size. Also, Gearbest.com had just offered to send me an Alfawise W10 Resin Printer [affiliate link], so the timing seemed perfect.

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This was quite a learning experience for me, since I don’t know a lot about resin 3D printing. The optimal ways to position the models and add support materials are quite different from traditional FDM 3D printing, since the models are printed upside down, and of course the printing technology itself is also completely different. But after a few failures and problems, I mostly got the hang of it. Below you can see an ogre model from Artisan Guild that I printed on the W10.

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This isn’t a review of this printer, and I did have a few issues like some weird banding on some flat surfaces, but it obviously worked well enough to print these and other models, so I’ll have to say that low-cost resin printers are definitely viable. However, they can also be dangerous if used incorrectly, since they use potentially toxic chemicals. If you are thinking of getting one, do your homework about what is involved.

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I ended up printing the Jabba models at 30% the original size. The original models have pins that allow you to slot the pieces together, but when you resize something so drastically, the tolerances (spaces between the parts) also shrink, and in this case it meant that the pins wouldn’t fit. So I just cut most of them off. I also had some other minor issues with fitment that I’m sure were a result of the resin printing process not going perfectly (such as the large space between the tail and the body you can see below). I also ended up breaking off the hookah pipe because it was so small, so I just left it off.

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I filled in some of these gaps with some Bondo Glazing and Spot Putty, and then sanded them smooth with the surface of the model.

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Resin printers are capable of recreating minute details at very small sizes, but this is a little difficult to see in the photo above because I printed using white resin. So I decided to prime the models using a gray primer, just to help bring out some of that detail (except for the very smallest pieces since I was afraid the force of the spray paint would send them flying!).

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I did print just the Jabba model at full size on my Creality CR-10 S4 printer, and it turned out well (although I did break off the hookah on that one as well, so that may be something that could use reinforcing). Here you can see the two together to give you an idea of the difference in size. It is made up of 4 pieces: the tail, the body (and one arm), the head, and the other arm.

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Painting these models was a bit of a challenge. They are very small. Admittedly, I used to paint even smaller models when I was playing Warhammer and other miniatures-based games, but that was many years ago and my eyes aren’t as good as they used to be.

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I just used some cheap acrylic paints from Michaels for this, and they definitely aren’t as nice as the Citadel paints I used to use, but those are quite expensive these days and I probably don’t do enough painting to justify it.

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Below is my new apple (Jabba model for scale).

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I’m pretty happy with how it turned out. The faces of Leia and Bib Fortuna are a bit of a weak point since they are just so small, but as an overall piece I think it looks great. The idea that I was able to print something like this in my home using files I downloaded off of the internet really does seem futuristic.

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I decided to try printing the hookah pipe dome and frog bowl in transparent resin. I don’t really have the settings correct for this yet, but I think they turned out well enough to use, and it looks way better than trying to paint them. By the way, the ornamental piece on the top of the dome was printed separately, and is insanely small!

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Here are a few more shots of the finished piece.

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As I said above, I think this is an excellent collection of models. I love all of the little accessories they’ve included, like the mug and plate of food. My only real criticisms would be that the throne seems too thin — it should probably be at least twice as thick. You could of course alter the thickness before printing the model, but then the holes for the gargoyle heads will end up distorted.

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Also, Jabba from Return of the Jedi should only have 3 fingers and no thumb, but their model has three fingers plus a thumb. I removed the thumbs for my model. Finally, it would be nice to see Jabba have his arm tattoo added. If you want to pick up a set of these models, you can get them on the Zsculptors.com website.

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