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Thread: Black Mesa Inbound: The Road to Custom Gordon Freeman from Half Life

  1. #1
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    Black Mesa Inbound: The Road to Custom Gordon Freeman from Half Life

    Given the current quarantine we're all in, I felt it best to spend my time on a brand new custom figure--like many of us have taken to in this time.

    Even more so, I thought it would be fun to tackle a figure (or figures) that was the complete opposite in tone and style from the extensive and on-going Lord of the Rings series I've also been working on.

    This takes me to one of my all-time favorite PC games: Half Life!




    For those who don't know, Half Life is a first-person shooter PC game released by Valve Software in 1998. It was highly acclaimed upon release and received numerous awards,
    including the "Game of the Year" (as advertised on the box pictured above). It later spawned a number of expansion packs/spin-offs, an equally-acclaimed sequel from 2004 (which had its own expansions),
    and even the recently released, Half Life: Alyx.

    In short, Half Life changed the way video games were made--so, naturally, it deserves to be Mego-ized, right?!

    Therefore, the only choice for the first figure to be made is that of protagonist Dr. Gordon Freeman!


    Preparation

    Before starting the process, it is worth noting that there already exist figures of Gordon Freeman in the wild--though, none in Mego-scale, to my knowledge.

    The most mainstream figure of Gordon Freeman was made by the company NECA, back in 2013:



    Honestly, this is a terrific figure and is expertly sculpted and painted--and with accessories such as his trusty crowbar, the Zero Point Energy Field Manipulator (or Gravity Gun),
    and even a headcrab, there is very little to complain about here.

    However, I've always enjoyed displaying figures in the 8-inch scale; there's something about the consistency and the look--and ease of customizing in this scale--that makes me long to feature a
    multitude of figures in the same scale, from different movies and games that I am very attached to.

    NECA Gordon, being 7 inches tall, did not fit in with that scale. Additionally, NECA's figure was based on Gordon's appearance in the sequel, Half Life 2 (as evidenced by both the appearance of
    the Gravity Gun and the design of Gordon's HEV suit). Since I am quite partial to the look and designs of the original Half Life, and less so the sequel (thought still definitely a solid release), this would
    not have worked for the collection I wish to display.


    Another great example of a Gordon Freeman figure--this time, a custom--comes from Deviantart user botmaster2005:



    Again, another wonderfully made figure of Gordon! This particular figured has served as a great inspiration to me as I've started this process. Despite being made in the 1/6 scale, it would be very
    simple to, effectively, shrink this overall design down to the 1/9 scale and be set!

    However, this figure was also designed with the look of Half Life 2, so I could not follow the process exactly; despite that, copying exactly what botmaster2005 did, but smaller, would be dishonest
    and completely defeat the purpose of being creative and customizing something new in the first place.

    With these previous examples in mind, I was on my way to start working on the first step toward an 8-inch custom Gordon Freeman...



    Head Sculpt

    As many of you know, my custom figures feature 3D-printed heads, rather than the traditional sculpting/molding/casting method.

    Well, simply put: my sculpting skills are hot garbage. It's just something I've never been able to get the hang of, and creating heads in 3D has always come much more naturally to me.

    With that in mind, it is worth noting that a variety of 3D sculpts of Gordon Freeman have already been made.

    Some official...





    Some fan-made...



    All are good options!

    ...well, save for the crusty-looking official models from the 1998 original


    At any rate, I personally prefer to make my heads my own way; adapting an existing sculpt would be too easy, and I'm always up for a challenge.

    The first step toward any head sculpt is to collect reference photos--so I did!

    I mainly chose photos of Gordon Freeman based on his appearance in the original Half Life from 1998:





    And with the use of my incredibly expensive and high-tech digital sculpting tools... i.e. The Sims 3...
    I created the following head for Gordon:



    P.S: For those aware of it and concerned, I unfortunately chose to forgo the ponytail featured on Gordon's model from HL1.

    From here, I was able to begin the process of turning it into a Mego-sized head. I started by extracting my Sim of Gordon from The Sims 3 with a program called 3D Ripper DX.

    It was then imported in Blender for cleaning and adjusting the model...



    Then in Microsoft 3D Builder for adding a neckplug...



    And finally, slicing it in Ultimaker Cura 4.4...



    To be printed on my Monoprice MP Select Mini 3D Printer.



    ...which is where we're at now!


    Hopefully, I can get another post out later this week, showing the process of prepping the print and going through the process of painting.

    As always, critiques and feedback is welcome, and I hope you all enjoy the journey as much as I will!
    Last edited by Beatlemania; Apr 18, '20 at 7:56 PM.

  2. #2
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    Black Mesa Inbound: The Road to Custom Gordon Freeman from Half Life

    This weekend, I have gone through with prepping, priming, and painting the 3D print of Gordon's head--as well as his recently-printed trusty crowbar!





    Gordon's crowbar was, rather than being remodeled, ripped from the PS2 port of Half Life (much higher model fidelity than the PC original):





    And we now have a fully-painted head and crowbar!



    Looking forward to making his HEV suit!
    Last edited by Beatlemania; Apr 18, '20 at 10:47 PM.

  3. #3
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    This is very cool. I really like how you are grabbing the 3d data from games.

  4. #4
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    I like seeing the process of this. Great hair texture, too. I'm looking forward to seeing him with his glasses and armor.
    WANTED: Dick Grayson SI trousers; gray AJ Mustang horse; vintage RC Batman (Bruce Wayne) head; minty Wolfman tights; mint Black Knight sword; minty Launcelot boots; Lion Rock (pale) Dracula & Mummy heads; Lion Rock Franky squared boots; Wayne Foundation blue furniture; Flash Gordon/Ming (10") unbroken holsters; CHiPs gloved arms; POTA T2 tan body; CTVT/vintage Friar Tuck robes, BBP TZ Burgess Meredith glasses.

  5. #5
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    Looking good!

  6. #6
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    Black Mesa Inbound: The Road to Custom Gordon Freeman from Half Life

    Hey everyone! I've got another update concerning my custom Gordon Freeman figure!
    Recently, I have received a few new items in the mail: these include a new body from CTVT (immediately restrung and floral taped up, of course)...



    A pair of CHiPs-style gloved hands from CTVT...



    And a pair of pirate-style boots, also from CTVT...



    The boots needed some crafting to be more applicable to Gordon's HEV suit, however. The lower part of the shoe looked perfect for what I needed it, but the flared tops and shin pieces needed to go.
    Therefore, I simply cut those parts away with an X-ACTO knife:



    Those sculpted fold lines in the boots were very good guidelines for cutting, I'll say!



    From there, all that was left (concern this post, at least) was the bodysuit to be the basis for the HEV suit to be built upon. I regret choosing the tighter body suit pattern from the old Custom Mego site,
    as it was quite difficult to turn inside without tearing at the fabric glue--but I think that, once the rest of the armor pieces have been applied, it won't matter too much.



    Pretty soon, Gordon's glasses will be coming in the mail soon (a purchase I completely forgot about the first time around )

    With that said, I'd say we're well on the way to making something real special! Thanks for all of your great feedback!

    Cheers!

  7. #7
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    Black Mesa Inbound: The Road to Custom Gordon Freeman from Half Life

    Hey everyone! Just today, I've finished the construction of Gordon's HEV suit--or, at least, the initial construction with foam.
    I decided it would be easiest to take the approach that botmaster2005 from DeviantArt did with their 1/6 scale Gordon Freeman figure and create the suit pieces with sheets of craft foam and hot glue them into place!



    The first day of working ended with the front of the chest being completed. Much of my time spent this first day, however, was getting reacquainted with pattern-making.



    The next day fleshed out more of the arms and legs.



    The final day (today) ended with the rest of the suit being fully constructed and ready to be primed and painted!
    Attached Images Attached Images
    Last edited by Beatlemania; May 12, '20 at 7:15 PM.

  8. #8
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    This is coming along really nicely! Can the legs move with this design?

  9. #9
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    Hello, sprytel!

    Yes, the legs can move, but really only at the knees. Everything centered around his waist is sort of stuck in place, though, so his posability and the methods to get him to balance are (I imagine) not too dissimilar from a Mego One Million B.C. figure.
    Since I really only need to display him in a standing position, though, it works out well enough

  10. #10
    JUST AMAZING! Can you please tell me which 3d printer are you using? I was reading some reviews here. Actually my first printer was a used Ultimaker 2, which I believe came out around 2012. It was pretty horrible; constant clogged filament, stepper motor grinding, annoying bowden tube removal (any time you wanted to change or clean something). I was quite surprised considering the extreme expense of those printers and the reputation of Ultimaker. However, printers have come a ways since then.

    The technology is still a lot I think for the general public, but I believe printers are consistently improving. I bought a Prusa i3 MK3 from the Czech Republic where they are made (hardly any retailers carry them in Canada) and it was expensive after duties and conversion from American to Canadian dollars but the difference was night and day compared to my old Ultimaker.

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