A Kickstarter I’m backing. Be your own Mini.


Okay, this is pretty sweet even if your not a gamer or a mini painter. This is a local company that approached me and a bunch of other authors at LTUE about getting our heads 3D scanned so we could have minatures that look exactly like us. They are doing a Kickstarter to launch their company, and the whole idea is that they can scan anybody’s head, and then produce a mini of you on an existing body, or you can get just the head to put on some other body.

I got my sample yesterday, and it really does look like me (from our party of novelists and cartoonists, I’m the cleric. I’m thinking for Accountor, God of Fiscal Responsibility). The mini looks good. I won’t be able to paint it for at least the next 10 days, but I will post pics as I do. The sample I got was 28mm so that puts it a little on the small side, about the same size as a historical mini, like a Perry Brothers or so. But they are doing the actuals in 32 or 35mm “heroic” scale, so more in line with Warmachine or Reaper sizes. I’m getting another one in larger scale and then I’m also going to get a whole bunch of extra Larry heads, because I need Larry the pirate, and Larry the space marine, and Larry the conquistador, you get the idea.

I'm doing an AMA on Reddit tomorrow
ConDuit in SLC today

15 thoughts on “A Kickstarter I’m backing. Be your own Mini.”

  1. First: I’m not trying to diminish the efforts of, or steal business from these guys. Not in the human scanning/figurine business, and don’t want to be.

    According to the video, they work from pictures.

    I have a $30,000+ optical 3D scanner at work, accurate to 1/10th of a millimeter. If you want to bring in yourself and some of your favorite guns, I’ll be happy to do super accurate scans for you. Whoever is making the heads should be able to take the files produced and 3D print a scale model of pretty much anything you want, in whatever scale you choose.

    I’ll be happy to scan whatever you like, including evil weapons. I work in a hippy-free environment.

    Flat white is the best color to work with, flat black the worst, so whatever you bring needs to be ready to get it’s inner honky on with spray paint. (It’s best for the optical pattern the scanners pick up).

    Bring talcum powder, or there will be a hole in your face where your beard should be.

    Again, it’s a very cool idea, and I don’t yet have a 3D printer, so this kickstarter is safe from us. We build aluminum bodied exotic cars and will probably never have a printer small enough to do figurines.

    1. You’re suggesting serious data overkill. Super high resolution images can cause serious conniptions in the slicing software used by 3D printers.

      Just to give you an idea the resolution you are suggesting, an average surface area of the front of a human head is about 40,000cm2. Your software will scan that at a detail level of 0.1mm, generating about 406,250,000 data points, each point, depending of the scanning software, would probably consist of somewhere between 4 bytes to 32 bytes leading to a minimum of 2GB worth of data. Then you shrink that down to the size of approximately 10cm2 on a head that is about 5cm3. You’re loosing nearly all of that data in the resolution of the printer (most professional grade SLS/SLA 3D printers have a layer height of about 0.02mm).

      The slicing software would literally take days trying to process that level of detail into the file a printer could use, with no benefit to the look of the print.

      A regular cell phone picture will provide far more data than can be captured in a professional 3D printer when shrunk down to that size.

      1. Hey Pete,

        Your numbers and sizes are pretty much in line with my hands on experience. In fact, your estimations were a bit conservative. 1,000,000+ data point models are common. While scanning, I’m regularly using 20 gig of RAM while scanning. 1,000,000+ entity models are common. OS and working file storage is on a very high quality SATA3 SSD with 20% overprovision. The video card was specc’d similarly.

        Not bragging, just letting you know how much I agree. And I still get impatient while it chews at every save.


        Going from the point cloud working files to the smaller .stl file reduces the size tremendously.

        So why bother? Cumulative error. Corrections and smoothing from a huge point cloud file (10 gig is common) yields a far superior compressed result.

        A quick look shows my biggest file (multi gig) smashes down to a 60 meg .stl file for an old Ford small block engine head. A 427 cobra hood with an integral scoop and hood handles comresses down to under 6 meg. A 289 valve cover .stl is 1500K, and a windshield is a paltry 450K.

        The above is why we went with the high buck version, rather than one of the many cheaper options, like laser + wineglass stem + video camera + turntable.

        As an added bonus, when we’re done, the far higher quality digitization would allow production of much larger scale models while still keeping them looking good, with absolutely no additional scanning. Kind of the same idea as super large picture files being necessary to produce large posters without terrible grainyness.

        My offer to Larry was with all of this in mind. I was specifically thinking he might want to use his own head for an action figure (doll) of Owen Z. Pitt. He might also have some desires toward using excellent computer models of his favorite weapons.

        As an aside, it’s never a bad idea to have a high quality sculpture of one’s face available in case of major reconstructive facial surgery, due to cancer, catastrophic firearm failure or even a bicycle accident (or a hundred other things).

        Bear in mind, I wasn’t looking at making any dollars for doing this, nor am I remotely interested in copying the business model. The company I work at has less than 50 customers in a very busy year. We aren’t geared for small sales on this scale, nor do we want to be. Larry’s just a writer whom I admire greatly (I think of him as on par with Heinlein) except his background is military folks, gaming and accounting. Like me.

        The more I can do to make him wealthy, the less time he’ll have to waste on problems, and the more time he’ll devote to creating entertainment making me happy. He’s got the monkey well and truly on his back, and he’ll die before he stops creating books, even if they stop paying. For example, he’s already written and given away two on this blog: the adventures of his oriental gaming miniatures.

        So now you know my reasoning, motivations and intentions. I hope you find them honorable.

  2. Copyright issues with Halo and World of Warcraft figurines could be avoided by making replacement heads (MS and Blizzard will still get royalties off the original sale) causing it to be a ‘modification’ rather than a ‘production’. Obviously IANAL, consult one before betting the farm.

    It would be trivially easy to add a master chief helm or night elf ears to a face model. A bit more work would allow merging a person’s human face to a monster head. Extra work for extra bucks.

    They can literally make these bits any size they want, up to the max for the printer. Scaling should be trivially easy.

  3. Good thinking WoodyTX

    Download some pictures of your favorite enemy from the net (facebook, HS yearbook, etc..) send to mimic miniatures:

    Instant voodoo doll, with super correct details.
    Mount the head on that level’s boss monster.
    Enjoy killing the jerk over and over again!

    The current POTUS would make a perfect anti-deity for Accountor. There is a huge pantheon available for all the demons and devils of that mileu.

    Another opportunity: sell popular heads. The majority of the production cost is digitizing the head. It should be quite easy to produce lots of Correia heads, now that he’s already digitized.

    Yet another opportunity: create heads compatible with Legos. There are some real lego fans out there, they’d probably love to have their own head on their lego dudes.

    some folks really love their cars:
    1: 3D print car model to set on cubicle’s desk
    2: print a scale personalized driver/seat to match plastic model of car available in hobby store.

    1. “The current POTUS would make a perfect anti-deity for Accountor. There is a huge pantheon available for all the demons and devils of that mileu.”

      Reminds me of the mods for the original DOOM. I had one where the Beholder head was Bill Clinton’s head and instead of fireballs it threw alternating words “TAX” and “SPEND”. Using the chainsaw was particularly enjoyable.

  4. Sorry to harsh your mellow… but they hosed your last name. 🙁 Larry Coreia. Very sweet mini, though! I’d have pictured you with a truncheon.

  5. When are you going to come out with minis for all the members of WNGN? Then you could roleplay yourselves playing a roleplaying game!

    1. This would be great to create your own survivor for zombicide. It would be great if they had modern figures instead of just fantasy.

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