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Art Toy Design » Flocked Cartoon Figures
Fusion 360 is not known or often used for organic designs, but that doesn’t mean it can’t be. After creating a redesign of my hand-sculpted rabbit BJD character body and a new Jumping Spider Shaker-Globe body, (to replace my original hand-sculpted master which ended up destroyed during mold-making) I knew that I could accomplish much more in the way of simple characters. Since I already had everything needed for flocking out and ready to use after the jumping spiders, I somehow decided to create a small simple, cartoonish Ewok figure that could also be flocked.
I set about designing the body shape and size based on the eyes since I have a whole container of smooth black airsoft BBs which I had no other use for. I created two 8mm spheres and set them apart as far as I figured I’d want the eyes to be. The rest of the body was manipulating several isometric “forms” using the create form tool for the base body and limbs before hollowing and combining them, using the fillet tool to smooth it all out.
After designing a spear and bow and adjusting the arms to hold them properly, I printed out the parts. I had separated the nose as to not cover it with flocking and would attach it and the eyes later in the process. The mouth and teeth I had sculpted into the original body would end up not showing up or even being needed.
Once I had a prototype printed for the Wicket variant, I created a sewing pattern for the hood. Once I was happy with the shape and fit, I dyed some tan flannel fabric with orange dye to create a rusty tone for the Wicket-style ewok. I then set about cutting and sewing 6 hoods while printing an additional 5 bodies and spears.
The bodies did not require much clean-up and the print lines didn’t matter since it would all be covered in a later of tiny nylon hairs soon enough. The weapons and noses however needed to be sanded a bit to remove the print lines and support marks. Those were then hand-painted using acrylics.
Once the bodies were ready, I used my flocking applicator to statically apply flock to the bodies which were sprayed with Super 77 spray adhesive. The spray adhesive dries quickly and is best used outdoors so I would spray the body, then rush as quick as I could to my workbench and immediately flock the body.
I had only planned to create 6x of the Wicket figures and put them on my Etsy page thinking that they’d take a long time to sell. They ended up being a huge hit and over the next month I ended up producing a LOT more to keep up with the demand. They never made it to my Etsy page and instead I ended up facilitating all the orders via private messages in Facebook and Instagram.
After that I created 2 additional Ewok variants, one based on the Ewok named Tokkat, and another based on a “What if an Ewok became a Sith?” concept.
Because of the Wicket success I created and prototyped two more characters, a Wampa from The Empire Strikes Back, and a Totoro and Chibi Totoro from the Ghibli film “My Neighbor Totoro”. I have not yet completed the dozen or so of each that I printed and flocked due to being busy producing kit content for my Patreon and looking for full-time employment, but both of those had may people asking about when they could purchase their own.
I learned a lot through this whole process… mostly that flocking is ITCHY and gets everywhere. But I had also tested a number of adhesives to help the flocking stick better while extending the amount of time I could flock the surface, but ultimately Super77 won that battle.