Creating a 3D model from an 80’s movie poster

Recently during the lockdown, I ended up revisiting some of the films I grew up within the ’80s. Some stood up to the test of time, and others just didn’t live up to the memories I had when I first watched them.

House Movie Poster

One such film is the horror-comedy film “House”, starring William Katt, which was released in 1986. It also starred George WendtRichard Moll, and Kay Lenz. I remember loving this film when I was younger, so when some artwork caught my eye based on the movie poster, I used that opportunity to sharpen my painting skills and add this unique piece into my collection.

Luckily for me, the 3D model was already designed by Jeff Wicks who runs the Patreon HEX3D. As a member of this community, I was able to download the design and print off the parts quickly.

If you have ever 3D printed parts before, you know that they come out in the same flat colours that you feed into the printer, usually the colour of your filament, and needs some prop processing before you are able to finish the product.

Gil ended up sanding down some of the parts before doing a quick wash to get rid of any plastic dust left on the print. Once everything was dry, I primed the pieces making sure they were smoothed out.

You can see that the main part of this model is a zombie hand, with some very interesting surfaces. For Gil’s purposes in painting it to look like an undead person’s hand you need specific textures and details (think “zombie apocalypse”), he primed them beforehand by spraying putty onto their surface before adding colour paint. Gil used his advantage when painting in order to make these weird muscles come alive and not look like conventional skin tones but as if they were being pulled from deep within their undead core!

Gil then painted up the hand and base with acrylic paint, giving them a unique look by rising layers to bring up the detail on the hand. Particular attention was given to recreating the lighting used on the movie poster. The level of detail he put into recreating how they lit up on movie posters was remarkable; it really looks like you could reach out and touch them, which you can do with this model.

To finish off the project, I put together the doorbell, painting it with a base coat before hitting it with a little Rub and Buff to make it look worn out and old and then rubbed in some dirt for added effect! For the base of the statue, I used acrylic paints to replicate a wooden motif before moving onto the nameplate copying the colour stylings of the movie poster.

I tried out a few different techniques for this project and I’m really pleased with how it turned out. Acrylic paint was the medium used, but instead of using my airbrush as suggested by Tim Bovis in his book “Simple Techniques for Awesome Art” (which is excellent), I went with brushstrokes because they’re more intuitive than spraying something on there–and as any Maker knows: practice makes perfect!