Agisis Ultimate Alien Face Hugger
I’ve been 3D printing for a while now, but I’ve mostly stuck to useful items and small projects. I finally worked up the nerve to try my hand at completing a model in full, and being that I love Sci-Fi I went with the Alien face hugger model by Agisis found on Thingiverse.com. It is such a cool model, and looked well enough like something I could handle. I’ve never painted anything except walls, so it was going to be a learning experience for sure.
Printing went smoothly on my modified Monoprice Maker Select V2, and the Flexion HT extruder had no issues with the PLA now that I have my settings dialed in. I used five outlines and 5-10% infill. I wanted strong, but lightweight. If I did it again I would probably go with even less infill for the body.
Initially I was printing with 0.16mm layers, but later went to 0.12mm as that improved quality while not taking too much longer to print. All in all it was about 4 days of printing on and off. The parts are all printed in two pieces, top and bottom, so you’ll need some CA (SuperGlue) to hold them together.
I am a bit impatient, so once I had a few parts done I got started on smoothing. I had heard that using gesso was a good choice, but while it may be a decent primer for high-resolution prints it did nothing to hide layer lines. I ended up going the trusty route of sandpaper and time, plus a generous helping of filler primer. Admittedly I could have used a few more passes in some spots, but overall I got a pretty smooth finish.
Like I said before, I’ve never really tried my hand at painting a model before so I was a little leery. I found some tutorials online and made my way to the hobby store for some acrylic paint. I thought the joints made the model look skeletal, so I picked up white, brown, and yellow ocher, along with a deep red. The white and ocher mixed well as a bone-colored base, and after applying a few coats I mixed in some of the brown and thinned with water to add shading in the joints and crevices. For the… uhh… “ovipositor”, I used varying shades of the red. I could have added more shading here, but I was afraid it would end up looking more perverse than it is, so I went as subtle as possible. I then covered the painted parts in a clear acrylic lacquer that I picked up at the automotive store, and with the red highly watered down added some blood details to the fingertips. finally, two more coats of the lacquer and I was ready for assembly!
I gotta say, I am VERY happy with how this turned out. The joints popped into place with a little pressure and held position while remaining poseable. I did have an issue with one or two leg parts where I neglected to sand the inside of the joint well enough which caused the part to split at the glue seam, but that is a relatively simple fix after the fact. Live and learn. Now I’ve got a buddy for my office, and all the hugs my face could ever want!