by: Peter Ong [ ]
Originally published on:
9” (230mm) Resin Sci-Fi Guy
Lightbeam3D prints products for Hasbro action figures and Khurasan Miniatures wargaming pieces, to name a few of their clients. The quality of detail and casting in the Khurasan Miniatures stands as a testament to the skill of Lightbeam3D.
I stumbled upon their nine-inch (230mm) tall resin “Sci-Fi Guy” during a Google image search for unique and original resin Sci-Fi figures, which often are few and far between when it comes to model kit figures. The wargaming market has lots of futuristic Sci-Fi hard body armor figurines in their squat “heroic proportions” with oversized guns, but the figure model kit market often lacks scale Sci-Fi figures. At first I thought Lightbeam3D’s Sci-Fi guy was a toy or action figure, but an email to Lightbeam3D provided me with the details; this is actually a figure model kit that comes in either a four-inch or a nine-inch version. The four-inch version was never cast so only the nine-inch version is available for sale.
My kit came in a cardboard mailing box. Opening the box revealed the solid light blue and clear resin figure in a clear plastic bag and wrapped in bubblepaper. The kit contains no decals, instructions, or box. Note that this figure is 230mm, and NOT 250mm.
The solid resin parts include:
• Armored torso
• Armored abdomen and hips
• Left and right armored lower calves
• Left and right armored upper thighs
• Left and right armored boots
• Left and right armored biceps
• Left and right armored forearms
• Left and right armored hands
• Armored helmet
• Two helmet-to-torso hoses
According to Lightbeam3D, the 3D CAD artist used Zbrush to design the pieces which were then 3D printed, cut with a laser, and cast in resin. The Sci-Fi Guy actually came into existence as a test piece; it wasn’t meant for market sale although Lightbeam3D will cast and sell the figure upon a customer’s emailed order. The figure’s size looks impressive and the sculpting appears smooth with nicely engraved lines, recessed circular holes, and smooth segmented sections. I detected no sinkholes, runs, or blobs on my figure and only one major casting defect—a gouge on the back’s center ring. I did see one very minor seam line down the left thigh and a sprue leftover on one of the hoses. The figure comes with no rifle, armament, ammo, gear, or pouches to classify it as a combat figure. “It’s just a guy in a suit,” said the owner of Lightbeam3D. Even so, Lightbeam3D’s Sci-Fi Guy holds the distinction as one of the largest original-designed Sci-Fi resin figures on market today.
At first glance, I was surprised that the surface gluing areas of the parts did not have any pins-to-hole connectors. The gluing areas were lasercut and have interlocking and matching channels and ridges to the corresponding parts. I testfitted the parts and honestly, there’s almost no way one can fit the parts wrong. The fit has to be an exact match because using the incorrect part will leave a noticeable gap, but using the proper part positioned correctly will make the part fit into the sawtooth grooves and ridges and leave only a hairline gap. One has to get the pieces joined at that exact “Sweet Spot” to make the sawtooth ridges and grooves interlock. Interlocking pieces also means that the figure comes in a fixed pose with no deviations; the head will turn to the side and the figure will stand with its arms and legs slightly apart. Nonetheless, I am impressed by the engineering ingenuity of the “sawtooth channel and ridge joining method” because this allows all the parts to have a large gluing surface and a firm fit against multiple ridges. I also think that the join would be stronger than a simple pin-to-hole connection. Assembly appears simple, just join the parts until they match and connect. Putty or gap-filling superglue will still be required to fill in any hairline gaps and ensure a smooth continuation of the figure’s suit. One could decide to leave the helmet hoses off as these are optional pieces.
Lightbeam3D’s nine-inch Sci-Fi Guy looks cool and has impressive fit engineering to match. The figure could represent any number of possibilities and painting schemes the modeler could imagine. Figure modelers with some experience assembling resin figures should encounter hardly any issues when assembling this 230mm Sci-Fi figure.
Thanks to Lightbeam3D for the discounted review sample. Some photos were taken from Lightbeam3D's website for this review.