[Leah and Ailee] run their own handmade clothing business and needed a mannequin to drape their creations onto for display and photography. Since ready-made busts are quite pricey and also didn’t really suit their style, [Leah] set out to make her own mannequins by cleverly combining paper craft techniques and fiberglass.
[Leah] started by looking for suitable 3D models as a base for her design. The right one was found on opengameart.com, loaded into Blender, and underwent a few serious modifications including heavy use of the decimate tool before it became a stylish low-poly bust.
The reduced number of triangles also allowed [Leah] to manufacture her design with help of Pepakura, a software that unfolds 3D geometries and turns them into (2D-) printable templates for papercraft models. The printed templates were then cut out from cardboard, assembled, and reinforced with fiberglass and polyester resin. [Leah] tackled this step outdoors for good ventilation and also used a full respirator and safety gloves, considerately avoiding the toxic styrene fumes and irritating glass dust.
After a bit of sanding and a final paint job, the bust was ready to go into service as a model for Myth Of The West. If you seek to replicate [Leah’s] efforts, the open source project Make Human is a likewise great resource for to-size human models, and we’ll be glad to hear your ideas and suggestions in the comments!