In terms of MMORPGs (Massively Multiplayer Online Role Playing Games), the big daddy on top of the heap will always be World of Warcraft. Despite being over a decade old at this point, the game still has over seven million monthly subscribers, and over its lifetime has had an incredible 100 million individual accounts created. WoW also holds the Guinness World Record as the most popular MMORPG by subscribers and is the most profitable video game of all time, with an estimated lifetime gross of over ten billion dollars.
WoW is the fourth game set in Blizzard Entertainment’s (Starcraft, Diablo) Warcraft universe, dating back to Warcraft, the first game in the series released back in 1994. As a fantasy world, Warcraft has all of the standard Tolkienian character types that you would expect, including humans, dwarfs, elves, orcs and trolls. The central conflict in the game is between the Alliance (the “good” guys) and the Horde (the “bad” guys), however because players are free to choose to be on either side, the game includes several antagonists that come into opposition of both forces. One of the most dangerous and well liked being Arthas Menethil, who started out as a heroic paladin but was soon corrupted by, and eventually succeeded, the evil Lich King.
Upon donning the Lich King’s helm, Arthas actually became his former master the Lich King and assumed command of his endless army of undead called the Scourge. One of my favorite 3D printed prop designers Francesco Orrù is a pretty big fan of fantasy books and games, and Warcraft in particular, so turning his creative eye towards World of Warcraft was an eventuality. He decided to create what is perhaps the most iconic and well known weapon from the MMO, the Lich King’s helm. If you take a look at his other creations over on MyMiniFactory, it becomes clear that the helm is right up Orrù’s alley.
“I’ve always been a big fan of Blizzard games, since a was a child. I played almost every version of Diablo, Warcraft and Starcraft [and am] still playing Starcraft 2. I decided to recreate my version of Arthas donning this iconic helmet from The Lich King design. One of my prefered things about warcraft?? Of course FOR THE HORDE, that’s the beauty of the game. Taurens, Grunts, Kodo beasts, all amazing concept arts and unit design,” said Orrù about his inspiration for the helm.
Orrù does all of his 3D sculpting using Zbrush by Pixologic, a program that he learned while attending the University of Bologna for Computer Science. When he moved to London, he continued to develop his proficiency with the digital sculpting program at night while earning a living as a barista by day. His hard work paid off, and eventually Orrù found himself designing 3D printable models full time, mainly for 3D model marketplace MyMiniFactory. While most of his designs have been character statues or props, he’s recently expanded into applying his skills and aesthetic to some amazing 3D printable guitars.
The Lich King’s helm took Orrù about four full days to completely sculpt and design, including several modifications and renders. The full 3D printing process took him about 90 to 100 hours spread out over the fourteen individually printed parts. He then carefully assembled the helm using superglue to bond the parts together, and got to applying the final paint job.
Orrù told us that he was helped with the assembly and painting immensely MyMiniFactory’s lead post-processer Catherine Wood. Wood helped him apply the subtle shadow effects that make the fine detail of his helmet design really pop, and in applying a distinctive metallic texture using black and silver paint. The finished helm is completely wearable, making it perfect for cosplay, or just as a conversation piece to set on your shelf. It measures 10″ x 26″ x 13″ (28 x 67 x 35 cm) making its wearer quite the imposing figure. You can download the STL files over on MyMiniFactory, and while there be kind enough to give Orrù a tip so he can continue to create amazing 3D printed props and statues. Let us know what you think of all of Orru’s designs in our World of Warcraft 3D Printed Lich King Helm forum thread at 3DPB.com