Throughout many legends and throughout many different cultures, the Wild Hunt is a terrifying myth linked to destruction and is often the foretelling of bad omens or times of unrest. It is said that if someone were to see the phantom army of horseback hunters riding through the sky in pursuit of their prey that it was a precursor to a plague, a great war or even the witness’ very own death. Many of the legends also tell of hapless mortals being inadvertently swept up in the Hunt after seeing them ride, and being conscripted into joining the Wild Hunt forever. It is this grim legend that inspired the plot of the third installment of CD Projekt RED’s popular video game series The Witcher.
The Witcher 3: Wild Hunt follows the series’ main protagonist Geralt of Rivia on his journey to find his lover Yennefer, their adopted daughter Ciri and save her from the titular Wild Hunt and its ruthless king. In the game, the King of the Wild Hunt is Eredin, a twisted and menacing evil who wears a beat up, dented and terrifying skull-shaped helmet as he rides at the head of his monstrous, tireless army. Eredin wearing his helmet is one of the more iconic images from the fantastic role playing game, and he is one of the more memorable antagonists that many gamers have seen in years.
The Witcher series was extremely successful both critically and financially, and is widely considered one of the best RPGs ever made. So it wasn’t especially surprising that one of the more prolific 3D designers over at MyMiniFactory would take a stab at creating 3D printable props from it. 3D artist Stefanos Anagnostopoulos is a huge fan of video games, and was inspired by the epic final boss fight between Eredin and Geralt, so he decided to design a wearable version of Eredin’s imposing helmet.
It is clear that Anagnostopoulos is one of the more talented designers over at MyMinifactory. He is the guy responsible for the wearable Ant-Man, the Batman Arkham Knight, and Game of Thrones Wildling masks that we’ve covered previously, and his designs never disappoint. He’s obviously well-suited to creating a detailed King of the Wild Hunt helmet, and he did a great job capturing the look and feel of it. The design process alone took him three days using both Zbrush and 3D Studio Max, not to mention several days of printing, post-processing and painting.
The basic shape of the King of the Wild Hunt helmet was designed first in Zbrush, where Anagnostopoulos made sure that his rough outline was the correct size. Then he extracted the front mask portion of the helmet from the main model so he could design the highly detailed skull features. When he was happy with the level of detail he reintegrated it with the basic helmet model and opened up 3D Studio Max to model the spikes. Once he had the correct shaped spikes he imported them back into Zbrush and used the Dynamesh feature to put the entire helmet together. Anagnostopoulos then went to work adding in dozens of dents, scratches and imperfections that would match the reference images that he found online, and make it look like a realistic, well-worn battle helmet.
“When all the parts were printed I glued them together and then painted it dark gray. I left it to dry and then Catherine Wood (My Mini Factory’s post-processing painter) finished the painting job and made it look rusty. When it was finished I used a matt varnish to have that shiny look to it,” said Anagnostopoulos.
Because of the size, Anagnostopoulos needed to split the helmet up into several individual parts before slicing it right inside of Zbrush. He then sent the parts to his MakerBot Replicator 2 for printing. The printing process took him a little less that 45 hours in total, and once assembled the helmet is a massive 9.8″ x 13″ x 17.6″. The files are available at MMF for download, or you can buy it printed (unassembled and unpainted) for $299.