One of the hardest challenges (I find) to making custom figures is getting all the right parts – for example my mini-me figure has way better hair than I do (and more of it at the back too!). Sometimes you have to just go with the closest match and recognise that it won’t be a perfect match.
There is a company that will create a 3D representation of your actual head on a Lego-compatible head – but I can’t say I’ve been overly impressed with the images I have seen of the results and certainly not for the money I would need to part with.
So, head and hair matching aside, the next challenge is the body and torso – and minifigs.me have stepped up with their Doodlefig range.
They have a template that you can download, draw your design on, send in and they will print it up onto a figure for you (within reason). I decided to have a go and have been really impressed with the result (my head is already spinning thinking of what I can do next 🙂 )
I used an early template which didn’t show the break lines for the torso and feet – this has been corrected now. The template allows you to draw the face, the main torso (front only) and legs and feet (again, front only). The arms are not printed. The print is then put onto a white figure and it can head off to you.
I experimented using clip art from a drawing package I have on my tablet (which also prompted me to buy a fine point tablet drawing pen – to be be played with and results posted at another time) and as I said earlier, was really impressed with the results. Minifigs.me show their example using one of their in-house designers (their 3 year old daughter) and this would be a fun creative activity – getting children to draw their figures and get them printed.
I guess I ought to address the elephant that sits in the corner whenever custom printed lego is discussed. People seem to be so used to buying their Lego minifigures at £2 to £3 that anything that is more than that is considered expensive. But it is worth remembering that these are either very limited runs (a few hundred) or one-offs and often by very small companies rather than the industrial set ups that ‘interlocking construction toy’ companies may have. Minifigs.me is a small company and actually in this custom market produce stuff that is both hard wearing and very competitively priced.
The other alternative to getting someone else to customise your Lego is to do it yourself… you can use paint, Sharpies or decoupage….
I think I’ll leave someone else to print it for me…