Nov 12, 2015 | By Kira

Forget lions, tigers and bears—think werewolves, vampire bats and death worms. Though Halloween has come and gone, 3D designer and modeller Brian Richardson lives in the realm of the mythical, the mysterious and the downright creepy 365 days a year. Fascinated by cryptozoology and mythology for as long as he can remember, Richardson began sculpting and 3D printing the skeletons of these fantastical creatures in order to tell their story and bring them into reality. He now sells over 50 different models and wearable 3D printed jewellery on his website, Mythic Articulations, with some recently added species including the Mothman, Terror Bird, and a particularly disturbing Tooth Fairy that you absolutely would not want to see in your bed at night.

The Werewolf

Richardson, originally from Long Island, New York, founded Mythic Articulations in 2013 after becoming interested in 3D printing. He initially wanted to create a model of a bird skeleton, and within a few months, had taught himself the basics 3D modelling using the free software Sculptris (which he highly recommends for beginners), eventually moving on to Zbrush. Though he has experience with various sculpting methods and materials, from clay to metalworking, 3D modeling has inherent advantages for the kind of intricate work he creates. “I prefer 3D modeling and printing because there is very little mess, minimal resources, and the sculptures are infinitely reproducible,” he told 3Ders.org. “I can also do much more intricate work (in a much shorter amount of time) than I could if I were making these with any other medium.” He uses his local 3D printing bureau, equipped with EOS P396 3D printers, to create the finished objects.

After the success of that initial bird skeleton, he turned his newfound skills towards the mythical and mysterious world of cryptozoology---the pseudoscientific study of animals or plants whose existence have been suggested, but never proven by mankind. He founded Mythic Articulations with the explicit goal of “creating what nature won’t”—focusing on the skeletons and skulls of mythical beasts and cryptids.

From top to bottom: Cthulhu, El Chupacabra and the Wendigo in a Can

Though he personally doesn’t believe that creatures such as the Chupacabra, Wetland Fairy, Wyvern, or Lizard Man exist, that hasn’t stopped him from imagining incredibly detailed models of their anatomy and sharing their legendary histories with the public. Apparently, many people share his wild imagination. “The response from fans and customers has been overwhelmingly positive,” Richardson told us.

His website and Etsy shop feature dozens of realistic 3D prints, including skeletons, skulls, poseable models, 2D prints and a even a book. Recently, he added 3D printed wearables to his collection, including earrings and pendants 3D printed in bronze. “The poseable ‘Cerberus in a Can’ has been my most popular creation so far, followed by the ‘Wyvern in a Can’,” he told us. As far as the jewellery, the Bat Earwings, 3D printed in white or black nylon, started as a fan request but have proven to be very popular with other customers. For the most part, the 3D printed skeletons stand on average at 7 inches high, with prices starting at $40 and going to over $100. 3D printing orders are processed through Shapeways, and printed in durable Nylon material.

3D printed jewelry from Richardson's Etsy Shop

Richardson is continually researching and imagining new creatures to add to his collection. The final models are a combination of storybook images, reported sightings, anatomical sketches, and his own imagination.

One of the most recent 3D skeletons is the Tooth Fairy—though it’s probably not the Tinker Bell-esque sprite you imagined as a kid. “Most people imagine the Tooth Fairy as a generic human sized fairy (or Dwayne ‘the Rock’ Johnson). My version was loosely based on the Tooth Fairies from Hellboy II and to a lesser extent, the Tooth Fairies from Don't be Afraid of the Dark (2011). I liked the wide-set eyes from the Hellboy fairies, and the hostile nature of the others.  I combined those traits into something a bit more imp like with cicada wings, and longer claws. Really not something you'd want to see in your bed at night.”

The Tooth Fairy

Much of his knowledge of and interest in cryptids comes from his early education in biology, which he studied in his last year of high school prior to entering college for Visual Communications. When asked why he made the switch, he explained that there was simply too much ‘dissecting dead stuff’ in biology. “I’m fine with bones more or less, but not when there’s still skin on them. Ever been hit in the face by exploding dead fish eye goop? It kind of makes you question your career choice.”

By all means, I have never had that experience, but I’m very glad he found a new calling 3D modelling and design in order to bring these whimsical yet haunting creatures into reality.

Close-up of the Wolpertinger

For the rest of 2015, Richardson will be mostly focused on fulfilling holiday orders, however once the holiday rush has passed, he assured us that there are plenty of new creations on the way. In particular, he noted a few famous creatures he’s neglected to make, such as the Loch Ness Monster, Mokele Mbembe, and others. “I’d like to also do a Kraken at some point (sure, squids don’t have skeletons, but neither do Mongolian Death Worms.)” He currently has no plans to expand into non-mythical creatures.

If you’re interested in your very own Mythic Articulation—be it in the form of a poseable skeleton or a unique 3D printed wearable, check out his Etsy or company website. And if you ever do come across a real-life Chupacabra, Rake, or Wendigo, make sure you at least take a picture for comparison before you run for your life.

 

 

Posted in 3D Printing Application

 

 

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