Having a custom head sculpt made of yourself used to require a lot of artistic talent and money. But now, thanks to modern technology and the entrepreneurial idea of a new company called ThatsMyFace.com, it’s both easy and yes, reasonably affordable.
All you have to do is send them a photo of your face. They’ll use the photo to create a 3-dimensional computer model, from which they utilize 3-D printing technology to produce a photo-realistic plastic head sculpt that fits onto any 12″ (1/6th scale) action figure. You may be wondering, “Is it that simple?” Well, yes. It’s really is. According to their website:
“ThatsMyFace.com specializes in patent-pending technologies that transform 2-D portraiture into 3-D sculptures. From just one frontal photo (and optionally a side photo), a photo-realistic 3D preview of your final personalized action figure head is made–for FREE.
Upon your approval of the preview, a personalized head sculpt is created out of a resin composite in full 24-bit color ($99+). Our various custom-made head sculpt designs can fit on most standard 12-inch male action figure bodies and dolls including Barbie, Bratz, MyScene, Liv, Moxie Girlz, Tammy, Sindy, Winx, Pullip, 8-inch Mego, female 12-inch action figure bodies and even vintage GIjOES.”
Wow! This is clearly a ‘game changer’ in many respects. Now it’s possible to create the head sculpt of almost ANY obscure or unique individual. It can be you, a family member, a friend, an actor nobody’s heard of, an historic figure–anyone! If you can provide a good, clear, front-facing photo, this company will make the head for you. AND…they even provide a selection of pre-dressed figures to help you further along with your custom. This puts some powerful customizing skills into the hands of just about everyone.
Of course, this technology is NOT perfect. All of TMF’s sculpts are initially made BALD. If you still have a full head of hair, seeing yourself as a mini “chrome dome” might not be what you had in mind. But they can also assist with this problem. For an additional fee (of course), they will provide any “follically-challenged” head sculpt with some sculpted hair or even a wig (see website for options).
Oddly shaped heads too, would be a problem. It’s doubtful that you could request a Medusa sculpt, with all her tiny snakes and such. Or a flat-topped noggin’ like Frankenstein. But regular, BALD human head sculpts? That seems very do-able right now. The rest is up to you and your wallet.
Another possible negative…since they’re using a 3D printer, the colors created can sometimes result in a sort of “dot” texture. And depending on the size and colors of the head sculpt, those dots can stand out…or not. For example, some of their African-American heads actually look really amazing, but some of the caucasian heads seem somewhat “dotty” in appearance. It’s probably due to the fact that darker heads have MORE dots, printing closer together, thereby creating a more REALISTIC final appearance. And of course, “printed” features will always tend to look dramatically different from all the painted eyes and eyebrows we’re used to seeing.
I wondered if any Joeheads out there had already tried this new service and found that a LtFalcon had posted his experience over on the Trenches forum. Here’s what he had to say about the process…
“I had done self customs in the past and ran across thatsmyface.com and had to try it. Finally, I’m immortalized in plastic! They overlay your front and side picture profiles over a 3-D head model and 3-D print a head in color. The head surface is very frosty looking, and feels like a sand-blasted texture on a mold. I think the ones they make for 12″ Joes look much better than the 3 3/4 versions.”
Bottom Line: It seems that the quality of the photo you provide and the size of the head sculpt being created are the two main factors determining the quality of your final results. It’s likely that strong, darker features (black eyes, facial hair and thicker eyebrows) will probably print out better, with blond, lighter features not working out quite so well. Of course, you should always ask a lot of questions before forking over any dough. The good news right now is that TMF (currently) gives a FREE preview online, so you can always cancel if you don’t like what you’re seeing (in your preview pictures). Check their website for complete ordering details.