Bull Ring Bull Fan Art 3D Model

If you’re from Birmingham in the UK, or even if you’ve just visited, you’ve probably seen one of the city’s most famous citizens: the bronze bull sculpture that adorns the entrance to the Bull Ring shopping centre. It’s a large sculpture by artist Laurence Broderick and was originally named ‘The Guardian‘ although mostly people refer to it simply as the ‘Bullring Bull‘ (read more about the area’s history on Wikipedia). Having taken 2D and 3D photos of it many times I decided to make my own fan-art version for 3D printing. The result of that you can view on Sketchfab below (click the play button to load the model and view it in 3D).

The 3D bull model on Sketchfab.

Quick summary of this 3D creation
Overview: A basic low-detail fan-art 3D model of the bronze Bullring Bull sculpture.
Location: Bullring Shopping Centre, Birmingham, England [map].
Date/era: Modern.
Software used: Spectre3D, Nomad Sculpt, Meshmixer, Blender.
Intended use: Resin 3D printing of a miniature fan-art model.
Download: Sketchfab page (non-commercial license).

It’s not an easy model to print using a fused-filament printer, so I decided to print mine in resin on my Anycubic Photon SE printer instead. I think it came out pretty well, especially after UV curing, removing the supports and a little sanding. Then I used The Army Painter model paints staring with a coat of brush-on primer to ensure good adhesion. The main painting was then done with their weapons bronze, necromancer cloak and wash medium. Finally a coat of Citadel clearcoat varnish helped protect the paint and give a nice sheen. Below is a photo of how it ended up, ready to put on a shelf to remind me of the excellent Bullring Bull.

The front of the painted Bullring Bull model.

If you’re interested in how I made this fan-art model, basically I started with a quick scan with the Spectre3D Android app. As there were a lot of people getting in my way (it’s a busy shopping area) and the surface is quite uniform and shiny bronze, obviously I didn’t get a very good mesh from the app (see the image below). However, it was a good start to getting a pose for the model in the Android Nomad Sculpt app.

The 3D scan underlying mesh topology.

So I then set about filling all the holes and smoothing out virtual clay to get a shape similar to the actual statue. Then I had to add new horns and hooves, as well as beefing up the tail to help make sure it would be strong enough. The whole of the mouth area was missing due to it being in dark shadow (which obviously confuses photogrammetry), so I had to add a chin and sculpt out a mouth shape using the crease tool. Then, after some last minute shaping and smoothing I transferred the model to Meshmixer on a PC to remesh it to a more sensible file size, and to scale it. For the resin print I also used Meshmixer to hollow the model, and Blender to make a hole in the bottom for resin drainage.

So, this model isn’t a proper 3D scan, needing lots of sculpting and fiddling to make it resemble the Bullring Bull sculpture. But I think as fan-art it worked out well for making a small resin 3D print to display, even if much of the original’s details are lost or more basic. And I think that’s what fan-art modelling is mostly all about: being able to print small representations that remind us of the real thing, even if they don’t look exactly like them 🙂