Son of Dum Dum in Barmouth

Wales is, and rightly so, world-famed for its art and culture: some from the depths of its’ celtic past, some much more modern, and some mysteriously appropriated from small islands on the other side of the world. In west Wales we find an example of the latter category, an amazing carved wood Maoi Maoi head, known locally as Son of Dum Dum, which the Cambrian News reported appeared on Barmouth Beach in April 2021. Although a wonderful surprise for locals, it probably wasn’t completely unexpected as it replaced ‘Dum Dum’, another Maoi Maoi head lost to storm damage in 2020. So to make sure this one is digitally preserved for posterity, before nature claims it too, I just had to capture a 3D fan-art version.

Son of Dum Dum on Barmouth Beach
Son of Dum Dum on Barmouth Beach

Quick summary of this 3D creation
Overview: A fan-art photogrammetry 3D scan of a carved wood Maoi Maoi head.
Location: Barmouth, west Wales [map].
Date/era: Modern, 2021 AD.
Software used: Kiri Engine, MeshmixerBlender, Nomad Sculpt.
Intended use: 3D printing or as a digital asset for art and video.
Nearby posts: Cors y Gedol and Dyffryn Ardudwy neolithic burial chambers.
Download: MyMiniFactory (high poly) or Sketchfab (low poly).

The 3D scanning was done with the Android Kiri Engine photogrammetry app using 59 12-megapixel photos taken from different heights and angles. I’ve put the textured low-poly version on Sketchfab below so you can view it in your browser without needing to do any 3D printing (click the play button to load the model and view it in 3D).

Son of Dum Dum on Sketchfab

For the 3D printable version I reoriented and trimmed the high-poly model in Meshmixer, and in Blender I extruded and filled an edge loop around the base. Then I used Nomad Sculpt to do a bit of digital sculpting, mostly to tidy up the top of the head where it was difficult to get photos. Finally, Mesmixer was used again to remesh and trim it to a sensible finished file size.

I printed the finished model on my Flashforge Adventurer 3C printer using silver PLA, at an angle of 10 degrees to avoid the need for support material (except under the base). Then I coated it with a high-build filler primer and stuck down some fine sand for texture. Following on from that I added colour with The Army Painter paints and some Citadel Technical Stormshield clear coat to reduce shininess.

Printed Son of Dum Dum before and after painting

I think Son of Dum Dum is an amazing piece of public art that’s not just ‘public’ but, in the nicest possible way, ‘in-your-face public’. So I hope you enjoy making your own fan-art version to celebrate the lovely Welsh seaside at Barmouth 🙂