Enterprise-ing 3D artist honors Leonard Nimoy with Mr. Spock bust

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Phi Vu, a 3D artist in the film, television and video game industry, recently made a 3D-printed bust of Star Trek's Mr. Spock. Photo: Phi Vu
Phi Vu, a 3D artist in the film, television and video game industry, recently made a 3D-printed bust of Star Trek's Mr. Spock. Photo: Phi Vu

To best honor the man beloved for playing Mr. Spock, Phi Vu did what comes most logical to him. He used his talents as a 3D artist to create a bust of the late Leonard Nimoy.

The result is a bronze-colored likeness of the regal Starfleet first officer that rivals anything that could be created on the Enterprise’s holodeck.

The 1/3 scale bust has the high cheekbones, a brow lifted by severely angled eyebrows, and those signature Vulcan ears.

After the bust was sanded, Vu applied a surfacer with ground bronze for a bronze finish. Photo: Phi Vu
After the bust was sanded, Vu applied a finish with ground bronze for a bronze look. Photo: Phi Vu

Because he is a Star Trek fan with a fondness for Mr. Spock, Vu is keeping the bust, which he had always wanted to create even before Nimoy’s passing in February, but shared pictures and the steps he took to create it with 3dprint.com.

“When I decided to print the bust, I noticed the previous likeness just wasn’t quite there, so I got more references and spent a lot of time looking at Nimoy’s face and trying to get it right,” Vu told 3dprint.com. “It was just a matter of zooming in and really paying attention to the way the skin sat on his face, how it was influenced by the muscle and bone underneath.”

Vu used a digital sculpting program called ZBrush and then printed the bust on a CEL-Robox 3D printer. Once support structures were removed and the model sanded, Vu used an acrylic finish with ground bronze to create the final look.

“I had been such a big Spock fan in the past that I really wanted to do something as a tribute to the man who brought him to life,” Vu told 3dprint.com.

Vu lives in Glendale, Calif. and works with several production houses creating computer-generated characters and environments for film, television and video games. Some of his models were used in the television pilots for Marvel’s Agents of Shield and Sleepy Hollow.