The Ghibli mobile
I made this baby mobile for my nephew Gabriel, born on 21st Dec. 2021. My sister being a huge fan of the Ghibli movies, I knew I had to make something related to them in some way. So the direction I took for that project was an obvious one.
Hayao Miyazaki is certainly one of the artists I admire the most for the universes and moods he was able to convey in his movies. Exploring his creation a bit deeper to try and understand the characters in order to properly translate them into 3D was a very interesting challenge.
The process was fairly simple : I would start by gathering references from the movies and from other baby mobiles (Etsy is full of really cute ones). Then I could start sketching the characters in pose. At that stage I had a vague idea of what I wanted the mobile to look like. I really wanted to add clouds to it but unfortunately couldn’t find a way to make it work without them looking cheap.
After sculpting the characters in Blender, I took them into Lychee Slicer to get them ready for 3D printing. I hollowed the models, included some exhaust holes for the excess resin trapped inside, and placed the supports manually. I had one fail for Teto and one for Totoro but aside from that the printing process went fairly smoothly. I printed on Mars 2 Pro using gray Nova3D water-washable resin. The two Elegoo carbon filters did a pretty good job neutralizing any resin fumes generated in the process.
After some hole filling (using Bondo glazing & spot putty) and a bit of sanding, I used MTN spray cans to prime, paint (MTN 94) and varnish the models. I strongly recommend getting an airbrush ventilated booth for any spray painting. With temperatures outside going sub-zero in November I couldn’t do any spray paint outside, so I got myself an Ophir airbrush booth which I’m extremely happy with.
I used standard 2mm jewelry cord and some wooden macramé circles to assemble the whole thing. The rotating device is a HLEEDUO music box that I chose mainly because you can load custom mp3 in it. Hence I loaded music box versions of the Ghibli movies OST in it. You can find these songs here and there.
I spent a good amount of hours on this project, and at many stages I had doubts about my ability to finish it…
When I finally gave the mobile to my sister she was very moved. It was a beautiful moment. I wanted to make something for her son that would have a strong meaning for her, and I think the mobile did the job pretty well!
Thank you for reading !