#tinker #tailor

Want to print your wow character? How to use Wow Model Viewer.

Using Wow Model Viewer you can 3D print a version of your character. I had a few issues when using the software so I’m writing a post about it.

The post is for two reasons. Reason 1; in case others want to print and have issues as well.

Or, reason 2; if you want ninjaprints to print your character. Use the quick start guide.
The guide will leave out all the steps about printers and information you don’t need.

Kit Information

I’m using

One of my characters exported from wow model viewer, looking at it in photoshop 3D viewer.

My WOW Character imported into photoshop for viewing.

Why use Wow Model Viewer?

3D printers are so much more affordable and there are some amazing printers out there. The ability to have a 3D version of your current character is very exciting for a lot of gamers. Also, we love our transmog and I’m sure we do make changes with new gear that we get so it’s a great way to see some of our different armour sets!

A resin printer has been used for these prints. (I’ve had this character printed through ninja prints if you need someone to print I can put you in touch) Resin printers can easily handle the fine detail at this small scale.

We used a Creality printer. Also, because I do gel nails at home (a perk of covid lockdown?) we have a UV nail lamp that cured the prints nicely. I had started creating a UVLED nail lamp project but this is still ongoing.

UV LEDs used for curing a resin print.

Getting Started

You’ll need to have wow, a wow character – Alliance?

Also, download a copy of the current version of Wow Model Viewer. This is still being updated for the new version of WoW Shadowlands, so some things won’t work correctly so be patient and forgiving. I’ll update when this changes though.

For me, when I followed tutorials I opened the location of my WoW data file. This is needed so the model viewer can find you game folder and files. But this results in crashing the programme every time. I did read that maybe fixing the databases through the Blizzard game launch panel might fix this. But I rebuild my files and still no joy.

Repairing WOW

If you want to try it though:

  • open the Blizzard main game interface
  • next to the blue play button, is a cog for setting or options
  • select the scan and repair option
  • wait while it scans
  • then close wow again, wow will need to be closed when you launch the model viewer.
where to find the repair function on wow

This may fix the issue for some people. Try to launch the wow model viewer and find your wow install. See if you have any luck using it this way.

view of wow model viewer
Wow Model Viewer screen. Locating my version of Wow though it still won’t launch.

If it still doesn’t launch for you then you can try using a direct import of your character from the WOW armoury.

Alternative way to get your character into the wow model viewer

Go directly to blizzard and your wow account. This is the armoury where all your characters are. Do a search for your character.

This is the information you’ll see. You can see all your armour, enchants, raids etc.

screen grab of my character

Copy the link to your character from the browser search bar. This is the link you’ll need to put into the model viewer program.

Importing your character

Open Wow Model Viewer. It still will ask you for where your wow install is located and hopefully it will work for you. I still click ok at the pop ups but then just wait for it to fail.

Edit your character.

When my character was imported the armour and transmogs were different. We can fix a lot of this. Using the menu on the right > select the part you want to modify. In the video I selected legs first. This opens a leg window of the parts you can use.

Note I edited this video – it took a long time to open the pop up window so be patient!

Then I selected chest to choose a chest piece for the character.

You can also change the pose of your character.

Changing the pose of your character

Here I choose the animation of the character. You can also select the exact part of that animation that you’d like.

Using the drop down menu (in the video we can’t see it drop down though) and I chose Stormstrike first, then walk. From there I use the slider to the right and chose a particular screen of it.

Export your file

Once you choose your armour and position, export the file. (shown in the video above)

Save it as an .obj file and this is what you will use for printing.

You can open this file in Photoshop to check it. Don’t forget it will be printed in one colour (a grey or white is good) and then you’ll prime and paint it. (or just keep it as it is!) But don’t worry too much about the armour choice in the model as many things, like the leg patterns will need to be painted.

Slice it!

You then need to create the printing slices for the model. This is then exported for your printer. Lychee slicer was used.

screen capture of lychee software

Finished print <3

Then you wait many many hours for your print. It’s a slow but exciting process!

character printed
A WOW character just off the resin printer. The cape and belt area needed to be made wider as it was as thin as cloth.
character printed
The character with all the supports after printing. The supports will need to be removed. This is done carefully with tools and then any bits left are sanded down.
character under UV lighting
It is then placed under UV lights to cure. Typically the character is placed in one side and then turned over. We did about 90s each side or so. The models do feel quite delicate so you do need to be careful not to drop them! (or don’t let your cat swipe it off your table as it will break oops)
character next to thread

The finished character, from screen to home in a day. This one has been sanded, and painted with a base coat. Then a small thread was added and glued to it to provide the string for the bow.

Let me know if you’ve managed to get wow model viewer working. Or let me know what you’ve printed! Excited to see!

Sanded slightly and sprayed with a base coat so they can be painted with model paints.

Older builds of World of Warcraft from Blizzard: https://wow.tools/