Rapunzel Tower Engagement Ring Box
Here is the Rapunzel Tower Engagement Ring Box I created for Josh from Canada. It is based on design from Disney movie Tangled. I wanted to make scale model of this building or Pascal chameleon right after seeing the movie in 2010 but I was occupied with other projects and this idea faded. When Josh came to me with this project, I agreed with no hesitation. It would look great next to my earlier Carl’s house model from Disney/Pixar movie “Up”.
I started like usual, with extensive research online for existing Tangled toys I could use as a base of my ring box. I could not find anything with the level of detail I require, so I decided to build one from scratch. When I build custom engagement ring box, I try to create a scale model of the building, true to the movie and as detailed as possible. I want it to be an ultimate movie collectible after it serves its function during engagement.
I have Tangled DVD in my collection, but internet is much faster to search for different photos of the tower. I download everything I can find, before I start designing parts of the model. I use CAD software to draw plans and elevations of the whole thing, after that I determine the size of the object and break it to smaller pieces which would be easier for fabrication.
I planned to use my homemade reprap style 3d printer I built from components sourced on Ebay. I spent lots of time on 3d printer project, so I am always trying find the way to utilise this new tool and justiffy the whole effort. I modelled the first part in google Sketchup, edited the file in few different programs and started printing. The results were not great, the nozzle blocked, the surface was rough and full of little holes. I saw I will need to fill them with putty and sand it to get nice and smooth finish. I was already commited to this extra work but the hotend nozzle got clogged, teflon tube melted and got destroyed. I ordered new full metal hotend but this put me off 3d printing for few weeks and I had to use other techniques to build this model.
Back to plan B: hand tools and my laser cutter. I redesigned the upper parts of the tower, the Rapunzel’s home, to be flat shapes, I can cut from styrene sheets of different thickeness.
For round elements I used 0.25mm stripes cut with knife to right width and rolled around different diameters tubes or deodorants to form the plastic rings in right dimensions. Humbrol Poly Cement melts the plastic so few 0.25mm layers build up the thickness and it becomes strong and rigid. Wooden beams were made from layers of narrow styrene stripes. The small imperfections were fixed with model filler but the surface finish was perfect, much better than 3d printed. You can see it on photographs below.
The stone base of tower is sculpted with Milliput around cardboard roll taken from kitchen paper towels. Milliput is 2 parts epoxy putty, I use it everywhere I need strong and durable sculpture. Is sets in 2 hours, so I sculpted it in sections, stones first and later the smooth, plastered areas. I used it also to build the base shape of roof and later covered with with laser cut paper roof tiles. I used 2 tubes of superglue to attach them, slowly, layer by layer, glueing my fingers and probably poisoning myself with the fumes It took few hours to put them this way but I think effect was the most realistic and fastest I could get. I am glad that I didn’t try to sculpt them by hand as I planned initially.
At this point after all this hard work, I decided to make molds of this elements because I want one model for myself, my little nieces or meaby make few kits in future. I only had silicone for upper parts, so will need to sculpt the base again. I like to make new things everytime so it will not happen soon. I will need to watch Tangled again first to get more inspiration.
Everything is as usually, painted with my favourite Valleyo acrylic paints. The interior is lined with red felt. The ivy is model railway foliage from my local model shop. The whole model is about 40cm tall and packed with details.
Josh sent me the message that he asked his girlfriend Janet to marry him and she said YES. She was happy with the box too. Wish you both all the best!!! Have fun at the wedding reception and brilliant life together!