Spartans, Space Marines, and Imperial Guardsmen

thorsson marine

One of the most memorable sights from Maker Faire Bay Area last year was watching Petaluma, Calif.-based artist Shawn Thorsson‘s jaw-dropping 8-foot-tall Space Marines towering above the crowd as they worked their way through. Shawn is a master prop builder and was featured on the cover of MAKE Volume 32. He’ll be back with his creations at this year’s Maker Faire, taking place this weekend, May 18 and 19, at the San Mateo Fairgrounds. A few months ago, Shawn won the grand prize in the Instructables Make It Real contest, scored a $50K Objet30 3D printer, and has been working on an Iron Man costume. We touched base with him to get a sneak peek at what eye candy we might expect to see from him.

This year I’m planning on bringing back at least one or two of the characters I’ve already brought. I’ll have Spartans and troopers from Halo, Isaac Clarke, one or two Space Marines, and a handful of Imperial Guardsmen to go with them.

I’ll also be setting up my display booth with pictures of work in progress, smaller props on display, as well as molds and partially completed pieces to help me explain how I make the things I make.

I’ve also got a new project I’m scrambling on right now. Ever since the 3D printer arrived, I’ve been using it and the CNC machine to do a completely digital build of the Mark 3 Iron Man armor (the red and gold suit in the first Iron Man movie). It won’t be completely ready for the Maker Faire, but I think I can at least get a rough draft suit walking around for the event. Worst case, I’ll be doing some final assembly during the event on Saturday morning. That usually seems to go over well with the crowd.

thorsson halo spartan red

thorsson crew at mf

thorsson selfies

thorsson iron man test fit

thorsson imperial guard

thorsson centerfold

Come check out Shawn’s costumes in person this weekend at Maker Faire Bay Area. See you there!

MAKE Volume 32: Design for Makers

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I'm a word nerd who loves to geek out on how emerging technology affects the lexicon. I was an editor on the first 40 volumes of MAKE, and I love shining light on the incredible makers in our community. In particular, covering art is my passion — after all, art is the first thing most of us ever made. When not fawning over perfect word choices, I can be found on the nearest mountain, looking for untouched powder fields and ideal alpine lakes.

Contact me at or via @snowgoli.

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