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Miniature-human sculptures popular with customers

The price of a sculpture ranges from one to five million VND, depending on the difficulty of the model. Eight to 19 ordered products are made per day to guarantee progress as well as the quality of the sculpture for the customer.

In Thanh Xuan District, Hanoi, the miniature human sculpture workshop of Nguyen Thi Thuy Dinh (born in 1998), also known as Aloha 3D, earns praise from those who love unique gifts…
Miniature human sculptures, which resemble real people, are sold for one to five million VND as hot souvenirs.
The atmosphere in the workplace is bustling, according to Ms. Dinh, as everyone is trying to complete products for October 20. Currently, Ms. Dinh’s workshop has more than 30 workers.
According to Tuyet Lan (21 years old), a worker, the process of creating a sculpture is complicated. Each sculpture takes from 20 to 25 days to complete. If the customer requests higher quality, it will take much longer to finish.
Although miniature sculptures are just around 18 cm in height, facial expressions are sculpted delicately. The material of the product is ABS plastic and Acrylic Vallejo paint. The statue is very hard, and can fall from 1-2 m without cracking. Durability and paint can last to 14 years if room storage conditions are good.
Each mini statue is a one-of-a-kind product crafted according to the image sent by the customer. The more images, the more convenient the 3D rendering.
Dai, who has been doing the job for more than a year, said: “Although the printer is automatic, it requires someone to sit and observe because there are many complicated details, and the machine will print errors. The operator must constantly be involved to fix it.”
The stage that requires meticulousness and concentration is painting and drawing details for the statue. According to Tuyet Lan, the most difficult thing is to bring out the soul of the work. In addition to the detailed observation from the sample photos, the craftsman must keep calm, and delicately mix colors to make a harmonious face with eyes and eyebrows, and suitable charisma.
Customers who place an order will be consulted for samples. The staff will make rough molds on the machine, edit details, and draw in colors. At each stage of mold making and color drawing, the staff sends it to customers to preview. Then the 3D images will be printed.
After printing, statues are covered with a layer of background paint. Young artists said that many statues are repaired by artists here many times, which is normal because "the criterion has to be shown thoroughly, including charisma, the most unique feature of that person.”
Nguyen Thi Thuy Dinh, founder of the 3D miniature human statue souvenir business model.
"The price of a product depends a lot on the design. The more detailed the statue, the more sophisticated it is, which means the processing time and the price is also higher," said Nguyen Thi Thuy Dinh.
It is well-known that the miniature human statue is a popular gift in the US, Europe. 
Two years ago, after a trip abroad, Dinh embarked on researching the product in Vietnam with a more reasonable price. Customers in provinces and cities, sometimes even orders from abroad, placed orders after he brought miniature statues to the Vietnamese market.
According to Dinh, the price of the statues is high due to the expensive imported materials and the processing which takes a long time. Sculpture needs meticulousness in each stage. Besides knowing how to shape, workers must be able to meet the requirements of each customer.

Anh Hung


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