Ever wondered who the masked man roaming around campus in mandalorian gear is? Limerick Voice correspondent, Leanne Donnegan, has your answers.
Although his identity is unknown and his origins are kept hidden, many have begun to spot the man in the Mandalorian suit popping up across campus.
Who is this man? And what does he do you may ask, well today the mysterious character spoke exclusively to the Limerick Voice.
“My name is Merlin and I’m a 3D printed prop maker who specialises in movie and game props,” the masked man stated.
Although Merlin is frequently spotted around campus, his identity remains to this day unknown, when asked the motive behind this decision, he said: “I like the idea of the store being run by anybody, so I always prefer to wear a helmet or mask of some description while I work.
“Even so in some of my social media content it’s not actually me that’s on camera. It’s always a fun little challenge I tell people.”
After purchasing a 3D printer in 2022, Merlin not only created his own suit, but decided to open his own business, so he could share his creations with others: “The idea came from wanting to help people out with their cosplay journeys because I know how difficult it can be.
“Alongside this I wanted to be able to provide an alternative to the massive shops in the US that are really expensive by offering props to people at a far more reasonable price.”
When asked about this business venture, the man behind the mask stated: “I mainly specialise in making props or replicas from movies, games, music and really anything that is interesting or popular.
“It really interests me because I can go from modelling a piece on my laptop and spending hours looking at it in a digital space and then suddenly having it in front of me in my hands.
“This rings especially true when I see something in a game that I’m playing or a movie that I’m watching, and I can sit there to myself and realise…. I can make that.”
According to Merlin, the process of 3D printing is not always a time-friendly one, hours of work can go into perfecting the details of any order before it assembled and ready for dispatch.
When asked his favourite order to date, he was delighted to answer: “It’s really difficult to think of a favourite object I have made yet but speaking from a mildly biased point of view I would have to say my own armour! Because I have spent so much time making it my own and making it exactly how I envisioned over the last year and a half, I have really become fond of it.
“If I were to pick a piece that isn’t my own armour then I would have to pick the set of custom helmets I made for a tribute band to Daft Punk. Seeing the two clients performing with the finished helmets that they added their own unique flair to was just an amazing thing to see from my own point of view because it showed me what people are capable of with the things, I print for them.”
Since 3D printing can be a long and tedious process sometimes, Merlin offered some advice to those who are interested in buying a 3D printer: “Take your time with it, it really takes a lot of time to get right and get a foothold into wrangling the printer.
“There can be a very steep learning curve with the printers and learning the software and everything else associated with it. especially with some types of filaments it can truly be really tricky to get all the stars to align to get yourself a perfect print.”