Tutorial - How to model a LEGO man head



Hi everybody.

I’d like to share a tutorial describing the process I would follow to draw the model LEGO® Man uploaded by J-m@n to the 3D Warehouse 11 years ago.

Little introduction (click to read)

I made sure before writing this tutorial that I know how to draw all components included in the LEGO® Man model.

My first intention was to make a tutorial for every part including head, body, arms, hip and legs.

Now I have some doubts about if I would do a tutorial for the rest of the pieces, making a tutorial is a hard work, more than I thought, specialy because different people requires different level of detail in the explanations. This is my first tutorial and it took me more time than I thought to prepare it so I’m not sure if I will do a tutorial for the rest of parts, I guess it depends on the audience and my free time.

My intention (click to read)

I want to make clear that I did this initially as an exercise for myself, I was inspecting the model and trying to figure out how it was made. I hope some beginners can benefit reading this tutorial, getting ideas from it or deciding to get inside the SketchUp world.

As everyone can suppose there are several ways to do the same thing on SketchUp, so what I show here it’s not necessary the more appropiate or only way to do it. I apologies for my English and I accept all kind of grammar corrections if it’s possible by private message.

All kind of suggestions or recommendations, comments, and reviews are welcome so feel free to share your point of view, ask questions or whatever you feel like in this thread.

How the model looks once you complete this tutorial (click to read)


Depending on your keyboard layout you maybe need to replace all “;” by “,” and viceversa.

My units setup with disable lenght snapping (click to see)


TUTORIAL: How to draw the head (click to read)

I divided this section in four parts, one for every component and another one for the assembly.

head_internal (click to read)

We’ll start drawing from top view three circles with the same point as center with radius:

  • 34mm
  • 23,914mm
  • 13,827mm

It should look like this:


Now change the view to one more comfortable to push/pull § along the blue axis every circle, we’ll start from outside to inside with the following distances:

  • 10mm
  • 90mm
  • 105mm

It should look like this:


Remember you can orbit around the model whenever you feel like to see it with more detail.

Let’s do a couple of steps more to prepare this component for the assemble.

Select and delete what appears in red in the following picture in that order, 1, 2 the result should look like the one with number 3.


Once all this is done, triple click in everywhere on the shape, right click over it and choose make component, make sure the option “Replace selection with component” is checked and write a name, for example head_internal.


Now make sure it appears on your component library, if it does then you can delete it from the viewport to have a clean workspace to draw the next component without any interference.

head_external (click to read)

Start again from top view and draw a circle with radius 50mm and use the line tool to draw a line from its center to the edge along the red axis.


Now get a better 3D view and choose the rectangle tool ® and press the left arrow key to draw a rectangle perpendicular to the green axis from the endpoint where the line touches the circle, now type the following dimensions 15;86 and press return.

It should look like this:


Now use the front view to draw an 2 point arc (a) on the left top corner, don’t worry at all about the size, double click when it says Tangent to edge, this is what should happen:


Now select that arc and change its properties through the Entity Info like this:

  • Radius: 15
  • Segments: 6


Now repeat this operation in the bottom left corner with a little difference, you only need double click on the corner while using the 2 point arc tool to give it the same attributes (this works for most of tools)


Delete extra lines and the one we used at first as reference.


Now draw another circle with radius 34 from the center of the previous one.


Select the circle face or contour and then with follow me tool click on the pattern to make it follows the previous path.


Now there are three circles in the bottom face, in consecuence there should be three faces but it can happen that you can only select between two of them, you’re probably in this case so make a selection from left to right then right click and choose Intersect Faces > With Selection, after this step delete the outer circle and the face of the inner one


For the following step I recommend to modify your style allowing it to show you the endpoints at least temporaly.


Now draw a line (l) between two endpoints dividing the top circle in two halfs with same size.


From the middle point of the new line draw a circle © with radius 24mm, delete the line we used to find the center and pull the circle 18mm. This is how it should look:


It’s time to make this component looks shiny and ready to assemble.

We will soft and smooth the circle on the top face, but there is a problem, it’s segmented and that means it cannot be selected with just one click. If you turn endpoints visible as I showed before you can see the different endpoints. So the fastest way I know is the following. With the select tool (space) make double click on the face, after that deselect the face and the inner circle, like this:


If you pay attention to the model you’ll notice there is something not good at all, see the following picture:

To identify what’s happening you can turn X-Ray View (turning hidden geometry on can be also useful).


So we need to delete the inner cylinder, to do this I prefer to use another view different from a perspective one, for example front view.

Select the frontal face, right click and choose hide. Make a selection from right to left and hit delete, now you can choose unhide last or unhide all from Edit menu* (I recommend you to configure a keyboard shortcut for this operation because it’s used very often).


There is one thing more, on the bottom side we have to do the same process that we used before to soft and smooth one of the circles.


Now we cam convert the whole shape into a component as we did before I called it head_external.
Once it was converted into a component make sure is in your components library selecting “In model” on the dropdown list, now you can delete it from the viewport. As I said before this will help you to keep a workspace clean for the next component.

head_face (click to read)

In this section we’re going to prepare the eyes and the smile for the face. The process I follow is a little bit tricky, so I accept recommendations.

First we’re going to draw a vertical line with the same height that the head has and we’ll divide it in three portions with different lenghts, we can start using frontal view and then drawing three vertical lines (l) along the blue axis, one will follow the previous one. These are the dimensions:

  • 33,029mm
  • 19,971mm
  • 61mm

And this is how it should look the process, pay special attention that if you turn show endpoints enable you will see when starts and ends every segment.


Now change the view and draw two lines (l) along the green axis from the two endpoints you created with 44mm as length. This is how it looks.


Now choose front view again and start drawing a little away from the previous line a circle or polygon with 12 segments (you can change the number typing 12s and hitting return while using the tool but you can also modify the number before the shape is drawn through the Entity Info window as we saw before) with 5,017mm radius.


I’m going to try to show the following steps in only one .gif.

  • Still in front view and a little far away from the previous shape use the arc tool to draw and arc with 20,917mm radius and 55,8 degree.
  • Offset the arc 4,877mm outward. Trace a line connecting both endpoints and draw a circle from the middle point of the line.
  • Copy the shape and flip it along red axis.
  • Then connect both shapes to complete the smile.


Now clean up the extra lines and draw a vertical line in the middle to create a face.


Now it’s time to place the shapes in place like this:


So far we have the smile but we have only one eye, we need to select the eye and the line, rotate and copy it 17,7º from the green axis to both sides. You can do it like as it follows (the first one is copy+rotation and the second one only a rotation):


We’re going to pull these shapes 30mm to be able to use them to intersect with the rest of components later.


Select all and make it a component, I called it head_face.

How to assemble all components (click to read)

It’s time to assemble all components to create a new one which we call head.

So place all of them one close to each other (If showing endpoints is still enable on Styles you can turn it off) like this:


Now it’s time put all components in same place and create a new component called head, we’ll use the inference points to connect the centers of the circles you can help you using the Wireframe view.


Now we’re going to explode the component face_outside to make it possible to intersect with head_face component using intersect Faces > With selection and then deleting the instance of the head_face component from the viewport.

You can use *X-Ray view and show hidden geometry to make sure everything looks shiny (as Solid Inspector says when everything is ok).

Select all the model and convert it into a component called head.

We’re going to give it some colors.
You can create new materials with the following RGB values:

  • Lego Yellow: 245,205,47
  • Lego Black: 27,42,52

You can use the paint bucket to apply the Yellow color on the head, if you want to use it over the eyes and smile you have to get inside the component edit.



Ver good and complete tutorial. :+1:


Thank you ntxdave :wink:


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