I have dabbled with 3d printing characters
for my 1/12 Severn Lifeboat.
I have found some amazing free programs that really are of a professional standard.
"Make Human" is a program that lets you make figures and you can change their size, age , gender and clothing before your eyes.
"Blender" is a particularly impressive program that I understand has been used to make videos by professional movie makers. It does much more than handle making figures but it will let you import a figure from Make Human and put a skeleton inside it and then pose the figure as you require. It also lets you sculpt the figure just like using plastercine.
Another excellent free program is Sculptris which lets you sculpt as with plastercine.
While these programs are amazing, (The more so as they are free) they have huge learning curves to use them well.
I wanted a figure dressed as a lifeboatman in his kit. I had a go and "sculpted" a naked figure by adding to his body to try and crudely replicate the baggy waterproof gear. I got a figure out of the exercise with 3d printing it but I know I haven't scratched the surface of what these programs can do. I would like to create a lifeboatman and then pose the figure I create to get differing poses.
All these programs have many "how to" videos on Youtube.
I am sure that if you become competent with these programs you could make highly detailed figures for 3d printing. However it's not easy initially. It would be great if someone made a rigged (with skeleton to enable posing in Blender) figure available that could be posed as required.
Just to be clear my problem becomes more difficult because I don't want the clothed options the Make Human program will simply give me. I need to change the clothing.
Anyway it's a big subject so I will leave it there.
Attached is a picture of the figure I made.