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Redemptionists (3) – Using Greenstuff

The Lilys ‘Coby’

Greenstuff is a two-part epoxy resin, which can be used to fill gaps, or sculpt details onto models. It’s also quite tricky to work with, if you’re not used to it. So, I thought it might be helpful to make a beginner’s guide to the basics of sculpting with greenstuff.

Firstly though, epoxy resin is toxic – although it’s unlikely anyone reading this is inclined to eat it, it can provoke an allergic reaction in some people when handled. It’s also advisable not to leave it lying around, where it can get into the wrong hands or paws. It takes several hours to fully cure – and it’s best to leave it overnight to be sure.

When you buy it, it comes as a bar of epoxy and hardener:

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You then remove some of this in equal parts:

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And knead it together to create green….stuff:

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You can then remove small pieces, as required:

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It’s a good idea to use a bit of water both when kneading epoxy putty, and while working with it, in order to prevent it becoming too sticky. If you want to sculpt detail with it, it’s helpful to leave it for c. 10-20 minutes to harden a bit, as that way tools leave an indent in the surface, rather than changing the overall shape of the putty.

I only really use it for two purposes: filling gaps; and adding small details. I am also pretty rubbish at sculpting, so I avoid being too ambitious. As a rule though, it’s best to avoid making sculpted details too elaborate, as you may not be able to paint them.

What I would recommend is two general principles – building up the putty in several thin layers, rather than a single thick one; being patient and gentle with the pressure you apply to the putty.

These are the tools I generally use – candle carving tools and dental tools: 

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Colour-shapers:

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The smaller variety of these can be very expensive – but the larger ones are fairly cheap; and can be bought from art and craft stores, or ebay. Although the small versions are costly, they are extremely useful. They’re silicone-tipped tools, which can be used to smooth putty out and push it around, more easily than any other sculpting device.

Finally – a craft knife, ball stylus tools, and the humble cocktail stick:

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Filling gaps is fairly straightforward. The main tool I used here was the cup-round colour shaper:

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There was a deep gap between the right arm and the body – so I filled it in two stages. First, putting a small foundation-layer of putty in the gap:

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Then when that had hardened, applying a second layer, and smoothing this out to be flush with the surrounding plastic:

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Slightly more advanced, I decided to cover the gap between the knees and the body by sculpting cloth onto the legs:

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First a strip of putty is put on:

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It’s then smoothed into place using the colour shaper:

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As you can see, there was a small hairline in the putty, where the two ends of the original piece were joined:

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So it was smoothed out using the colour shaper:

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Because it’s a fairly ragged type of material you’re sculpting, it doesn’t have to be too precise:

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More challenging was the Scavvy model, as the conversion meant it was missing the front half of the tabbard. Again, this was sculpted in two stages – first, a foundation layer, which was flattened into place using one of the bladed sculpting tools:

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Then add a second layer:

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I then used the ball-stylus to add details:

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It was finished by gluing a shoulder plate into place:

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The Scaly needed scales adding to it. So, first make some small balls of greenstuff:

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Place one of these onto the model:

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Flatten it out:

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Then straighten the edges a bit:

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Repeat as needed:

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Done.

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