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Category Archives: Tutorials

Inquisitor/Dark Millennium – using greenstuff. A sort of guide.

School of Fish ‘three strange days’ 


My sculpting skills are not very good – so my advice is only worth as much as you’re paying for it.

However, the basics of using greenstuff – or any similar epoxy putty – are reasonably straightforward.

You don’t really need to buy lots of fancy tools, as a cocktail stick will suffice for most purposes; but if you want to develop your skills a bit, then the following are helpful:

The KY jelly is to lubricate your…sculpting tools.

You can just use water, but it tends to flood the putty easily. Some people use Vaseline or olive oil instead – but these are liable to affect the adhesion of paint; whereas a water-based lubricant can be washed-off easily.

Epoxy putty:

Which turns into green stuff when you’ve kneaded it together:

If the putty is new, it’s best to wait 15-20 minutes after kneading it together, before you start sculpting; otherwise it tends not to retain its shape. If it’s old, you shouldn’t need to wait.

These are the sculpting tools that I use most often:

Colour shapers can be used for smoothing putty out – but they’re not strictly necessary; and can be quite pricey:

A craft knife, tweezers and a cocktail stick – for general purposes:

Mug of water:

I usually keep sculpting work simple, as when it goes wrong it can look a bit duff; but it is often necessary to plug gaps. So, it’s worth learning how to use greenstuff properly.

It was mainly needed for a bit of repair work here, but also to add some detail. You can see the damaged plastic around the shoulder area:

Along with the lower-left side of the back:

So, dot some KY jelly on a suitable palette; and use this to keep your sculpting tools lubricated:

To begin, roll a small piece of putty, and put it into place:

Smooth it down – shaping it to match the surrounding contours:

Because I wanted this to look like a bio-mechanic figure, I added some copper wire; and blended it into the skin with putty: 

It was much the same with the left side of the model:

Organic shapes are fairly easy, and are a good place to start if you’re new to sculpting. Straight edges require a pit more precision to look right:

I think the key is just practice – to be patient, and build layers up gradually. Confidence also makes a difference, too – but don’t be afraid to remove the putty and start over again, if it goes wrong.



Quranin – Supreme Commander of the Adeptus Caliphate (Inquisitor)

Deftones ‘Minerva’ 

I had an idea a long time ago about making a female Space Marine – and it kind of developed into a detailed theme.

Unfortunately, there weren’t really the suitable models until recently; so it ended up being left aside.

But with the release of the Dark Imperium models, it seemed now would be a good opportunity to finally make one – as the leader of a small Inquisitor retinue.


I thought it might be helpful to demonstrate how the model was converted. Useful tools:

I’ll go through using these properly in future blogposts.

As you can see, the body was the Dark Imperium officer – with head from the Sisters of Avalorn set; and an Eldar wraithsword.

It’s the same head I used on the Khemrian rider – as there still aren’t many female heads available:

After the pieces were pinned, gaps needed filling with greenstuff:

It’s best to build this up in stages, otherwise it won’t retain its shape:

I added a sight to the gun:

Along with a pipe and targeter to the hood:

Finally, a skull to the backpack, to make it look a bit more inquisitorial:

I have a few ideas for other figures to include in this group – such as a navigator, an arco-flagellant, and an imperial guardswoman.

But they need a foe…

Dire Wolves Diorama Revisited (3)

Trail of Dead ‘Another morning stoner’ 

Not quite finished, but near enough. I decided not to make a backdrop after all – but to just add detail to the rear of the walls; and thought it might be helpful to demonstrate how this was done.

I used some balsa wood to cover the join:

To make the ivy strands, you need some thin wire (plus superglue/cutters etc):

And silver birch seed pods:


Create the ivy stems by building up the wire framework:

Paint over this with textured-paint:


Then paint the wall, ivy, and wood with an exciting array of greys and browns:


Glue the seed pods on with PVA:

I though it looked a bit off, somehow – so removed a few as you can see:

Add cobwebs (I made a previous tutorial on this):

If you find that the finished webs look a bit white, just glaze them with brown/green:

Done. Sort of:

I think it needs something on the left-hand side, to balance the overall scene out – but haven’t got a clear idea yet.

Dire Wolves Diorama Revisited (2) – painting skin

The Wall ‘Vault’ 

A short tutorial on how to paint skin/faces. The photos are a bit ad-hoc.

These were the paints used:

For the shading wash – mix purple, brown, black and red in equal parts:

First, paint the skin with Cadian fleshtone; then use the shading wash:

Layer with Bugman’s glow; then highlight with pure Cadian fleshtone:

Add further highlights, using a mix of Cadian fleshtone + ushabti bone + a small amount of the green-grey:


Edge highlight with pure ushabti bone, and use pure white on select areas of the face – such as around the eyes, and the side of the mouth – to add expression:


The paint the eyes themselves, use light grey; then dot with black.

For the teeth – use zamesi desert, then highlight with ushabti bone.

For the lower lip – Bugman’s glow; then highlight by adding ushabti bone.

The boil was painted red, then Bugman’s glow, then dotted with rotting flesh.

To finish, glaze the skin areas with brown.


I tried to add texture to the cloth, to make it look like a kind of rough-hewn peasant garb. It’s basically just an admixture of stippling, and drybrushing – but using slower, deliberate strokes of the brush:

When the diorama is finished, the positioning should look something like this:


Painting a death guard army (8) – a step by step guide to the Malignant Plaguecaster (part 2)

Curve ‘Killer Baby’

Updates have proven a bit erratic lately, as I’ve been caught-up in non-painting-related things.

However, the last post covered basecoating. This one is about shading and highlighting.


To shade:

  • Paint several overall washes of Agrellan earth.
  • Wash the flesh areas/face with Reikland Fleshshade.
  • Wash the cloud of smoke, intestines, and the recesses of the face with Druchii violet.


To highlight:

  • Horns on head: edge highlight with Khaki
  • Leather areas: edge highlight with earth
  • Head dress: edge highlight with orange brown
  • Jewel (at the base of the staff): snot green + scorpion green, then scorpion green
  • Face: Pallid Wych flesh
  • Eyes: dot with Trollslayer orange, then Tau light ochre
  • Boils: dot with Elysian green


I’ve also finished the Bloat Drone:


The painting method was the same as with the Plague Marines; but as it’s a centrepiece model, I decided to add some slime.

To create the slime effect, use the following paints:

And epoxy glue: 

Plus nylon thread (i.e. an annoying clothes tag):

Attach pieces of the nylon thread, with epoxy glue; and build up the slime effect:


Paint the slime with Elysian green:


Wash with Agrellan earth:

Paint with several layers of Tamiya green + yellow:


Just one model left to paint, now.


Painting a death guard army (7) – a step by step guide to the Malignant Plaguecaster (part 1)

De La Soul ‘a roller skating jam named Saturday

I thought I would make a step-by-step guide to painting one of the Death Guard character models. This is basically just a more detailed version of the previous tutorial. I’ve broken it into two parts, though; as the Plague Marines are quite detailed models. 

Basecoat the model with Death Guard Green (or any similar colour):

Paint the metal areas with Vallejo Gunmetal, and Sycorax Bronze:

Orange has a very thin pigment; so paint the cloth with Mournfang Brown:

Then with Vallejo’s orange-brown – which makes it easier to achieve a good effect:

Flesh areas – Cadian Fleshtone:

Intestines – Genestealer purple:

Then the boils with Elysian green:

Horns/claws – ushabti bone:

Face – Pallid Wych Flesh (paint the eyes red):

Paint the smoke with Celestra grey: 

The flies were painted with Cadian fleshtone/Elysian green:

The staff – Vallejo earth:

The leather areas were painted with Vallejo German camouflage black-brown:

The string – Vallejo dark sea grey:

Paint the tubing black:I painted the jewel on the ornament at the base of the staff with snot green (not visible here).

The maggots were painted with Zamesi desert:


That’s the basecolours painted – I will go through shading and highlighting in the next post:



Painting a death guard army (6) – Plague marines

False Front ‘Maniac I’

I painted the Plague Marines using the same method as the Poxwalkers – i.e. basecoating the models, then shading them down with washes. I kept the highlighting minimal, as well – concentrating on the faces, but otherwise just edge-highlighting as and where it seemed necessary.


So, basecoat the power armour with Death Guard Green, or any similar colour (I used a Humbrol spraypaint, then painted over any missed areas with Death Guard Green):

I used orange-brown for the cloak; but the other details are painted in obvious colours:

Wash over the entire models with several coats of Agrellan Earth. I thinned it slightly with water, but this isn’t vital – it’s best to avoid letting it pool in the recesses, though; otherwise it can look a bit blotchy:

For the champion, I used the same colour-scheme:

The fly’s wings were painted with Celestra grey:

The only difference between this and the rank and file Plague Marines was the higher number of pink, fleshy areas – which were washed with Reikland Fleshshade:

Rather than go through the fairly laborious stage of layering-on highlights, I just added detail to the cloak by painting on scratches:


If I get time, I may return to the champion, and add more detail to the hood – as it looks a bit plain; but we’ll see.