Thursday, 23 July 2015

Finding your center

Its time for some summer vacations back home in Portugal, hopefully I will recharge and get away from my so stressful work. When I come back I will update this blog with something very old and very special that I did many years ago and its still my biggest commission ever. Now I need some sun on my old bones, take a step back and think about my life. Talk to you all soon.

Sunday, 19 July 2015

Age of Sigmar rebasing or not?

After many months reading all the rumours about the major changes to Warhammer Fantasy Battles I finally got to the point that a decision needed to be made.

I have lots of WFB miniatures set in square bases and arranged in regiments but Age of Sigmar (AoS) introduced a new direction for my armies. Now the regiment formations are no more and the bases switched to circular. Humm not happy with that  for several reasons:

1- Rebasing finished modeling projects is not what I would call fun time.
2-  If I break the regiment formation and go circular bases for my miniatures they will no longer be compatible with previous editions of WFB or other companies emergent games.
3- It costs money to rebase hundreds of miniatures

So yes, I was inclined to leave them all in square bases and get on with it... well that was before I set some miniatures on the table in a skirmish arrangement.

Ouch that looks wrong in so many ways, its just a visual mess.
I got myself some 25mm circular bases to see the total footprint of my goblin archers regiment.

Its going to take more space on the table thats for sure.
When I dispersed my regiment I noticed that the unit fillers that I used would take the space of 10 models so effectively my 50 gobbo regiment was actually just 40 gobbos, a troll and some beetles.
Thing is, in AoS makes no sense to have these unit fillers. The nature of the skirmish game renders these fillers redundant. So I dropped them.

By now I only  have 40 goblin archers, no cool fillers and some horrible pointy square bases in loose formation... Not a good starting point. What to do? Call it a day and do the clever thing and dont change a thing, thats what I should have done. But I didn't, I had the urge to rebase it all and so I got my heavy tools and butchered some squares, here is the results.

Since this is skirmish now I broke the unit in 2 smaller and more manageable detachments, luckily enough I had both old school and new models mixed into the archers so the obvious choice for clarity sake on the table was to divide them by edition. 

One unit of the old farts ( they also gained an extra standard and musician):

and one unit of the new gobbos.

So the impulsive blind decision prevailed in the end and I will go AoS all the way, in the process I will rebase my armies. Lost my fillers but gained 1 extra unit with standard and musician. 
They do look nice in little circles.

Saturday, 11 July 2015

Concept art for future sculpting projects.

This update will take me into one side of the sculpting that is not always visible, specially when you  only just see the final greens.
When I sculpt most of the times I have a clear idea on my mind and I will create a loose interpretation of that in putty, although sometimes I need to develop ideas to a more accurate degree. This is when a pencil and paper will have a role in the sculpting.

I was always into drawing and I find it very rewarding to simply drift away sketching concepts all night, sometimes even at work. You never know when an idea will pop up in your head so its better to always be prepared with a piece of paper and something to scribble it.

Lately I have been thinking about  my Tyranids and Killteams... I want to sculpt some alternative monsters and there are a few ideas that I want to explore, nothing too radical... this is what I have doodled so far.

Cthulhu octopus thing

Brainy one

worm head bugger

weird thing

I will give it a go on the worm one and the popular Cthulhu, thing is these little exercises always give me a good starting point. Doing some concept art is quite creative and most of the times I end up with more ideas than I first anticipated so its all good. Sculpting, drawing and painting are all part of our hobby and I enjoy each single one of those things.
So there you go, even if the final result is not the best I already had loads of fun each step of the way.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Tutorial Sculpting Crab Legs

Another little tutorial for my bugs, this time we will concentrate on sculpting Crab legs that can be very valuable for different projects, from crustaceans to insect segmented legs or just a nasty chaos mutations.

Step 1 (things you need) Picture 1

Modeling putty (green stuff)
Hobby knife (cutter)
Pin vice
Clay shaper brush
Sculpting tool
Paper clips
Flat surface

Step 2 (structure) Picture 2

Start with a strong internal structure, I used a paper clip and bended it to the desired shape. Picture 2a

Mixed a bit of green stuff and applied it directly to the clip, at this point no precautions with smooth or clean green stuff areas are needed. This is just a WIP shape of the final crab leg. Picture 2b

Step 3 (smooth shapes)

After the green stuff is cured its time to start building the final shape, so I mix a bit of the paste and apply it to the structure. It’s better to work on one side of the structure and let it dry before going for the other half, so I started with the left side of the crab leg. Picture 3

Used the clay shaper brush dipped in water and started smoothing the edges of the green stuff, take your time here and use always plenty of water. Picture 4

So, when left side is sculpted and smoothed just let it dry and only then, go for the right side. You can sculpt the shape you wish but avoid it looking too uniform, it’s a crustacean leg so irregular shapes work best. You should now have something like this. Picture 5

Step 4 (spikes and final contour) Picture 6

And the fun begins, while the stress of waiting for curing times is growing on you we can use one of those endless curing breaks to sculpt some little spikes, do some random sizes and shapes. And for those that say crabs don’t have spikes on legs I say… who cares it looks great. ;) Picture 6a

I hope everyone knows how to sculpt spikes but for the newt sculptors here is how I do them. Do one little ball of green stuff and put it on a flat surface, then dip fingers on water and start pressing green stuff against surface with vertical movements, just let it dry. Piece of cake. Picture 6b

Now, with all stuff cured, choose one cool spike and mix a ball of green stuff... lets use its sticky properties, for “gluing” the spike to the leg. Picture 7

For better blending the spike to the crab leg lay a layer of green stuff over the junction Picture 8a

And for final smoothing use a clay shaper brush dipped in water. Picture 8b

Lets move to the final claw spike and this time we will use the paper clip extremity for a stronger structure. First with a cutter do a cut on another spike and then use a pin vice to do a small hole in it. Mix a bit of green stuff and squeeze the spike against it passing the hole on to the paper clip. This should make a stronger bond, but before you finish you need to smooth the greenstuff with a clay shaper dipped in water. Picture 9

Step 5 (Texture)

With all shapes finished its time for texturing those legs. I started by putting some spikes on the legs, since you already sculpted several spikes just cut them to the desired size and use green stuff for gluing them to the leg. In this process I use mainly sculpting tools and a toothpick dipped in water to sculpt the junction of the spike to the leg. You could also use pins but since the spikes are small there’s no need for that. Picture 10

Almost there, now simply cut several random sized balls of green stuff and again with the help of a toothpick and sculpting tool stick and smooth them randomly on the crab leg, also try to make the balls on the leg interesting and natural. Picture 11

Conclusion Picture 12

Well that’s it, you can now sculpt some crab legs for your projects, funny thing I noticed was that the smaller legs look like scorpions tails… hope you enjoyed it.

This was another old tutorial that I managed to salvage from my old site, more to come.

Sunday, 28 June 2015

Tutorial what to do with the dried greenstuff leftovers

When your sculpting a project most of the times there will be some Greenstuff leftovers. If its still fresh and you can sculpt something with it you can do plenty of things, little spikes, skulls, mushrooms, purity seals or scrolls etc.
But what to do when its not moldable anymore? Do you trash away the dried bits of Greenstuff?
I tend to use those for something else and again there are lots of things you can do with them, heres one.

Sharp rocks

Not much of a tutorial and more just an idea for you guys.
Greenstuff when dried is very easy to cut so bring in your sharp blades.

1- Super glue or PVA glue
2- Blade
3- Dried bits of Greenstuff

Cut random sizes and shapes, make sure they look very sharp.

Glue the bigger stones first and then fill the gaps with the smaller ones.

Job done.

So why not just use cork? Apart from being expensive and your using free bits of Greenstuff that you normally throw away, the look is very different since cork looks like a less sharp type of rock. You will also struggle to get the fine sharp tips on cork.
Also take this opportunity to experiment, instead of rocks you can cut spear heads, spiked armour and all sorts of sharp things for your models. Again have fun.

Saturday, 20 June 2015

Tutorial Sculpting Texture

This tutorial will be about achieving some interesting textures that can be applied to many different subjects. Again it will be a really simple tutorial and easy to follow so that anyone can achieve the results fast with no hassle regardless of experience in sculpting.

The subject will be some kind of swamp tree with a very mossy and rough texture on the bark, so bring in your greenstuff and lets get this project done.

Sculpting rough textures

You will need the following.

  1. Wire cutter
  2. Cheap super glue
  3. Old toothbrush 
  4. Greenstuff
  5. Paper clips
  6. Needle
  7. A base for your little tree branch, I used a coin
All sorted so lets play with some paperclips now.

Bend and cut the clips to create the desired shape for our small tree, depending on how big and complex you want the tree you will need more or less paper clips\wires. Since my aim for this tutorial is to display the texture work I just made a really small young tree.

Lets base it now so we can have a good sturdy surface to work on.

Mix just a little bit of Greenstuff...

Apply a little ball to the coin and use the rest to do some roots, this is really rough stuff so use your fingers and do not worry to much if your fingermarks are printed on the roots.

Once your happy with the roots and with the Greenstuff still fresh apply Superglue to join the tree to the base. The bound created by the mix of fresh Greenstuff and Superglue is VERY strong. Let the glue dry before going for the next step.

Mix more Greenstuff  and break it in small manageable blobs, these will be your tree curves.

Bit by bit start bulking your tree, as you can notice if you just work one blob at the time you will have more control on the final shape. Note that all of this is just sculpted using your fingers so no need for other tools, we want a rough finish since its a tree after all.

Horrible results so far, hey? Do not despair and lets have fun now.

Bring in your secret weapon the mighty toothbrush and poke the Greenstuff! Experiment here, you will see that small jabs will create less deep indentations and vice versa. This picture displays just 2 pokes, one deep and a more subtle one.

Death by 100 pokes and your texture is almost done. Lets just add the final touch.

To make the final texture more eye catching use a fine needle and poke the putty again, this time some deep holes. Remember less is more so do not create to many holes.

All done! Simple and easy! You can make a small tree like this in 1 hour. After that you can sculpt more stuff into it like mushrooms, lianas etc but thats for another day. Actually I did a small mushroom tut here Mushi tutorial

So I hope you enjoyed this texture, it has many applications, you can use it to create soil, ugly tree bark or even a strange creature rough skin! Have fun and share your results and ideas.

Some examples of how I use this texture.

Yoda tree

Soil for bases

Movement trays


Saturday, 13 June 2015

Tutorial Sculpting Alien Skin

Back in the day that Buglands site was online I had a few sculpting tutorials. After my latest failed attempt to retrieve Buglands back it seems all is gone forever. Many people ask me tips for sculpting with Greenstuff so I decided to pick some of the old tutorials highlights and upload them on to this blog.

Sculpting Alien Skin ( Greenstuff Tutorial)


This small sculpting tutorial will be showcasing some tips on how to create a very simple alien skin texture that can be used in various projects, from chaos creatures, lizardmen to Tyranids.

Step 1 ( things you will need) (pic1)

1- Sculpting tool
2- Hobby knife ( cutter)
3- Miniature or structure to apply textured skin
4- Toothpick
5- Modeling putty (green stuff)
6- Water
7- Flat surface

Step 2 (handling green stuff)

- Cut a bit of green stuff (GS) and mix it, more yellow is better for detail work but it takes more time to cure and is also extremely sticky, more blue has the opposite effect. 
- In a flat area stretch, roll the GS until you reach the desired shape and size (pic2)

- Apply it directly on the miniature (I created a fimo swirly structure)
- Use the toothpick and sculpting tool to handle the GS, both should be dipped in water to avoid GS sticky properties (pic3)

Step 3 ( Texturing)

- Reshape the GS to fill the interior structure or miniature and cut the excess (pic4)

- With sculpting tool carve some parallel lines gently on GS (pic5)

- Finally push it towards previous GS module in order to create space for next one (pic6)


Now that you have done the first module of the skin you just need to repeat the same steps several times in order to cover all the desired surface. The reason why I choose to make the skin in small modules and not all at once is due to the fact you will have more control over the skin sculpting and also makes the texture itself much more interesting. I hope these tips will help you all on your future sculpting projects.

Final result.

Have fun Greenstuffing.