Wednesday, 7 April 2010

Harker gets green - part1

I got stuck into my mission to make my Harker look a bit more like a professional soldier. First off was covering his bare beef cake chest and so I green stuffed a T-shirt onto him. Considering I'm relatively new to sculpting, I'm quite pleased with how it turned out. I built it up in stages, working from the belly, then chest and then finally sleeves before sharpening up the collar and sleeve lines. I needed to rework the chest a little but overall, I think I've got the look of it right.

Once the Tshirt had cured, I started work on his camo cloak. The first part was to add the base that the cloak would be built on. I must admit that this was a bit tricky, but after a few attempts, I managed to get something I was happy with. I wasn't worried about the marks or uneven surface as all that would get cover when building the cloak, the important thing was to even a solid base to build the detail on.

Once it was cured, I mixed up some more GS but this time added more yellow into the mix to make it softer. I then used it to fill out the dips and get a more natural drop to the cloak as it curved over his buttocks so that it hung straight down. It worked pretty well, the only downside was how long it took to cure with it having less firming agent in the mix. I also built up the bottom right corner of the cloak at the same time. Once it had cured enough to work on, I started to add the folds of the cloak.

I then added the folds to the right side and the central fold which split off into two folds as they ran over the shoulders. At this point, it was all a bit rough but the plan was to let it all cure over a couple of days and then use really soft putty to smooth everything out.

Once I'd got the basic folds on the back of the cloak sorted, I started on he folds as they came over the crest. These turned out to be a nightmare and I really wished I'd done the cloak flowing from the chest straight from the start. In the end I only managed to get one set of folds done last night. Since the folds turned out to be a bit of a none starter, I decided that I'd have a go at the beret to see if I could cheer myself up, and that turned out rather well IMHO.

So, this is where I am right now, I'm pretty pleased with the t-shirt and the beret but I do feel that the cloak lets him down a bit. I just need to keep reminding myself that I am new to sculpting and so I can't expect it to come out perfect. Here's what I've learned so far ....
  • I've found that sculpting has a very steep learning curve!
  • It's very easy to mix up too much GS and waste half of it.
  • You should always work in small bits building up into big ones.
  • The more yellow you add to the mix, the softer the putty is but the longer it takes to cure.
  • You shouldn't try to add GS that's started to firm up.
  • Spending time making sure that the bottom of the cloak base is level and the corners aren't curved really pays off in the long run.
  • Cloak folds are best done from start to finish and not in halves.
  • Vaseline makes an excellent lubricant but you shouldn't say this out loud to your wife in the queue of the supermarket.
  • Sculpting is time intensive but has lots of curing breaks, so I need something to be doing during those breaks to make best use of my hobby time.
  • I am not a brilliant sculpter, but as long as I get better each time I give it a go, I don't really mind.
  • Finally, I still can't work with metal sculpting tools!
Hopefully, I'll be finishing him off over the next couple of days if I can get these bloody chest folds sorted!


Mordian7th said...

Looking really good Corbane! The T-shirt and beret are brilliantly done and the cloak isn't nearly as iffy as you seem to think - I'm really digging it. I wish I had half the skill (and patience) to sculpt with GS as you do - I invariably end up mucking it up by not letting things cure properly. Ah well, practice makes perfect and I really appreciate the stage-by-stage shots of the process, it's extremely helpful to those of us trying to get better at sculpting. Keep up the great work!

Green Stuff Sculpting said...

I have to say I love the beret, really sets off the character of Harker in my opinion.

The cloak looks pretty good to me, we are our own worst critics in the end.

Looking forward to seeing him painted... and almost definately getting whooped of the table with a Marbo/Harker double-team?

-Green Stuff Sculpting

Admiral Drax said...

Beautiful work, Corbane: I'm very inpressed indeed!

The fols across his stomach are particularly well crafted...

What's his badge going to be?

Master Darksol said...

This is seriously solid work! I wish I had your skill with greenstuff.

Maverick Collecting said...

I too think it's better than you think it is, the T-shirt looks like he's turning to the left, spraying the bad-guys with 'stuff' and you can sharpen up the cloak folds with a rat-tailed file or scalpel after it's fully set (if it's anything like the milliput we non-GW bods use it will go as hard as steel but be very file'able?).

JRV said...

excellent conversion.

Magilla Gurilla said...

That is a great conversion.
He still looks like a beefcake...just one with enough since to put some clothes on.
The cloak really looks good on him.

Blitzspear said...

Great work Colonel nowt wrong with the t-shirt or beret and i think the cloak looks outstanding.

Max said...

Excellent work, and thanks for the heads up on the whole "time" thing- so far I've just done GS jobs all at once as they've been on different parts of the body. Methinks camo cloaks might take a bit more preparation...

Dverning said...

It's very easy to mix up too much GS and waste half of it.
One thing I do is to always have a decorative base or armature off to the side. Partially cured extra putty isn't a problem when you're just doing raw shapes.

You should always work in small bits building up into big ones.
I feel this is THE most important thing someone sculpting needs to learn. It makes all the difference.

I still can't work with metal sculpting tools!
Patience and experience...

The cloak looks really quite good and the beret is perfect. This is a work to be proud of.

jmezz382 said...

Brilliant Colonel ....

Looks like a grade "A" job ....

Gotthammer said...

The shirt looks really good, the cloak is fine as is, but could use a bit more unevenness to it when you refine it.

What sort of metal tools are you using? GW's is ok for base work but pretty rubish for fine detail I've found.

Molotov said...

I really like how the work you've done has completely changed the appearance of the model. He certainly does now look more like a professional soldier!

Tolcrothlogan said...

Really rate this, excellent work, looks like a real Tom, deffo a para beret, remember they are maroon not red, the maroon machine! Did some 90mm statues for my bro who is a falklands vet and very critical, he wanted the lovely pewter statues dirty and grubby looking, scab red is the right colour. But hey he's a corbanian and looks like he could kick the ass of that other hairy hippy twat with the red headband and the dinner plate!

Col. Hessler said...

Awesome work mate! You are a few steps ahead of myself into the world of sculpting. It all looks good. You may be critical now but keep at and you will improve.

As opposed to metal sculpting tools, ever consider those clay shapers? I've seen them being used and the soft ones almost seem to really let you work that GS into any form.


Cheers mate.

King's Standard Bearer said...

like this A LOT!

Cawshis Clay said...

Grade A work for someone just starting out, man! The t-shirt and beret look downright All Star!

If I had to give 1 critique of the cloak, it's that there doesn't appear to be much motion to it. It lies fairly flat against a dynamic looking model. That doesn't mean it looks bad...but it might be what you're feeling a bit "off" on the cloak.

It does look great and you got bigger guts than I working on green stuff! I appreciate the posts...maybe it'll give me the courage to finally move beyond amateur gap filling with the GS!

Mik said...

Freakin' bravo my man, mucho kudos to you! He's looking amazing, can't wait to see this project progress!

#2501 said...

With that cape, I'm just gonna say it:

Try again, Bragg!

(Autocannon optional, but it would SO complete the image...)

#2501 said...

As in, he looks like Bragg, not that you should tray again, cuz you're doing a great job. Oh hell. You know what I mean.

Goodalls DCL said...

that is ridiculously impressive Col!

Zombieburger said...

wow that is really impressive! This indeed changes the model from a Rambo wannabe to a real soldier!

and for some reason lots of people think it is weird if you talk about using Vaseline with your hobby. It's like they think you're doing something else entirely hehe

Ginge said...

Looks good to me! I've got a project (still in the musing/plotting stage at the moment) that I plan to create some green stuff cloaks for... and reading through this post I bookmarked it for future reference. So don't be so hard on yourself! :oP

HOTpanda said...

Outstanding work on the greenstuff. You are going to have a truly unique Harker unlike anyone else; something to be proud of indeed.

Darkwing said...

He looks fantastic. Really has a Sylvester Stallone in Demolition Man look to him. I think the T-shirt & Beret especially came out great. (Which isn't to say that there's anything wrong with the cloak, but the other bits really stood out for me)

I agree about the making too much green stuff--I do that all the time...and now I have a collection of variously sized green cannonballs...

Karitas said...

I'll echo what's already been said, this is really very good :)

I'll add a little soemthing from hard learning of my own.

Get a clay shaper, its a silicone rubber tipped "paintbrush"

And using vaseline or some other lubricant make sure that all your surfaces are smooth when you are "finished"

I only say this because there are 1 or 2 areas of barely visible bumpyness on the claok. I've had minis look like this myself, and been happpy with the green, only for it to look like ass once it's painted. it's very depressing.

so there you go, tip of the day, smooth your GS :)

Col. Corbane said...

Wow, now that's what you call a response.

@Mordian7th - Cheers matey, it really is a matter of taking your time and not rushing it. More stage by stage coming soon mate.

@GSS - Cheers mate, painting seems quite far away at the moment, and I wouldn't worry about facing him anytime soon, I've got to do his squad as well remember!

@Admiral Drax - Thanks mate, on the badge, I'm not sure. I've tried to do a skull but it's such fine work that I'm struggling to pull it off.

@Master Darksol - Thanks mate, all you've got to do is just give it a go mate and don't give up.

@Maverick Collecting - Thanks mate, I'm not sure how well it's going to file afterwards as GS tends to cure like rubber. Time will tell I suppose, it's all part of the learning curve.

@JRV - Thanks mate.

@Magilla Gurilla - Cheers matey, and yeah, he does look like he's got a bit more about him now - lol.

@Blitzspear - Cheers mate.

@Max - Thanks mate, and taking your time is probably the most important thing I learned so far. Good luck with the cloaks mate.

@Dverning - Thanks mate, I've been using the spare GS to make faces and practice using my metal tools.

@jmezz382 - Cheers mate.

@Gotthammer - Thanks mate, I'm not sure I'm ready to do on purpose uneven, I'm barely there on getting it even - lol. I've got a whole host of metal tools but I'm finding that I'm using my clay shapers more than anything.

@Molotov - Cheers mate, I must admit, it's amazing the difference that a tshirt and beret makes to the model. I'm looking forward to seeing how the rest of his squad turn out.

@Tolc - Cheers dude, I'm not sure on whether to do his beret in para colours or in black, I just can't decide which yet. I might take the piss and give him peace keeper blue - lol

@Col. Hessler - Cheers mate, clay shapers are all I'm using mate, I've got a whole set of them and I think they're great.

@Kings SB - Glad you do mate ;-)

@Cawshis Clay - Cheers mate, the cloak is pretty static but he's got a pretty solid stance and so it sort of went. A bit of a copout I know but hopefully I'll get more practice in with his squad. On you sculpting, just do it mate, you've got nothing to lose.

@Mik - Thanks for the kinds words matey!

@2501 - It's ironic, my Marbo reminds me of Colm Corbec and now after you saying that, he reminds me so much of Bragg, I just never saw it before. Perhaps I'm subconsciously doing the ghosts - weird!

@Goodalls - Cheers mate

@Zombieburger - Cheers matey, it's amazing the difference a bit of clothing can make and yeah, there's some dirty minded people around. I mean what else would you use vaseline for, well other than lubing your tool - lol.

@Ginge - Cheers mate, glad you found it useful.

@Hotpanda - Thanks matey.

@Darkwing - Thanks mate, now you've said that, he does look a bit Sly - lol

@Karitas - Cheers matey, Clay shapers are all I've been using so far, I think they're great. I do need to redo quite a few places on the cloak with softer putty as I see mold joins and dips all over it. I'm planning on doing that once I've got the basic shape of the sculpt done. There's hoping it works out.

CanolliCrusader said...

like i said in my battalion, great job! ill be trying to mimick it...we'll see what happens.