Monday, January 10, 2011

Putty in Progress: A Visual Tour

 In response to requests for a more informative walk-through of my putty process, here are a variety of photos to help further explain what I am up to with my Skaven/Dark Eldar at the moment.

After my last post about puttying, I received some mail requesting a more detailed explanation.  Please forgive the photos, but I could only really get work in progress photos with my iPhone, as the tripod and light-box I use normally is not conducive to puttying.  Allow me to tell you just what I am doing.  I am currently working on 45 Dark Eldar Wyches, converted from Skaven Clanrats.  The conversion is multi-stage, and I am currently just in the beginning.  The first detail I am adding to the rats, is a combat drug injector, which will be a warp stone injector in this case.  In order to represent a combat drug injector, each Wych will have a "heart plug" on their chest (think Dune), with a tube running from it over their shoulder, to a tank of "warp-chem" on their back.  Each tank is made from a variety of Ork shoota barrels.  Here is an example:
This tank is fitted into a groove that I have carved and filed into the back of each Clanrat, which looks like this:
In order to make this tank of chemicals look more realistic, and more "part of the whole", I am currently modeling putty straps on each Clanrat.  I start with two small bits of the two kinds of putty:
I roll these out, and mix them by intertwining them:
You can mix the two parts any way you like, I just find this method to be the quickest.  Once this putty is thoroughly mixed, it is activated, and slowly begins to harden.  On its own, this will take about one to two hours.  I like to coat the putty with water, which quickens the solidifying time.  Regardless, I roll this mixed putty out into a very thin tube.  Here is a photo, with a Clanrat for scale:
I cut a short piece of putty, and apply it to the Clanrat, in a location to mimic an over-the-shoulder strap, using the chem tank groove as a guide.  Here is an example of this stage:
After wetting this putty again and again, I take my modeling tools and flatten thistube into a strap-like shape.  Once this putty has firmed-up over the course of about 30 minutes, I use an exacto knife to cut a smooth and linear edge on the putty.  The end result looks acceptable to me:
While far from perfect, this putty work, once painted, will certainly help communicate the aesthetic I have in mind.  It is also worth considering that these models will have a great variety of additional work and bits, so the eye of a viewer will not go to these straps specifically, but rather view the model as a whole.

I know that this guide is extraordinarily basic, as is my putty work, but I wanted to clarify my current task as best as I can.  So far, I have completed this step on 30 of these models.  While my job is getting quite hectic, what with midterm exams and all, I hope that this week's incoming Nor' Easter presents me with a snow day to spend finishing this putty work.

I hope this was informative!


  1. Thank you, thank you, thank you. This is a tremendous help and very very informative for me. I appreciate your generosity with your time and talent!

  2. Nice work. I can't wait to see this army, or at least a squad, the concept. with the new skaven releases too, you've got your grotesque models!

  3. Glad to help, Loq.

    Old Shatter Hands: You gave me these tips, so all credit goes to you. Currently, my brain is working out the order in which I will be doing the remaining conversions. At the moment, I am thinking that I should drill out all of the holes now, before anything starts going together, to minimize the chance for breakage.