Friday, April 12, 2013

Best Practise: Sculpting with Glues for Nurgle Conversions

Inspiration is always a driving factor in my quest to explore new techniques in modeling and painting.  I'm constantly inspired by the new plastics that GW is releasing.  However, they don't come cheap so to balance out my addiction for new plastic, I'm always searching for inspirations that are also cheap.  Time is also scarce these days so speedy techniques are also inspiring to me.

I've always been shocked by the painting quality and speed of the most prolific artists on CMON and around the blogosphere.  It seems logical that the people making a business out of commissions would have some of the best techniques.  The key is spreading the knowledge.

I was stalking out the blog of C'tan, a popular painter on CMON when I stumbled on some really awesome tutorials.  One involves mixing super glue with white glue, the other uses white glue in the microwave.  When I found those, I had hit a wall with my spawn project.  I had assembled them nearly for "free" by raiding my bitz, but blending the bitz with greenstuff was taking forever.  Those two tutorials gave me everything I needed to finish the unit quickly and with inexpensive materials.

The spawn up top includes bitz from the vargheist sprue, ghouls, mutalith, and a tyranid gargoyle tail.  The assembly was rough because I knew I would be sculpting over the seams.  It went from grey plastic to 3 colors with a wash in 2 days.

Here's a shot from the back so you can see where the glue was used to blend the bitz.  At this stage, I've only airbrushed the base colors, varnished, and applied an oil wash I learned from Schnauzerface.  I still need to hand-paint the details and highlights, but about 3-4 hours (over 2 days) to do that much sculpting and painting is pretty good I feel.

Here's my original spawn model that I had started with greenstuff.  The white is where I switched to glues.  This one has bitz from a mawloc, ogre, ghoul, ravener, vargheist, venomthrope, and a DE agonizer.  The greenstuff top half took 4 evenings.  The glue sculpting on the bottom took 15min.

Another with tyranid bitz, ghouls, ogre, and a crypt fiend arm.  My inspiration for the unit was The Thing, so I wanted asymmetric mutations that speak to the chaotic nature of spawn.

I went crazy with ogre heads and ghoul heads.  I think the image of multiple heads growing and morphing helps portray the image that these creatures are not of one mind and function on a more instinctual level.

This one even has a head growing out of his tail to help represent their random attacks and unpredictable nature.

Here's the 5th spawn to finish the unit.  I proceeded with 2 test models through the first painting steps.  Each spawn is so different from each other, I wasn't sure I'd get a good feel with just one.  This one really showcases the different effects and textures you can accomplish with glues.  The tentacles are from the mutalith sprue with a crypt fiend torso, tyranid arm, ghoul arms, heads, and an ogre head.

From the back you can see some of the details and textures created with glues.  The varnish/oil wash technique fills the details perfectly. 

I hope these techniques prove useful for others.  Continue to spread the word and feel free to share other "Best Practises" that would save time or money.


  1. These things are great. I had never heard of this technique. I've used accelerator on super glue to fill gaps, even fill in slotted bases, but never to sculpt such transitions. Nice work.

  2. I am really a little sad that my hobby skills are not to this level yet.

    1. Craig, that's part of the point of the article. These techniques require very little skill and have very quick learning curves, are very quick, and inexpensive (except the airbrushing equipment). Even the airbrushing is a lot easier than many would think. Combined with the oil washes, there's very little brushwork needed. Only highlights and details.

    2. I'm going to buy an airbrush soon after adepticon I think.

  3. Yeah, that microwave method looks like a time saver when doing large areas or filling large gaps. Definitely going to try these out in the future. Thanks!

  4. That's pretty amazing. My best timesaving trick I've found so far is baking soda+superglue to speed set and close gaps:

  5. we have to get you to adepticon Aaron man