Anzu's Chaos Dwarfs [Artisan’s Contest XXXIV update & finished hobgoblin body sculpt]

Thank you! :upside_down_face: I have to give credit to @Admiral though – the Persian theme is shamelessly stolen from his slave drivers while the clubs are inspired by archaeological findings from Mesopotamia.


As I have now glorious 8 points worth of hobgoblins (Ravening Hordes), I need a different strategy for the next ones. My current plan and approach here is to sculpt the torso + legs from scratch and create white metal copies of it. For this purpose, I recently bought HTV silicone rubber from Poland along with everything else I need to cast my own models. Key here is to keep things as simple as possible such that I can get away with gravity casting.


I realised that I have not posted anything on my chaos dwarf sculpts in over a year. I recently revisited them, removed the overlong tusks (not very mould-friendly) and reworked the faces – much happier with them now. I call the front done, what remains is mostly repetitive routine work on the back (leather straps and hair).


Lovely work, I like that you’ve given them individual expressions on their faces…that sort of detailing is so cool.


Absolutely love them! So many cool details, both clothing and armour wise. And as @Fuggit_Khan just said, the small differences in the facial expressions make them pop even more. ^^ :cd1990gif:


@Fuggit_Khan @denelian5 Cheers! My micro-step approach to sculpting faces does not lend itself well to non-neutral expressions, so I was trying to incorporate some minor variations of the nose and the mustache. The rest evolved by itself. :slight_smile:

I want to learn to do faces in one go, though, which would allow more interesting expressions but that seems still a bit too challenging with epoxy putties.


Very cool work you did there.

I also like the detailed back of the armour.


@Bessron Thank you. It’s basically Admiral’s lamellar armour tutorial but dumbed down: first I did the lamellar segments similar to how denelian recently did his scale armour; obviously without rounding them off at the bottom. This is also when you want to add indentations at the bottom of each segment where you later add the threads. In a second session, I added the horizontal strips (it’s important that the individual segments are a lot longer to accommodate the strip at the top) and later the vertical strips at the bottom (pteruges). In a last session (or realistically more than one session because this is tedious work), you would add the individual threads.

So, I did a test sculpt for my future hobgoblin horde:

The basic shape is done. Sculpting was a lot more pleasant this time as I did trousers, shoes and tunic in the correct order. I’m not completely happy with the folds on the trousers though (I think I slightly overdid it here) – I will fix this later.


I think your cloth sculpting is great, especially the skirt. The trousers may indeed a bit heavy on the folds, but that might be just my personal tastes - I like to keep the folds simple, just about recognisable for eyes that are willing to recognise them (because honestly that’s the only way I can do them :smile:). In any case, yours look very good as they are. Do you add the folds after doing the basic shape, or do you sculpt it all in one go?


@Antenor Thank you. I like to overdo them a bit on purpose. I keep telling myself that this will make painting more interesting (I don’t really enjoy painting non-textured surfaces – if you ever want to punish me, force me to paint a Space Marine :wink: ) but in the end I do it because it reminds me a bit of Greek or Roman statues. It’s also rather easy to do, so I do the sculpting in one go. All I need for cloth is this single tool:

Green Stuff/Procreate, does not matter, works well with either. I’ve heard people saying that professional sculptors don’t use clay shapers but I honestly cannot fully believe this statement if it comes to cloth – not because it is not possible with metal tools but because it would be unnecessarily hard if you were to add intricate folding patterns. I can post a proper tutorial later but as I said, it’s really not that hard. Clay shapers create very soft transitions, perfect for any organic shapes. The rest is just copying what you have seen on other miniatures or real photographs.

And yes, I know, Fuggit does not use/like it. :smiley:


Wonderful new faces, lamellar armour and cloth! Top quality all around. The moustaches are sculpted particularly carefully. As somone who constantly overdoes wrinkles on faces and textiles when sculpting or drawing, those trousers look about right to me. :smiley:

Clay shapers are excellent time-savers for sculpting cloth. I use a standard sculpting tool for 95% of all sculpting, with specialized tools for the other 5%, like clay shapers, ball-point sculpting styli or needles. You can sculpt everything with the standard sculpting tool (especially if you sharpen it), but a few certain tasks become that much more quick and simple with special tools.

Lovely Assyrian Chorfs, @Anzu !


Thanks for the kind words, @Admiral. Yes, 100% agree. I noticed that I am transitioning more and more to metal tools. For rough to medium detail work, I use the same GW tool you are probably referring to but I noticed the finer your details get, the more important a larger variety of tools becomes. Dentistry tools (usually listed as wax carvers) were a real eye-opener for me – quite in the literal sense of sculpting eyes. Don’t get me wrong, the right sculpting tools is a matter of personal taste – there is simply no recipe that works for everyone but I would argue that if you go back and forth over the same location without really progressing & getting frustrated in the process – there is a good chance it’s not because you suck at sculpting but because you are using the wrong tool.

That being said, a real shame for beginner sculptors that GW stopped selling them. The only other dedicated set I’m aware of are these awful Army Painter ones. Probably the best idea right now is to find a supply store for dentistry students (over here, it’s virtually impossible to buy directly from stores targeted at professional dentists for some legal reasons). Tools called Wax 5, Hylin, LeCron, Zahle or a combination of these names are good choices and some of them look remarkably similar to the old GW tools. I cannot speak about the China stuff on ebay and Amazon but the Western made ones I got are of high quality and have a good finish (meaning edges are properly deburred and the surfaces are polished and not rough). Also: unless you buy premium brands (therefore: student supplies) these tools are pretty affordable.


Artisan’s Contest XXXIV update


Seasoned members of the forum will recognise this as yet another stunty wearing the Dendra panoply. So after @Admiral (his backstabbing hobgoblin wears the boar tusk helmet, hence the excellent tutorial) and @Antenor (which sadly never came to fruition), I’m the third in line to honour this rather anachronistic-looking piece of equipment.

I did not want to do yet another big hat, so I figured that the plate armour is almost at home with the old school chaos dwarfs (might be a bit of a stretch w.r.t. the contest theme but after all I wanted it to fit into my own army). I struggled quite a bit with the anatomy: I originally wanted him to be proportioned more like the old school CDs but the nature of this armour and old sculpting habits made him look exactly like my other CDs sizewise. I also struggled with the width as I made his hip to wide (take your time with the armature!). I should have probably started over when I noticed it but I wanted to get the miniature done in time. My hope is that once the shoulder pads are added, that this will not look as bad (not very evident on the contest photos as clever me only shot pictures from an angle :wink: ). I’m very happy with the head, I got a lot faster here and as mentioned, I wholeheartedly vouch for Admiral’s tutorial. In contrast to the quick sketch, I will give him a real beard as every dwarf needs to have a beard.

Some WIP shots:


Love the artwork, and the sculpt looks very good so far. The face and helmet came out beautifully. Had a vote from me :anvil: So he’ll have his beard hanging out over the gorget, too? This is going to look fun!

I think you did the dwarven proportions very well; in fact, I like them way better than those on my own Dendra dwarf. Is he going to get a third tier of armour bands beneath his chest? That would make it ideal, I think.

I am looking forward to seeing this fellow finished!


@Antenor Thank you most kindly! Yes, I plan to have the beard hanging out, therefore the odd shape of the gorget. Good suggestion concerning the third armour band! I originally had planned to drop it due to the size of the dwarf but that could work, too. I will think about it. :smiley:


While I’m at it… I also finished the hobgoblin sculpt.

Finished hobgoblin body sculpt


Lovely Dendra armour Dwarf! What a brilliant WIP sculpt and art for it. It slightly boggles the mind that the boar’s tusk helmet tutorial has come to use for someone, haha! Many tutorials I whip up are so niche that I don’t expect anyone else to use them. Your helmet looks great, as does the rest of the sculpt.

Marvellous Hobgoblin body sculpt! Seeing that garb for Hobgobbos spread makes me warm inside. Very well sculpted pants and sash in particular.

Pants are spot-on for the historical inspiration here, but as a diehard fan of classical antiquity, I still cannot avoid thinking that pants equals heresy. The Roman empire went to hell in a handbasket once they started using pants, and this is no coincidence. :smiley:

Just ask @Oxymandias : Pants are the true enemy.

Looking forward to see what you do next! This is all so cool.





You will never hear the end of it, Oxy. Your infamy shall be immortal. Bards will sing of your finger defeated by your trousers until the end of time.


Cheers @Admiral! I find myself using them quite frequently to be honest. For instance, for the hobgoblin I looked at your pteruges tutorial as I did not want to put the strips on individually as I have done previously.

Seeing T9A taking a very similar cultural direction makes me think that your sculpts had quite an impact. I hope this will result in more miniature manufacturers using Persian/Near Eastern themes for inspiration. Concerning the pants, blame the GW sculpting team for their tiny hobgrot legs, born out of sheer necessity and now here to stay!

Sculpting these hobgoblin body parts is pretty fun and straight forward, so I will definitely churn out a few more in the coming months. I also had some ideas for artillery and war elephants – Zodd’s recent contest entry makes my fingers itch to do some scratch building again.


A new power is rising.