[Archive] Advice on sculpting



sorry if this is the wrong place for this.

Basically, having decided to start a CD army, i have bought some FW models (that i will paint, no great stress there) and some old “big hat” guys off the net (criminally priced TBH, but hey…).

I have also come to the realisation that to have a decent CD army, you need to be able to make a few models (or parts of them) yourself. With this in mind i have scraped together a few Dwarf models and messed about on them in different areas and trying to sculpt different stuff.

What i would like is some (brutally honest) comments because i am not really happy with them, but i could do to have some idea of what i am doing wrong. This especially applies to (what i thought would be really easy) making helmets ala FW style (or death-masks?). This i seem to really suck at.

So, pictures;

First go at “helmet” guy

2nd go at “smaller” mask;

A bit better, but not really that great (the nose bothers me);

Just messing about with “push-pins” and Mantic guy;

So, what advice would you give? Especially when it comes to making helmets? Why do these look so dodgy? Is it because they are too big? Too Small? Too detailed? Not Detailed enough? Etc etc

all comments would be greatly appreciated (the more critical the better, anyone can just say “yeh, that’s great mate…” it’s much harder to say “look, it’s pants…try doing this etc”

Thank you


Kera foehunter:

Sweetie they look good . but to help you out  don’t try to hard

# 1 take your time
just do a little at a time there no hurry
  #2  let your greenstuff set up more  allow 20 to 30min   be fore detail
# 3 you don’t need a lot of tools  most can be done by a hobby knife
# 4  layers    make sure to do the beards first …then make the helmets   this will make the beards look like there under the helmets .  this will make them not to look like there not one piece
5  i still hate some of my stuff to … it just a learning process your get better


I think the main issues are:

A lack of consistency - the ‘helmet’ guy’s head looks much larger than the other two.

A lack of definition - it’s hard to tell where Helmet guy’s neck is or how his head would turn. There is likely too much GS being used in his case.

The horned guy is clearly the most successful - its probably best if you carry on in that vein, working over the existing heads of the plastic Dwarfs until you are more comfortable with their proportions.

The mask designs actually look very good, with practice you should be able to do some cool stuff :slight_smile:


Helmet guy - this one his head is too wide.  You should cut down a lot more of the head first and not put so much greenstuff on.  If you have a sharp craft knife you should flatten each of the scales on his beard.  That beard is quite good.

Smaller mask.  You shouldn’t have needed to greenstuff ontop of his head, just slice or file his face off and greenstuff on the front.

As a general note, avoid sculpting the lower jaw on a skull mask.  Unless you’re clever how you do it they will inevitably look like they’re smiling.  

The push pin guy needs a moustache to make sense of the lack of a mouth. :wink:

The big nose guy you need to be aware of how wide the mouth should be.  I would say try doing the bottom lip a fraction wider than the nose.  The bottom lip should be much thinner as well.  Adding some tusks after everything has dried might be good.

One more bit of advice for helmets or masks would be to bear in mind that the gap between the eyes should be as wide as an eye.  So on your first two models they are too far apart.

Lastly I would suggest not making the eye holes quite so round. Flatter eyes (particularly those that are ‘frowning’) look more evil. So do what you did but gently push/pull the greenstuff down towards the chin a little from above the nose.


Exellent. Thank you.

Looking at them in these (rather closer than close-up) pics, it becomes quite apparent that guy number one has the head of a giant.

The second one took ages (god knows why…), and just looked crass.

I will return to the desk and have another go ( i have 2 battalion boxes of Dwarfs to “practice” on).

The mouth on the horn guy is, as suggested, too wide. Thanks. The tusk thing is a good idea. When i had done these few guys i just lost faith so stopped after an hour or so.

In the case of beards; should you actually cut them off these guys and just make your own in their place, or sculpt over the existing ones?

Also, and this is more for “finishing” them really; i dont have any instructions with these battalion guys…other than guns (to be converted into blunderbust guns) the only other option for the left hand appears to be sheilds. Are there any more “chaosy” sheilds that can be used or is it a case of just shaving off detail and making your own? OR would you suggest just making “gun” guys out of all these Dwarf guys?

Thanks for the advice, it really does help; more practice, let greenstuff cure a bit, no lower jaws, closer eyes, shave off more head, less green stuff, don’t put GS where you dont need it etc etc

Right, back to the desk…more Dwarfs to corrupt.



With the beards, if you know it will make it protrude too much then trim it back.

Because of the position of the shield arms (sunk into the beard), I’d be tempted to roughly trim back the beards all over first, or at least clip off anything below the waist line. When I was turning regular dwarfs into rangers and resculpting the beards I virtually carved them off completely, but that shouldn’t be needed for this.

Use the chaos marauder shields. You could probably get away without sculpting a hand on the back. Lots of people here have used them.

Also, you should leave the front rank until last. By the time you get to the front you will be a better sculptor and you want it to be the best rank. :wink:

Also, watch all of these videos:


This is how I started off doing them waaaaaaay back before all this fancy FW malarkey:


I used to cut the beards off and sculpt curled beards over the top. I would ‘beard up’ 20 or so guys, then get to work on the masks once the beards were dry. I also used to cut down the Dwarf faces as they sometimes interfered with the mask sculpting.

Shields were from Chaos Marauders, weapons were Dwarf weapons with the blades replaced with Marauder/Chaos Warrior parts.