[Archive] My quick Scale mail tutorial


I’ve seen quite a few scale mail conversions recently, and wanted to try some out.��I started out using some of the tools that I already had, and none of them really worked out that well.��The problem with most of them is that the sides don’t match.��Like on an xacto knife, one side will be bladed and the other is straight.��It ended up making bizarrely shaped ones.

I went to my local art stoe to find a sculpting tool that would work right.��I ended up getting a scratch art knife.

It’s super easy for making those sharp triangular scales.��After A little bit of experiamentation, it seems like the best way to make them is like so:

1- the knife itself has a little bit of a hook down to it,��push that side down to make the scales as deep apart as they can be.��The pic is an big exaggeration, but there is a tiny bit of a hook to it.

2- start at the top and work your way across (I did mine left to right)

3- Once you’ve finished a row place the tip as close as you can to the joint and start your next row.

4- (optional)��If your scales seem especially curvey, you may want to flatten them out a bit.��I tried using a burnishing tool (the little metal sphere kind) and rolling it down a bit, as well as dashing the center with an xacto tip.��The burnishing tool gives a very weather beaten look to the scales, while the xacto gives a bit more flair to them.��It seems like the smaller your scales the more this will become an issue.

I found it works best top to bottom as youre able to control the bottom point of the scales a bit better that way.��Trying to line up the tip in just one spot is much easier than trying to line up the two edges of the tip at the same time

pictures to help explain

Some test scales made from sculpy on a bottlecap.��the top set is top to bottom, the bottom two sets are bottom to top.��If you look at some of the large scales you can see a few spots where i had to redo them, trust me, it ends up cleaner when you start at the top.

Hope you enjoy my first (useful) post


Oh, now this is useful. Many thanks for posting this, I’ll replicate it into one of the compilation threads. Most encouraging to see some new tutorials, and doubly nice to see the tests turned out so well!


Nice one!

The Flying Beaver:

Excellent tutorial grimsnikk. Thanks for posting this.


Bravo! An excellent guide! I may have to give them a shot. :slight_smile:

Hashut’s Blessing:

I’ll try it on a test model before on a gaming model, see if I can do it, then, use it :smiley:

Kera foehunter:

i found this way back and thought this might help some of people with there chaosDwarf ammor!!


yes it does help, lol… i was going to link this post in my army blog as i found it after i did a dwarf thunderer body… this way is much simpler and quite potentially uniformly nice. Will still link when i update later this week.

cheers ms Kera.

Kera foehunter:

yea this would make a cool sticki

to show chaos dwarf armor


Do you have pictures of finished models using this technique?


Wow… this actually looks pretty damn awesome.



I’v had a good idea, use this method on a flat sheet of green stuff and then use that as a press mold.

Hashut’s Blessing:

Smog: Please check the most recent post date in a thread before replying. The last reply was almost two years ago and the post before THOSE three were almost two years before then as well. The original poster is no longer a member of the website, so unfortunately, I doubt there are more pictures likely to be shown.

Kered: Would LOVE to see that done, so get to work :wink:


Sorry to add to the necro posting but this is how I have done all my scale mail, no just for dwarves but also for skorne, legion, dark elves and even a bit on skaven. This is the thread that taught me how to do it. I for one feel that this should be stickied


Ops, I’m sorry!

This message was automatically appended because it was too short.

Tarrakk Blackhand:

There’s no thread like an old thread! We should bring more of these back up to the top every now and then…but like HB says…you might not get a reply.

Hashut’s Blessing:

No harm in bringing them back up if there’s a contribution, which there somewhat has been so far (I.E. people pointing out how much it helped them and thusly, how it should help you now that you’ve found it), so don’t panic :wink:


I will paint up a figure so I can show people what this method looks like.


Hey fellow CDs. I’m actually getting back into the Dawi after an extended hiatus. And as it happens I do have some full minis done in this style. I had a WIP thread long ago ( http://www.chaos-dwarfs.com/forum/showthread.php?tid=617 ) which goes pretty good as a hand in hand with this one.

The model is painted by now, but I didn’t have any pictures handy. Anyways, really glad to be back, and see that I got put in the sculpting tutorial sticky.


Welcome back, long time since some of your previous posts. This stuff is still looking good, can’t wait to see it painted up!

And where did that shield come from??  It looks aces!