[Archive] Tips for sculpting with putty


Some thoughts that may help people. Feel free to add tips of your own.

First things first, make sure you know what the properties are of the putty you�?Tre using.

Know your putty

Grey Stuff. Aka ProCreate.

This stuff has all the same properties as greenstuff, but it is much faster drying. If you had it under a table lamp you could probably sculpt a dwarf model in one day with this stuff.

I also find with ProCreate that whereas greenstuff can look rough when filed or cut, grey stuff tends to remain smooth. It also seems easier to make the putty smoother, perhaps because it is sold in separate tubes (see tips later for why this is better).

The uses for grey stuff are exactly the same as for greenstuff, however it is more expensive.

Brown Stuff.

Not everyone has heard of brown stuff it seems, it�?Ts uses are in theory the same as greenstuff or grey stuff.

However, as it dries considerably harder mostly you will see people using it for weapons or armour plates. Basically anything you want to hold a razor sharp edge.

It�?Ts not as tacky as green or grey, but it smoothes well. It�?Ts the most expensive of the putties, so probably better to use in small amounts. This is sold mostly in two separated parts.

Green Stuff.

Everyone knows what this is used for. It is probably the softest of the putties listed here.

White Stuff.

Ok, I made that up, this is just Milliput.

Milliput can be used to make exceptionally sharp edges. Professional sculptors use this all the time for weapon blades.

Tips on using Green Stuff

Age and how it�?Ts bought

Firstly, things to bear in mind with this are the manner in which it�?Ts bought, and how old it is.

The greenstuff I buy comes in a pack of 90cm. The yellow and blue are joined together. You can buy it in tubes with the two parts separate. Whilst this has the advantage of not being joined, it does mean the yellow has a much larger surface area to dry out. This is a problem with greenstuff as you�?Tll see.

To get a smoother mix of greenstuff what I do is to first cut across both yellow and blue to get the desired amount. Next I slice out the bit where the colours join. This part is likely to be a solid lump that will ruin any part of a sculpt where it is on the surface.

Finally I slice off the outside edge of the yellow. A problem I had a while back was when I bought 2 packs of 90cm, then left one for about 9 months until the other was used up. In this time the yellow had dried out all along the outside edge.

When it came to mixing and using it I had dozens of tiny hard flecks of yellow all through it. Not ideal at all. So now I just slice it off just to be sure.

Save all the little lumps to make the core of a model later, so nothing is wasted.

How quickly to use it?

You often see with sculpting tutorials they say to leave it half an hour before working. For the most part this is a rubbish idea.

In my experience Greenstuff remains tacky for about 10-15 minutes. After this you�?Tll find it increasingly harder just to get the putty to stick to the model where you want it, let alone actually sculpt it.

So I suggest you get the putty onto the model as quickly as possible.

There are some occasions where it�?Ts actually better to leave it a while before working (say 15 mins). An example of this would be sculpting fur. It�?Ts much easier to get dynamic looking fur that sticks out from the model if the putty is harder I think.

Another example would be blending smooth the folds in cloaks, or anything where you have a very large area needing smoothing.

Also getting sharp edges on anything.

Keep working on the putty until you feel the sculpting is done, even if you have to come back an hour later. You may not be able to do detail sculpting, but you can usually keep smoothing and sharpening edges.

Keeping tools wet.

Everyone knows this. Bear in mind as well that if your tools are dripping wet you�?Tll never be able to get the putty to stick on in the first place!

After the putty has dried

This is an important step in sculpting, but one which very few people seem to do. You can always tell if people have done work after it�?Ts dried on a model because there will be light patches on the putty.

Once the putty is dry you can:

  • Carve it

  • Slice thin layers off

  • Drill holes for pinning wires, then sculpt spikes on these

  • File it.

I�?Tll tackle each of these in turn:

Carving I have had a lot of success with carving procreate models afterwards. This is especially good for carving say a chaos warrior leg, as you can quickly whittle it down without it looking too rough

Slicing thin layers off This is an important step I think would improve virtually every sculpt. By scraping off the top layer you can make edges sharper, as you take off the rounded surface and leave it flat. Scale armour especially looks better with this done if the scales are rounded.

Bear in mind that it�?Ts very easy to slice off too much, and make sure you use a very sharp blade!

Drilling Occasionally I see people sculpting spikes on a shoulder for instance, where they�?Tve just worked the same blob they used for the whole shoulder pad. It�?Ts often better and sharper to sculpt the pad first, file and scrape it so it�?Ts looking sharp, then drill a hole, glue the pin and sculpt the spike.

Filing Filing can be done quite easily, but bear in mind if you use one that is too coarse, it may leave a very rough surface afterwards.

I use two type of needle files; some for filing metal down and some finer ones for greenstuff. That way I know it won�?Tt be too rough.

Scraping This can be a little fiddly, but essentially you�?Tre scraping the flat of the blade across the greenstuff with the aim of just taking off a really fine surface layer in places. Very good for refining sharp edges. But you need a razor sharp blade to do this at all.


I wasn�?Tt planning on writing much on this, but I thought I�?Td mention that it�?Ts a lot stronger if you build in the armature for anything that is extended from the torso AS SOON AS POSSIBLE in the sculpting process.

As an example:

Say I�?Tm sculpting a dwarf and I�?Tve bent the wire that goes through both feet. After this I will feed through a piece of wire for the arms and then I�?Tll cover this basic frame with greenstuff including a lump for the head.

This is important, because what I could have done is sculpt the torso, let it dry. Drill a hole through for each arm separately and pin. Sculpt a blob ontop of the torso that will eventually be the head. What you would find though is that the arms and head are now considerably weaker joins than they could have been. Infact the head could break off entirely later on accidently.

This works for things like spikes on shoulder pads as well. Ideally you�?Tll have the wire in place before the arms are even sculpted.

So basically when you�?Tre sculpting anything, make sure that there is some sort of armature underneath as soon as possible in the sculpting process.


Ta for the tips, useful, I might actually buy some brown stuff now, just like the green!! ;D


Milliput mixed 1/1/1 with blue tack also makes itself cure longer but still dries rock hard if mixed up in the same way as the 50/50 method shown in the paperwork included inside the packet allowing longer work times and mazes it easier to sand and whittle down after it has set. This also extends the volume of work you can do with the same package size. Milliput is also highly toxic so if you are working with clay shapers and sculpting tools have a pot of water handy and often wipe your tools on kitchen paper.


Yes, Milliput is very messy to work with I find.

I forget which one it was, grey or brown, but it said something about putting it in the freezer to slow down the drying time. I suppose this might work with GS as well?


Very useful this topic, thanks!


Awesome thread man :slight_smile:

However, does anyone on here know where I can get cheap Grey Stuff to Australia? All of them I can find (on eBay) are 25$+ for postage alone.



Thanks for the thread guys, I weas just going to start my chaos snail project on Monday once I was back from the NAF championships (see www.talkfantasyfootball.org). Strangly convinent that this started so soon before hand :wink:

Ben Saunders:

I just started experimenting with Milliput, so thanks for these tips. (And the blu tac one - might give that a try.)

Someone mentioned Milliput being toxic. I was aware of this, but can anyone advise on what is safe? Obviously I don’t eat it, etc, but is it only a problem when wet? Or should I be more careful when filing down the finished product too?


As with most things like this you’d have to either make it part of a balanced diet or be sniffing it for years for it to have any serious effects (imo).

Some people are allergic to greenstuff because it’s very mildly toxic.

As far as I know it’s not like resin dust for sanding down and should be safe. You’d probably be better off looking up health and safety info from the producer.


Milliput is very toxic. When fully cured the milliput is still toxic when inhaled as with most resin materials. It’s a good precaution when grinding down lots of milliput to wear a dust mask at the least.


On the same kind of topic, I find the actual GW tool a bit useless for sculpting.

I find buy a set of wax sculpting tools, and find the ones you like the most.

Also cheep dental tools are great to, useful for rivet holes and scraping away errors.

A good one is this one:- the one I use atm:- http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/12-WAX-CANDLE-CARVER-CARVING-SCULPTING-POTTERY-TOOL-SET-/140536932277?pt=UK_Carfts_Candle_SoapMaking_EH&hash=item20b8a767b5



I believe procreate cures slower if it’s cooler yeah, grabbing my package now to check this.


Thin sections will cure more slowely.
Thicker sections will cure faster.
Heat will cure the epoxy faster.
Cold will cause the epoxy to cure more slowly.

I also read somewhere that freezing in your unmixed greenstuff (in seperate parts though) supposedly lengthens the time it stays good, (also the yellow part that is) not sure about this though, anyone has experience with this?

Dont know about brown stuff. Never used it.

Very nice piece of info by the way!!