Quick 'n' Dirty Egg-and-Dart Decor Sculpting Tutorial


Awesome! I love how you keep titling your tutorials “quick ‘n’ dirty” while the result shown is invariably as clean as one could hope any sculpting work ever to be :hatoff:


Thanks! But they’re quick and dirty at the core: You can do it all in one go without waiting for stuff to dry to do it in careful steps (which is the easy way to get good results, by the way). I’ve mashed working steps together in many tutorials where I’d let something dry before continuing with the next part, had I been sculpting for casting.

Hehe, check out the sculpting in stone on ancient monumental architecture. Now there is something not quick and dirty! Check closely the egg and dart patterns and compare with this tutorial and you’ll see why I keep labelling them this way. :hatoff:


Long before I found and joined this beautiful hobby refuge I had seen these sculpting tutorials on the net. It took about 6 months for me to realize they were yours @Admiral!

I love them. Is there a place I can find all of them together?

Also, I’d love to hear the process you go trough in replicating a new pattern. As a very green sculpter I find it very hard to figure out the best way to get what I see in my head to reflect in the putty. I just muck about until it’s close enough and the risk of ruining it surpasses the chance of improving on it. I’d love to know if you have a methodology to grappling such challenges in a repeatable process.


Thank you most kindly @MichaelX ! That warms my heart to hear. :beer:

I’ve posted them all in a single thread here on EEFL, and perhaps I should do so on CDO down the line as well. As it is, all tutorials are here on old CDO, and I will transfer them over to Discourse once I’'ve gone through all older tutorials from other members and brushed up their formatting, so as to check off that whole subforum as done. I was working on that last year, but I ran into something missing. I believe it was some video of Xander’s or the like which I asked about, or some images. Ah, well. Best to dig in again in the near future and rediscover the hurdle, and circumvent it in some way.

Thank you kindly for the question. I think you should just keep doing what you’re doing, and you’ll get better automatically in time. In time, one’s fingers will somehow by themselves learn where to grip and not to grip, so that squashing parts of already sculpted fresh putty with your fingers grow rarer (that will always happen, but I’m constantly surprised how I’m nowadays able to hold small objects at awkward angles and work with fresh putty at several different sides, without squashing it much, or at all, like one would expect to do). One becomes better at sculpting through practice, either through being able to pull off sharper and better designs, or through reaching the same level of quality but faster.

Mucking about until it’s close enough and leaving well alone to not risk ruining it is actually what I’m still doing, by and large. Many times after sculpting some hours, I’ll be content and leave it to dry, even though it could possibly be improved even more, but that’s also a risk.

It’s just that with practice, that zone of ruination of risk has shrunk to a much more narrow band than before. So that when I’m playing about with really fiddly details and thinking about doing some precise work with a needle or adding one wrinkle more or whatever to some fresque, I eventually reach a point where I’m happy enough with it (not perfect, but it will do the trick), and whereas I can see space for cramming in more details, I don’t want to risk ruining it, because I might not be able to manage such tiny precision and symmetry without overloading a delicate sculpt and risk smothering stuff or throwing it out of balance.

But there is a method to the madness: One great way to get better at sculpting, is to focus on a small part of the overall sculpt and work away at it, trying to get it as good as possible. Then let dry, and continue on surrounding parts. This is also a good way to reach a better result, and a must for sculpting for casting (especially when one is a beginner there): By breaking it down into small steps, every little step becomes more managable.

It also takes more time. One advantage of becoming better at sculpting, means that you can start squashing together what would once have been several separate steps, and do them all at once without ruining it. That way you can reach the same decent results faster.

But I guess I do one thing with everything creative, whether it’s writing, carving wood, sculpting or drawing: Always go the extra mile with details, try to add more wrinkles, more warts, more scars, more ornaments, pack it tight with details and attempt to give it texture. For sculpting, I often can conceal my lack of skill at musculature, anatomy and clothes by chucking in ornamental details, or equipment in layers upon layers (pouches, satchels, belts, sheathed daggers, scrolls, skulls and so on), or by adding more wrinkles and deformities to hands or faces. There’s something to be said for wrinkles: scoring lots of lines into green stuff lets you achieve a more detailed look in a simple manner, hide some of your shortcomings and add a lot more sense of texture to organic stuff.

So, overload with detail, including attacking monsters’ skin surfaces with a needle to give a rougher impression and a sense of ugly pores. It’s a crutch, but it often gets the job done, and hopefully I can eventually become better at difficult stuff like anatomy and cloth folds. I hope it might give some idea of shortpaths, or at least inspire you to try out methods you might invent all on your own.

Oh, and use reference pictures. Maybe even lots of reference pictures crammed together, in the below manner. That will help guide you, and will help to give further ideas of some shapes you could try to work in, or some details you could try to add to improve what you’ve already achieved.


Example: Grimdark reference board for 40k Doodles. Make it 1000 pixels tall in MS Paint, and as wide as your screen. Then copy and crop images in another MS Paint window, and as a norm resize their height to 250, 500, 333 or some other such number easily dividable with 1000. Then cram as much inspirational reference as you can into your reference board.


Oh wow I did not know you were part of EEFL!! I have been tempted to join this forum as I am defs an Eighth Ed. for life type person, not knocking anyone who has moved on to AoS I have no discrimination against those who have gone with the flow but it is not for me and never will be, the End Times were really the end times for me and 8th is where my Warhammer ends. I was very emotional at first when the Old World was blown to bits but I have managed to do as Monty Python suggests “Always look on the bright side of life” & found comfort in the fact that I can complete my hobby in collecting all things Warhammer from 1st Ed. through to 8th/End Times (except pointy ears of course lol) which I have nearly completed, just missing the 2 Bretonnian books, the Lustria camp book and I am nearly happy enough with my 13 Armies to call them complete - although at some stage I might actually do a Bret, Kislev & Amazon army -maybe…

Anyways all that aside thank you for a great little tutorial, I love quick and dirty! I will be grabbing some tools later this week time allowing and dipping my toes into some basic sculpting, quick and dirty will be a good place to start getting a feel for it so your tutorial are about to become invaluable for me as I start my journey - There may also be some questions shot in your general direction once I get going :wink:


@Admiral haha that’s the thread I stumbled upon years ago. Apparently somewhere in '18 because it has definitely been updated since! Thanks for the link, great to know I can find them again!

Also thanks for the guidance! I know it requires practice, as with all things nice :slight_smile: it was the madness to the chaos bit that I was looking for. I naturally did this to some extent since it seemed to be the fastest way to proceed.

The bit about overloading with details is good too, having built the artisans contest and having made way too many pictures, has shown me how much a few bits and pieces can do. I have probably been sparse in the details but, looking at the whole model makes me happy, and that’s the main thing.

As with many hobby related things, this community (to some extent, because I have to be so incredibly vague at what I’m actually doing for the contest :sweat_smile:) and in this case, you especially have helped me overcome a hurdle I made myself, to give sculpting a go again. I’ll have to find a balance between painting (so much to paint… :sweat_smile:) and some sculpting (and writing, and… ) to scratch that itch. One thing I’m getting much better at with age is to accept its fine to start a project and leave halfway to continue another and vice versa.


@Deebo : Ask away! And do check out Scibor’s wonderful tutorials as well (they’re on old CDO too): Tutorials

Nice to hear you’ve come to look on the bright side of life! I’m on EEFL mainly because I’m a known spamlord, but it’s is nice forum in and of itself as well. :tongue:

I’ve got handy linklist documents for all manner of project logs, Admiralty Miniature releases, tutorial spreading, art projects (T9A culture concepts, 40k doodles, Chaos Dwarf stories to come later on) and the like, to be spammed on a slew of forums and even some subreddits and facebook groups. But I have also tossed them some EEFL specific advice on contests and pointed to CDO’s 8th edition Daemonsmith’s Handbook and told them to copy it over (a couple of lads have started to do so, and incorporated tactica points raised in thread discussions). I would have done much the same had I ever found an AoS forum; spam everything I do and find in relevant subforums by the power of copy-paste, respond to replies, tip them off on CDO AoS creations such as @thommyh 's fine Warscrolls, @Uther.the.unhinged 's great stories etcetera, and if I see something that would be an advantage to them (such as running contests, CDO style, or whatever), chuck in some advice of interest to them as an AoS site.

8th edition was great fun, actually the most tournament fun in my book starting with 6th and including 9th Age (the default tournament game around here; it’s also fun and has unprecedented balance, but lack many of the wacky mad stuff and characterful rules because of overzealous competitive balancing). I think you should sign up to EEFL, it’s a nice site.

After the End Times, one concern of mine has been to keep hobbyists connected as they’ve always been on old army forums. If I find anything of interest to, say, Kings of War, 8th edition, Oldhammer crew or Age of Sigmar players, I’ll run off and tip them off, and often find CDO members scattered in the various split group after the End Times. I’ve seen various familiar CDO members on EEFL and Oldhammer, and others on the Ninth Age’s website. And told them about new Discourse CDO, with shameless fishing for old members to return.

I’ve also told a lot of sour people over on T9A to relax and stop holding a grudge, and stop being silly by comparing Games Workshop to an ex-girlfriend, and instead build something positive of their own without all that toxic baggage (not many liked being told that, hehe). I love Warhammer, but I’m not married to Games Workshop’s company line; headcanon rules supreme at the end of the day, so I quickly shrugged my shoulders at End Times since I didn’t buy into the idea of actually executing the doomsday of a gloriously detailed, humorous and historically based fantasy world. So I continued writing Chaos Dwarf stories, business as usual, as if nothing had happened.

I’m into classical historically based fantasy and don’t find weird magitech settings (Warmachine, increasingly Warcraft and the like - do see Disney’s Treasure Planet for a good and charming example of this kind of setting) much interesting at all, so sticking with Warhammer Fantasy’s setting and dabbling in Ninth Age brainstorming has been my path after the community split after End Times. But I do like quite a number of AoS designs, and it’s clear that GW is better at doing weird magitech fantasy designs than others out there.

I’m just happy that the worst anger after End Times has subsided and we’ve got a lot of old members back and new members onboard Discourse without trampling each others’ toes. As someone interested in raw fantasy concepts, it doesn’t matter much what setting Chaos Dwarf equivalents happen to live in, as long as companies or hobbyists come up with wacky, fun and interesting concepts for it. Even in CDO’s most membership number-shrunk years of decline (2017-2019), I had heaps of fun brainstorming all manner of concepts together with @Uther.the.unhinged in particular. We tossed ideas at each other’s stuff (him mostly, he’s greatly imaginative) even though we didn’t know much about the setting the other was into, and it was all good fun freewheeling creativity. Where many were disheartened after End Times, we saw refreshed opportunities for all manner of mad brainstorming, especially since AoS and T9A were still young settings with a lot of blank slate element to them, ready for a flurry of mad new ideas.

It’s so great seeing CDO thriving with member numbers and activity and initiative again. Discourse with its software has been one big boon, it was just what we had been looking for. It was our good fortune that @tjub saw Discourse on Mantic’s Kings of War forum.

This became a very long reply, but I needed to eventually unload my above post-End Times experience somewhere. It’s been a long voyage, but we’re finally back in harbour again. :hatoff:

@MichaelX : As noted above, I do keep spamlists to quickly update threads on all manner of sites. :tongue:

Yep, adding some extra realism details or some more ornaments or trophies can do a lot to a model! It’s fine to leave a project half done, and then return to it some years later.

Oh, also: if you use GW’s very good older style sculpting tool, then sharpen it. It will let you do sharper details. I carefully sharpened my sculpting tool on an electrical whetstone at my father’s carpentry workshop.



A good read, a few years ago I could relate to the bitterness of those who felt disgruntled after end times but I have long since moved on and I do not see the point of hanging shit on people who did move on to Aos it would be like hating against someone cuz they liked the colour pink instead of glorious red lol
I must admit when shit 1st went down I was in a very dark place, even contemplating burning relics and rarities that would make some collectors weep in sorrow but was guided around to common sense by my poor late best friend and my wife who both pointed out the stupidity of my rage, rage is blinding and does not breed good things. Finding a different way to look upon the situation has freed me to live in a happy comfortable place with a feeling of contentment and like yourself I can still add to the Old World with my imagination and ignore the blowing up completely whilst still admiring players and their collections who have moved on.
CDO is a wonderful place where all types of people have merged together using all sorts of systems with one thing still in common and untarnished, Chaos Dwarfs! As Chaos Dwarf collectors have always been the underdog we have found a great strength to survive through anything anywhere and no matter what systems there are, we are there still weathering the storm although these days it feels a bit more in reverse, I feel we are now the storm, the storm of Chaos Dwarfs that have grown strong from our upbringing and now push our presence into everything! Never has it been easier to collect a Chaos Dwarf army to fit into any sort of game, the rules and models available to us is like never before. CDO really drives this home with the community we have here that started so long ago, not many things have survived as long as CDO and I doubt any are as strong, we are here to stay and we are united. I can never express how happy I was to find this group still going after my long absence nor how surprised I was at how lively it remained despite everything, from a little Army that never got a “proper” Army book, closest was White dwarf present then we got that pathetic little section in the Ravening Hordes pamphlet and finally a mention in a very expensive and unobtainable for most, Tamurkhan book, then when we 1st went to AoS and those free warscrolls were available I know we got one of those but was there anything after that? I know other armies got these new BattleTome books but I never saw one for Chaos Dwarfs… Like High Elves had 5 Army books through the old world series whilst we got jack! Yet here we are still, just goes to show how awesome Dawi Zharr are!

I am very thankful for CDO, I am thankful for your spam searches to bring our kin back home, I am thankful for all the admins keeping the forges hot so that we have a place to come and build, thankful the members frequenting the temples of Hashut to converse with one another to share ideas, tales, adventures, struggles and victories. I am thankful that here at CDO we have no grudge bearing against systems among us -infighting like a pack of week greenskins and umgi, we are just a heap of united Dawi Zharr enjoying our hobbies and company of each other, 'tis a wonderful and wondrous thing!

Despite all my past jibes against pointy ears and the jibes yet to come I bear no grudge against anyone that has them in their collections but I guess those out there who do have elves know that already being one of us :wink: haha After all if there were no elves there would be nothing to poke fun at and that would be pretty dull so they are needed in our worlds LOL

This has gone way south of topic but it is good to unload our PETE’s (Post End Times Experiences)
I have enjoyed reading yours and being able to unload mine as well :beer: Cheers my friend!
Long Live CDO! Long Live Dawi Zharr! :hatoff: :hatshut:


A great read.

Aye, cheers friend! :beer:

Long live CDO! Live the Dawi Zharr! :skull1:

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