Thursday, March 15, 2012

Tutorial: Sculpting Death Guard belly armour

This tutorial will explain step by step how I sculpt bloated nurgle stomach armour to match the Forge World Death Guard models. The Forge World models are great, but there are only ten poses and I like converting models. Therefore, I have been trying to sculpt my own stomachs to match the asthetic of the existing models and add some character and variety. I will add more parts on how I add rivets and make the metal tabards in another post.

You will need greenstuff (or another similar product), thin plasticard rod (for rivets), a model, lubricant (I use chapstick) and sculpting tools (for this model I used the GW sculpting tool, a chisel colour shaper, and a pointy rubber tip).
I used the colour shaper on the left, red tool in the middle, and the tool on the far right.
Step 1: Add a blob of greenstuff approximately the same size and volume as the resin Death Guard's belly to a model (it is easier to do with the arms unattached).

Step 2: Using some chapstick (a tiny bit) and the metal tool, start creating the basic shape by gently stretching the edges outwards to match the shape of the Forge World model. Compare to original.

Step 3: Continue until you are happy with the shape and then smooth the greenstuff by gently brushing it with the colour shaper and lubricant until you get a perfectly smooth finish. (To this point it took me about 5-10 minutes, if you are adding a boltgun and just want the shape, you could stop here)

Step 4: Use the tool of you choice to create a thin line about 1mm from the edge of the sides. Don't press hard, just draw a thin line. Then use a flat tool to gently smooth in both directions around the line (ex. smooth from the line to the margin and from the line to the center).

Step 5: Add damage. Now we get to be creative and add damage and detail. I started by poking some holes using the rubber tipped dental pick.

Step 6: Make the hole deeper. Add cracks around the edges. Add detail inside. Use a sharp tool to carefully make the edges pull outwards. Be careful during this step that you do not change the shape of the belly too much.

Step 7: Add details like intestines, cables, holes, cracks, tentacles, etc. Be creative! Have fun! This is a hobby. Go crazy!

Step 8: Cut some small pieces off of a thin piece of plasticard rod. You will need 8-10 little pieces. Each should be about 1mm long (smaller is better).

Step 9: Pick up each rivet using the tip of a hobby knife. Carefully push it a tiny bit into the greenstuff. You have a rivet. Repeat at regular intervals around the edge of your belly.

Step 9: Leave your model undisturbed to cure for a few hours. Here you can see a comparison between a few other work in progress models and the original Death Guard model.

Here are a few more examples using the same technique:

That's all there is to it. I will add some more tutorials on how to add fungus infections to your models, how to add rivets to hard surfaces, and how to make plasticard armour in the future. Please post links if you try these techniques yourself and I will include your pictures in the blog. Thanks!


  1. Very nice. Not too difficult to do, but yields great results.
    Ron, FTW

  2. Thanks Ron. Definitely not too difficult. The trick is getting the shape right.

  3. I suspect it takes a little practice to get the right look to the distended belly, but after that, it's just a matter of adding the deteriorations as you see fit on each model.

    Ron, FTW

  4. Cameron, I have been a lurking fan here for months and I have to say that I am blown away by your work! I will be featuring your blog as a Blog of Note on Dark Future Games in the next few days!

  5. Ron-the deteriorations are the fun bit! Lots of things to add to it. Just limited by needing to fit arms on there at the end!

    Old School Terminator-Thanks! It's great to hear that the blog is inspiring people. I get so much inspiration by visiting other blogs, it is great to get feedback that others are enjoying my blog too. I'll add your blog to my blogroll too!

  6. Nice one mate. Is the green stuff enough to secure the rivets or would you also apply some glue

  7. Rogue Pom-None have fallen out so far. I might have to check that before painting!

  8. I got shunted over here after reading OST's article on your blog. SERIOUS work, my friend, and I can't wait to dig through your archives and anticipate the new content as you continue!

  9. Thanks Tim. I'm glad you've enjoyed it. I have enjoyed lots of the content from your blog too!

  10. Low them plagues. Btw I added you to my blog roll as you requested. Keep them conversion coming. Feed your Imagination,


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