Sunday, May 12, 2013

Talent Not Required : Accessorizing Part 2

Hi everyone,

I have finally finished the second part of this article.  I am sorry I took so long to post this but the recent news from the blogosphere about Games Workshop closing down its Specialist Games support got my feathers all ruffled up.    I spent three days talking with my gaming group and summing up the situation.  I had to determine whether or not to continue playing and collecting Epic and Warmaster - two of my favourite games.  I will be writing up a post about this for next Wednesday.  In the meantime let's continue with the article.


Helmets are the easiest thing in the world to attach.  In fact, I am mentioning it here just for the benefit of those who are brand spanking new to the hobby.  Basically in order to attach a Space Marine helmet to the Space Marine body, all one has to do is remove the neck piece with a hobby knife.
To help with the fit, I like to scrap a bit of plastic of the leg with a sharp hobby knife.  In my humble opinion this leads to a more natural fit.

Placing the helmet to the side is one of the best ways to cover up the the space between the Space Marine's backpack and his rear side.  I mentioned this in the first part of the article. 

Putting it all Together

There is no fixed rule to accessorizing your model.  Some modelers and gamers follow their whims, others have a systematic approach, while others combine both methods.  I belong to the latter. 

Below is an arrangement I like to use quite often - and not just with Space Marines.  It is an arrangement I like to use with running poses.  As you can see, the sword and the helmet are placed in a way that complements the action of the model.  The drawback is that one cannot place a hand gun (such as a Bolt pistol) on the side.

Since I want a pistol on the side, I have opted for a different arrangement.  By placing the helmet on the other side and attaching the sword to the back, under the backpack, opens up a space for a Bolt pistol.  This is the arrangement I use for most of my specialists.

At this point it is a good idea to to attach the base of any furs on the loin area. This is a very simple simple procedure that I have already covered in another tutorial but which I will cover quickly here.

Mix some green stuff together.  For the base, use a ratio of 3 parts blue and 1 part yellow.  This will yield a tougher, harder base to work on.    Then roll out the putty using talcum powder to avoid it sticking to everything. 

Then, all you have to do is cut out the desired shape and attach it to the groin area of the model as in the pic above.  Cutting out the basic shape on a piece of paper first and using it as a negative to cut the putty around is also a good idea.  At this point set the model aside and let it dry.   Do not sculpt in fur at this stage.

One more point I would like to make is that there are several companies that produce ready made furs that are of excellent quality, and which I have bought and will use.  The problem with these pre-casted furs is that they are very inflexible and are not very suited for action poses; where you want your fur to have an organically flowing pose that reflects the motion of your model.  


If there is one thing I love doing is pouches.  Besides being easy to do, and full of character - they also fit well with the Viking/barbarian theme of the Space Wolves.  These accessories are also an excellent tool to fill in spaces on your model, as they can be of any size and shape.   For this tutorial I will be doing a round pouch.  To begin, make a small ball of putty from green stuff.  Mix 3 parts yellow to 1 part blue, and  press it into the area where you want the pouch to be. Work the putty into the desired shape - that is squarish, roundish to rectangular etc.  
You could leave it like this as in the picture above, but for this tutorial I will be going a step further and showing you how to add a metal lining.   The first thin to do is leave the putty to set about for 10 minutes while on the model.  Then press a seam into the putty with a hobby knife.
Now use a thin piece of string and calculate the length of the perimeter.  This will give you an idea of how much wire you will need to cut.  Be as accurate as possible in the length.  Trying to cut the wire to size while on the putty is a recipe for disaster.  I use a very fine wire that I buy from my local arts and crafts shop.  A spindle is inexpensive and lasts a lifetime.

Before placing the wire into place bend it around a paint brush handle to give it a circular form.  Then, with a pair of fine tweezers place the wire into the grove.  If, due to the fitting process, you misshape the putty somewhat, now is the time to gentle reset the shape.  For the more adventurous, you can take a smooth toothpick and shape up one or two folds.  Whatever you choose to do, now is the time to set it aside to cure.

When it has cured take an even smaller ball of putty and place it on top of the pouch - let it set for five minutes.  As I am sure you have guessed we are about to do the top flap.

With a flat or round sculpting tool, sculpt the flap into the desired shape and with a damp hobby knife trim any excess off.

With the hobby knife gently raise the edges of the flap to give it a more lively 3D appearance.  While you're at it, use the point of the knife to form the button slit.   As always be careful when using a hobby knife.  Make sure the point and edge are kept away from your fingers.


At this stage, you can finish the fur - just be careful not to accidental touch the flap.  I always do the actual fur last as this allows me to tie everything together.  As I have already done a tutorial on fur I will be brief.  Add balls of putty to the underling layer.  Use the 3 yellow to 1 blue mix for this, and allow the putty to set for 5 to 10 minutes.  Then with a needle, sculpt the fur detail into the putty using a short, wave like motion.  When you have added fur to the whole area; add folds with a damp hobby knife.  You can see the folds in the second pic below.  Set it aside to dry
At this point to the work is done.  When cured, all you need to do is add a button. In theory it is simple - place a minuscule ball of putty into position and gently tap it into place and shape. Unfortunately, this can be a bit trickier than it sounds. Just persist with a modicum of patience and you will do fine.  

Well that is a wrap.  I hope the article helps anyone out there who is beginning to collect Space Wolves and wants to try a few simple techniques to give your models some originality or theme.  If there are any questions please ask in the comments below.  I promise to get back to you - but sometimes it might take a while due to work and life obligations.

Farewell and good health,



  1. Sweet! I'm thinking something like that, plus a bolter holster, possibly squeezed in between the back and the backpack.

    Or a bolter holster where the sword is, with a sword or axe going down the back.

    Might be too cluttered... one way to find out I guess :)

    Thanks again for this guide. Awesome stuff! -skeletoro

  2. Lovely tutorial, you make each step sound so simple and easy yet from my own attempts with green stuff I know just how challenging it can be. You make it all look so good though, I'm mightily jealous.

    Your army is going to look fantastic with so much personality.

  3. Thanks for the great comments guys. They mean a lot.

  4. Nice post. I would give it two tentacles way up, but it features Space Marines.
    If this was a Xenos tutorial, it woulda got the two tentacles way up.
    As is- a tentacle and a half.

    That does look suspiciously like an Eldar Sword, though.

    1. Thanks! As for the sword, I don't know if it looks Eldar-ish, but it will certainly have Eldar blood on when painted up!! :)


  5. These were great tutorials. Thanks so much for doing them. I think I'm actually going to use some of your techniques to adjust the posing of some of my ork meks. Thanks again!



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