I've been asked by a couple of people in my WIP Death Guard thread to show how I'm doing stuff; I'm very flattered by this - as I have been by the very positive reactions from people in that thread to my first miniatures - and will try to oblige. Please remember that I'm a mere noob and to more than a few of you the following may be very rudimentary (it still feels very presumptuous of me to think that I could show anybody how to do anything)...but I've been asked, so here goes
-----Doktor von Svartmetall's Not Very Nice Nurgle Clinic-----
Probably the most dominant feature of the Death Guard I've done so far has been the bloated, tumorous-looking patches of green stuff work. I wanted to avoid the standard-issue boils'n'pustules Nurgle approach and go for a slightly more distinctive look which was very much inspired by the deformities of Gothmog, the Orc general in Return Of The King.
One thing that was very important to me was trying to make the green stuff work as contiguous as possible with the rest of the model, so when painted up it all appeared to be one unified whole rather than a fairly normal model with a here is the green stuff bit section obviously bolted on.
Here's a standard Plague Marine model out of the box, with a rather fetching GS loincloth where I'm going to add this particular bit of GS work:
I start off by making the overall patch of GS flow more in line with the model, teasing it along the lines of limbs with a coctail stick and sometimes using my thumb to firm it down onto the model's surface (fingerprints don't matter at this stage since it's all getting resurfaced anyway).
As I work the GS in, I can start to get a feel of how to detail it and begin to add more depth and texture to the surface. This is pretty much an intuition thing, I just go with the flow really at this stage (yes, I know that sounds a bit vague for something that purports to be a tutorial. Sue me ). One thing that seems to work pretty well is to make lines of indentations that follow the main curves and lines of the GS, these sort of squish together as you go along and look like distended tissue. Pushing whatever tool you're using a little each time with or against the direction in which you're working the line of indentations can add extra texture to this - experiment a little, it's (again) very much a feel thing.
Here are the tools I used on this particular bit of GS to get the final surface texturing - a scalpel, a coctail stick and my trusty Spiky Bits sprue spike, which has been believe it or not my main sculpting tool to date . Use whatever works to get the result you want; the end really does justify the means when it comes to this kind of thing. Scrape it, prod it, poke it, whatever it takes to get the texture you're after.
Et voila! Given the way that GS changes consistency as it gradually sets and hardens, I'll often go back about an hour later and see if any bits need touching up or if the more subtle curves that are easier to do when GS is harder need to be worked on. You can also see in this shot what I mean about working with the model, in the way I've tried to get the texturing of the GS section to match, flow and work with the detailing that was already on the model.
Another feature I've been working on is burying a piece of cabling - I use guitar string, what with being a guitarist and everything - into a model to add some real depth and relief to it. Here's an out-of-the-box Plague Marine:
Using a triangular file, I work a 4-5mm deep groove into its head:
Now I cut a piece of guitar string, in this case a .032 gauge A string, to the appropriate length and glue it into the groove in the model's head:
And now we're gonna green stuff like it's 1999!
Sorry. Couldn't resist it.
Use GS to build up and around the embedded piece of string, trying to follow as much as possible the original contour of the model's head so it seems like a hole into the model rather than an added-on feature:
And there you have it; rather cunning, I thought . Once painted up, this should look like a gaping wound in the model's head with cybernetic tubing visible inside. Eeewww.
I hope this helped...er...someone .