Friday, November 4, 2011

Green Stuff Basics

So I have been getting some questions on forums about how to sculpt with GreenStuff  (henceforth GS).  So here goes my amateur tips and techniques.

Buy this size, and keep a dish of water handy when working

First don't buy the strips, buy the big tubes for around $13 for 100grams from the warstore.  The same weight of GS from GW would be $50.00 in strips and the strips do not store well.

Basic Tools
Tools most GW hobbyists are familiar with.

No matter what sculpting tools you use or make keep water handy to keep your fingertips and tools wet, to keep the GS from sticking to you as much.  I know some sculptors make their own tool ends for specific effects or their own preferences.  I am not that far along yet or more correctly I have not found the need create a tool tip.

Clay Shapers
Clay shapers size Zero 

If you want good looking sculpts, buy good tools like these.  GS rarely sticks to these and they are great for smoothing our fingerprints and blending/feathering GS edges.

Digital Scale
I bet most of you did not see that one coming.  Get a jewelers scale from eBay that can handle around 500g to 1000g.  You can weigh out the blue and yellow portions individually to be sure you are close to equal.  I have found that I am rarely able to use more than 1.5g in a single session before it starts to set up and get more difficult to use.  Remember that is about .750g of each color.  Some sculptors like to vary the amounts of each color or even add different putties like milliput or Brown Stuff.  this lets you make sure your ratios are right.  Like painting and trying to match a blended color, a scale can make it easier to match a special ratio keep a note book handy for these sort of things.

Now Get Sculpting
Here are some techniques and tricks I have picked up:

  • Use an armature or skeleton to build up you sculpture on, GS is flexible and will not support much weight without bending.  Use brass wire or plastic card, remember that if you are going to cast the model later in metal that you will want to use metal supports because of the heat and pressure many mold making processes generate (most resin techniques avoid this problem)
  • Sometimes you may be sculpting two parts that will join up to each other but need to remain apart, like a ball and socket joint. In the case of a ball & socket joint once the socket is formed and cured a good tip is to lightly apply petroleum jelly (vasaline) to the inside of the socket and the press a wad of GS into it to take the ball shape.  Petroleum Jelly will not stop GS from curing but it will keep the two pieces from sticking together.  Once cured clean up the goo with regular dish soap.
  • Press Mold, read this post to get a better insight on press molding.
  • Work in thin layers, build the model slowly.
  • On this torso I extended the backbone in around 3 sessions.  The first was to build a plastic card skeleton joining the ball back to the waist and then covering it with GS.  Once cured I blended the vertical strips of GS onto the torso.  Next after that had cured I packed a small amount of GS at the bottom of each U shaped valley and using a Clay Shaper made the cross members by working the excess up the groove until I reached the top of the torso.  It took days to complete and probably could not have been in one session.


  1. Great intro post. Clay shapers are my next purchase for sculpting. I am having a hard time getting soft transisions using metal tools. Check out this amazing blog on creating your own tools. He has a free downloadable book that is awesome: