Friday, 9 October 2015

Green Stuff

Well, a few weeks ago I mentioned that I was planning on doing some moulding in green stuff to finish off my box sets of Eisenkern Panzerjagers. This was due to the fact that the set comes with 4 sets of extra legs, extra arms and heads, all to add options. All that's missing from the pack are the extra bodies and backpacks. Previously, it hasn't been a problem, as I have added in vox casters and also some packs from a GW Scion box, in addition to adding in some spare Cadian bodies that I had lying around. However, I've run out of Cadian bodies and I don't really feel like robbing the bodies from the Cadian models as then I would have the opposite problem of on bodies for the Cadian legs. I have also modelled all of the vox casters and used up all my other cool packs, all one of them that I had. Therefore, I was a few packs down, not as many as I initially though, as I had a couple of spare packs. In the end I had to mould 4 bodies and 2 packs, and also I needed to mould up some extra mags for the HS lasguns.

The 4 moulded bodies

The 2 packs
 
So I forked out for some instant mould (aka, Blue Stuff, although mine was white) and a strip of Green Stuff. At first I was quite nervous about the process, but a few YouTube videos later and I was fairly confident that I could achieve something reasonable. So I gave it a go, modelling up one body and one pack. The moulding process was pretty simple, stick it in hot water and the wrap it round the piece being moulded. It took a few attempts to be quick enough to get the mould done to a standard I was happy with, as most of the time when trying to get one part moulded tights, another bit got pushed loose, but we got there in the end. One other issue I was worried about was getting the two half's of the mould square, but this seemed to be cured simple by the process of pressing the instant mould to the shape causing the instant mould to become irregular enough that when the top piece was applied it meant that the two went together nicely.

The green stuff was easy to work with, as long as you keep things wet! it was very evident when you were mixing it up and your fingers dried out and it gets very sticky. This is where the main issues arose though, the first cast of the body turned out to be far to thick as I put in too much green stuff and couldn't squeeze enough out to get a good mould, the same happened with the pack as well, but to a lesser degree. I changed the process for the next few, filling each half of the mould and then pressing together, this worked better, combined with using a G-clamp on the last few, meant that I the final few casts were pretty good, although they were still a little thicker than the originals. In addition, the moulds were not perfect, as in a few places there was some extra material, this was mainly on the packs, by the antenna part, but this was easily removed.

The extra thickness can be seen on the arm mounting points
 
You can also see the extra thickness on the packs

The detail on the original was well reproduced though and I think when painted on the table top it will be hard to identify the green stuff parts from the originals, so overall I am very happy with the results. I will be using the process again at some point to reproduce extras and possibly for a few other rare or random parts that are hard to get hold of, but I wound be trying to reproduce entire armies, its far to much work and there is a lot of flash and mould lines to clean afterwards.

Would I recommend the process, yes, I would, but like I say, only for a few little bits and extras. One thing that did surprise me was that all of the detail on the original models was reproduced, as they are very detailed models.

The details on the front of the chest plate. Although not quite as good as the original, but still very good.
 
Also the details of the vent on the side of the pack. The bolts/lugs on the bottom of the pack didn't come out as well, but their still there.
 
Also, I would like to note that I am in no way advocating illegally reproducing other peoples work as I respect the original sculptor and all the work that goes in to the modelling process. If I still lived in England I would have taken a quick trip down to the local bits shop (Graham's Wuerkshoppe) and picked up some more Cadian bodies, but living up north means that I don't have that option and the cost of bits on eBay is just silly. So this was a last resort, and I will be purchasing more boxes in the future, rather then just copy, as I would like to see more Eisenkern boxes in the future.