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Artscale Librarian (Ezekial)

One of my favourite Games Workshop miniatures of all time is the Dark Angels Chief Librarian Ezekial. It’s just a really characterful model in an awesome pose and I want to make an artscale version to include in my Lamenters force. I’ll be keeping the original head and resculpting the rest of the model in the same pose and with most of the same details too.

I began by replicating the pattern on his force sword onto an old Grey Knight Nemesis Force Sword which I feel is suitably big enough for his scaled up version. I then made a push mold of the pattern in Blu-Stuff so that I could repeat it on the opposite side of the blade.

I could of course just cut the head off the original model but it made more sense to me to use the existing model as a sort of armature. First I used some heavy duty clippers to clip away the arms and any details, trying hard to make sure I didn’t damage the head in any way. I also cut what was left of this body in half at the waist and glued a plasticard spacer in between. I made a couple of replacement boots from greenstuff and glued them to a 30mm base, then pinned the mangled body of this model to those feet making sure that the height to the head was accurate (in this case 38mm is about right for an Artscale Space Marine).

Admittedly it looks total crap right at this point, but essentially other than the head and feet the whole model will be sculpted over it. It does however make a great correctly shaped skeleton/armature on which to sculpt over.

This was my first attempt at sculpting the robes and as you can see it’s pretty awful.  I figured whilst doing this that there was no way to effectively create the right shape (general mass) of the object and also achieve the high quality smooth finish I was after at the same time.

After it had cured I took a scalpel to it and cut it back ready for a new “skin” of surface detail, but leaving more of the required mass and shape in place.

I learned a valuable lesson doing this. When sculpting with Green Stuff it is best to separate sculpting the general mass and form of a figure from the sculpting of it’s surface detail, especially with stuff like robes and cloth.

I sculpted the surface layer in two parts, the side that lies underneath first (allowing it to cure). I made sure the mix was soft (extra yellow) and used my usual method of applying one big piece of GS, flattening and trimming away at it. I made sure to also take my time and work with very gentle strokes of the clayshapers. Note: the back of the model was tackled at a later stage rather than take on too much at once.

I then gradually started adding layer after layer of structure and finally surface detail. The pistol holster is from the Thunderfire cannon techmarine model, and is the perfect size for Artscale Space Marines.



Shoulder pads cast from a Blu-Stuff mold of an original sculpt.


Note: I didn’t sculpt the keys, but cast them from the original mini that I had to hack up.

The reinforced bracers are inspired by the Mark III models released by Forgeworld a few months back. I wanted to add something to the mini to mark it out as different from the orginal Ezekial and because the Lamenters are of Blood Angels descent I opted for blood drops much like the details on the Space Hulk Terminators. The little icon hanging from his belt is from an Inquisitor scale model that I’ve been saving for a long time.

I’ll leave the painting of this model for a separate post, as I’m really not sure what colour scheme to use. I do however have a name for him: Chief Librarian Castiel, Keeper of the Book of Tears. Thanks to Toyship on Warseer forums for that suggestion.

I may still switch the book on his back pack for a banner, perhaps I’ll scratchbuild one myself as I need one that will flow in a certain direction.



November 22, 2010

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  • Erich

    the final robe you put over the mass (basic shape) was that a sheet of greenstuff rolled flat then wrapped around or how did you do that?

    • Rather than a sheet it was just a soft mix of Green Stuff applied as a blob and carefully pushed and spread across the surface with a large soft clayshaper. Essentially very similar to applying as a ready rolled sheet but instead done on the miniature rather than separately.

      The left and right sides were done separately too, allowing each to fully cure to as not to risk any damage. There was also a lot of trimming with a lubricated scalpel along the edges. I always apply more green stuff than I need and cut away the excess, this makes it easier to create parts to the model without the need to fill gaps.

      Always best to have too much than not enough.

  • humbrade

    Are you still looking to paint this? Would love to see it finished. I like the look of the book, but then again I’ve never really been a great fan of banners on 40k models, just sort of seems too medieval for me. The only exception I know of being the Ork banners, but the way the make them seems to work for that race.

    When you sculpt something separately with the blue stuff, how do you attack it in the right spot? I always have a lot of trouble getting it to go the way I want it when gluing it down, the superglue always dries before I have a chance to position it so I have to rip it off, fix up the damage, sculpt another one and try again, though it usually still wont work…

    • Yeah, I’ll get around to painting it some day, when I get around to making some troops for him to command.

      The trouble you are having attaching stuff in the right spot comes from using superglue. It’s almost inevitable that it’ll not be in the right spot and then the glue sets so quick you can’t adjust it. You either want an alternative type of glue or the way I do it is to apply the Green Stuff (usually an icon) before it has fully cured.

      There’s lots of variables in this, but I usually find with a 2:1 yellow:blue ratio that 2 hours is about right. At this point the Green Stuff is firm enough to hold it’s shape while being transferred but soft enough to stick to the surface. It does replace practise and a gentle touch, but it very similar in approach to using transfers/decals.

      • humbrade

        Do you find that sometimes greenstuff doesn’t stick real well by it’s self? Some things I’ve put on have fallen off through a clumsy mistake. I am just worried that I’m going to start playing with them and at some stage someone will drop one and bits will go flying. Is there something I’m not doing right or is it just the way GS is?

        • I usually have no problem making it stick, the issue I usually have is that the cast might still be too soft and gets mis-shapen in the transferring process.

          It’s all down to timing the curing properly so it’s sticky enough and not too soft. It can be tricky but I find having a piece of left over Green Stuff from when you filled the Blu-Stuff mold put on one side can be very helpful. You can give it a poke every so often to check how cured the cast is without actually damaging the cast.

          The easier alternative is of course to let it cure but use a slower setting glue. I hear there are slow setting super glues available now, maybe that’d be worth a try.

          • humbrade

            Ok, thanks mate, I’ll have to give that a look. Almost finished my second Deathwatch marine, think I’ll do the next three all at the same time to try to save some time. First one with two power swords, and the second with power halberd and bolter. Not sure what I’ll give the next three but thinking of giving one of them a heavy bolter… And maybe one with a flamer… =D