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Components You Will Need

These components are everything you will need for a basic Imperial Terminator Space Marine. Artscale Chaos Terminators follow the same approach but will require extra attention in the end stages to add all that ornate detail to top of the plain model.

Unlike the Artscale Space Marine in Power Armour the required components here are much simpler. All that is needed is a complete plastic Terminator and 40mm base. The arms aren’t altered in anyway at all so something worth noting is that because of the amount of effort required in this conversion it may be a good idea to magnetize the arms to the torso in the end stage to give you multiple weapon options. If so you’ll either need to make extra sets of shoulder pads or magnetize those too. You can find an example of this here, but I haven’t included a guide to adding magnets in this tutorial.

You will also need some 1-2mm thick plasticard and optional accessories like Purity Seals. Accessories can be a good way of hiding the mistakes and less than perfect sculpting, just be careful not to over use them.

Tools Required

You will need the following materials and tools.

Greenstuff and Magic Sculp or another epoxy putty of your preference (details on Putty below).

Superglue

Scalpel (X-Acto knife or similar surgical style scaplel) – the GW knife, is one of the best I’ve used. The scalpel blade is great for sculpting as well as cutting and it’s handle is comfortable and a nice weight in the hand.

Replacement Scalpel Blades – cheap enough to get hold of, I bought a few hundred for next to nothing on ebay. Maintaining a sharp clean blade is essential, I usually swap my blades every few days.

Needle Files – optional but certainly useful. Come in flat, rounded and circular styles.

Pin Vice, drill bits and paperclips for pinning. This is optional in this build.

Clippers – optional.

Clay Shapers -soft rubber tipped tools in various shapes and sizes. These are not optional unless you are very proficient with modelling tools and putty, in which case why are you reading this?

 

Greenstuff

This is my personal preference for Green Stuff and what works best for me (I highly recommend this), if you favour another medium go with that.

Although I have used plain Green Stuff for a number of years I’ve recently found a preference for a 50/50 mix of Green Stuff and Magic Sculp (Note: Magic Sculp is very similar to Mulliput, which will work as an alternative). In this example I’ve used the flesh coloured Magic Sculp. I find it best to first mix the Green Stuff, and then mix the Magic Sculp before finally mixing the two together.

When fully mixed it will be a pleasing pale green colour.

When mixing your putty, make sure you have a clean work surface and clean hands, as any dust, plastic shavings, stray hairs, etc, will affect the quality of the putty. Ideally gloves would be recommended, but I personally never use them, and haven’t had any problems myself (I always wash hands thoroughly after mixing).

Before mixing the yellow and blue components of Green Stuff make sure to cut away the putty in the middle of the strip where the yellow and blue meet, otherwise you will get lumps in your mix. I myself used lumpy Greenstuff for years until someone told me I needed to remove the putty that had already slightly cured due to contact. It seems obvious now, but not at the time.

The advantage of adding Magic Sculp to Green Stuff is that it softens it but still lets it retain it own elastic qualities. The Magic Sculp also means that after curing if can be effectively filed, carved and scraped, whereas plain Green Stuff is less obliging to these techniques.

Note: from this point on I am actually talking about a Green Stuff & Magic Sculp mix whenever I refer to Green Stuff.

Sculpting

My approach to applying Green Stuff is quite a simple one. In most cases the sculpting is all about creating simple clean shapes. By doing the sculpting in multiple stages you can build up more complex designs by adding simple shapes onto one another one at a time.

After each stage of sculpting allow the Green Stuff to fully cure before moving on, otherwise you risk damaging your hard work.

My preferred technique is to apply more Green Stuff than I will need to an area, and then to begin shaping it starting with the larger clayshaper. The excess Green Stuff is then trimmed from the edges of the shape with a sharp scalpel.

Make sure to keep the tip of the clay shaper wet at all times, to reduce fiction on the Green Stuff and achieve a smooth finish. I find wetting it with saliva works best, but you MUST be careful that the tool is clean, you really don’t want any putty getting in your mouth as it is a toxic material. Water or vaseline are effective alternatives, just be careful not to overdo it.

Use the clayshapers in the same way you would a paintbrush, using the flat edge to achieve smooth clean finishes. Concentrate on getting the shape (thickness) of the putty right, moving the excess putty to the edges of the shape where you can trim it neatly. Once the basic shape is about right you can focus on trimming away excess putty and getting clean sharp edges with smaller clayshapers.

 

Starting Point

The plastic Terminator legs will effectively become an armature onto which a new pair of legs will be sculpted.

Using your scalpel, carefully remove the hip-plates from the legs. Try not to damage the hip-plates as you will be using them later. If you have to cut into the actual legs this is ok as any damage will be covered over later.

Next remove the feet completely. You will not need to keep them, they can be clipped off and discarded.

Using the scalpel carefully cut clean through the lower legs, and cut two small pieces of plasticard that will act as spacers to lengthen the legs.

Glue the legs back together with the spacers in place.

You can roughly fill the gaps with Green Stuff if you choose, or make the plasticard spacers wider than the leg and carve it back to the leg width, whatever works best for you.

Begin by filling in the back of the lower legs. Add a large ball of Green Stuff in the centre and using a large clayshaper spread it left to right around the curve of the plastic leg. A lubricated clayshaper is essential to getting a smooth finish.

Note how there is excess Green Stuff on the top bottom and sides of the shape we are making.

Now using a lubricated scalpel blade (otherwise the blade will drag against the putty), trim off the edges of the back of the leg, and clean up with a clayshaper.

Repeat on the other side. Usually best to allow one side to cure first otherwise you risk accidentally damaging the soft putty.

The thighs use the same approach but are more difficult because you have to work all the way around the leg. Start with a sausage of Green Stuff (it always starts with a ball or sausage of Green Stuff :D) and wrap it around the thigh.

Smooth out with a clayshaper and trim excess from top and bottom of the thigh. Don’t worry too much about getting the edges perfect as you’ll be sculpting over them later anyway.

The front of the lower leg is one solid armour plate and is the chunkiest part of the leg. Follow exactly the same approach as with the back of the lower leg, only you need to create a “lip” between the front and back.

If the plastic legs have knee pads you can decide now whether to sculpt over them (making a one piece greave) or leave them uncovered and add the knee pads later. Optionally, you can add knee pads later even if the plastic legs don’t have them.

The front of the groin needs to be covered with a thin layer of Green Stuff to pad it out. When that has cured add a thin sausage of Green Stuff around the waist to make the belt.

Flatten and trim.

The “bands” that reinforce the thighs are calves are one of the most tedious parts of the conversion. For each one roll out a thin sausage and press it on the model roughly where you want it.

Trim the ends off then smooth over  using a small clayshaper. The are 14 individual parts to these horizontal and vertical bands so it will take a little while to do.

Boots

The feet need to be entirely scratch built from Green Stuff. Find a piece of plasticard to sculpt onto and measure out two rectangles, each 8mm wide by 12mm deep. These are the confines into which to sculpt the feet. Begin by making two smooth featureless foot shapes, leaving 1mm around the outside edge. This will form the core of the boot.

Smooth a lump of Green Stuff over the back end of the foot, trimming away with a scalpel and smoothing it off with a clayshaper.

Once this has cured roll out a sausage to for the trim on the front of the boot.

Trim and clean up.

If you plan on making more than one Artscale Terminator now is a great time to mold the boots you’ve just made. I use Blu-Stuff but whatever works for you will be fine. The boots are a very simple shape so very straightforward to cast.

Once you have your legs and cast boots you first need to figure out where to place the boots on the base. When you know where to locate them glue them to the base.

Next add a ball of Green Stuff on top of each boot and press the legs on top of the boots. The Green Stuff allows you to attach the legs and position them how you want without glue or pins. Leave to cure.

Once this join is cured trim and neaten up with fresh Green Stuff.

Torso

The torso is bulked out on the sides and chest plate.

Start by putting together the two parts of the plastic torso and removing iconography.

Next mix some Green Stuff, and spread it across the side of the torso. As before, the excess Green Stuff is pushed to the edges…

…where it can be easily trimmed with a scalpel, following the existing shape of the torso…

… and then cleaned up with a lubricated clayshaper. The thickness should be just enough so that the plastic where the arm normally joins the body is near the surface.

Repeat on the other side and allow to cure before moving onto the chest plate. One large blob of Green Stuff spread across the chest, smoothed out with a large clayshaper.

Trim the excess from the edges and clean up.

If you wish you can cut away an arch in the bottom of the plate with a scalpel.

Shoulder Pads
The shoulder pads are pretty straightforward except for the need to hold them.

Start by cutting away the crux terminatus on the right shoulder pad. If doesn’t have to be perfect, just get rid of the mass.

So that you can hold on to the pad while applying Green Stuff glue a plasticard rod or tube (or something similar) to the inside of the pad. Once the pads have been sculpted over these improvised handles can be broken off.

Add a ball of Green Stuff onto the pad and spread it all the way over with a clayshaper. As usual the edges don’t matter.

When you have a smooth finish you can trim away the edges, following the outline of the edge of the plastic pad.

 

Finishing Touches

 Use the same approach that you used to attach the legs to the boots to attach the torso to the legs. This ball of Green Stuff won’t be visible, but is just used to add space between the torso and legs.

The final touches involve re-attaching the hip-plates, adding knee pads (if applicable), adding the tubing behind the knees, all very straightforward. After that it’s just a matter of gluing on the head and choice of arms.

Details like a chest aquilla and the crux terminatus can either be molded and cast from existing models (see examples here) or sculpted.

At this point you can if you wish add pins in through the underside of the base and into the lower legs to be extra sure the model is secure.

 

 

 

 

  • Emil

    How is the size next to an Art Scale marine?

  • TTWarGames

    How big whould you make Horus?
    I will try your tutorial for Typhus…

    • Hi, I would actually make Horus the same size, just with a lot more detail and probably a grandiose pose. I suppose you could argue that the Chaos Powers have made him super size, my preference would be to keep his scale consistent.

      A Typhus would look amazing, and having so much detail is really good if you struggle with plain smooth surfaces.

      Good luck with it.

  • Cirion

    Woa I tried it now. I have got the white MS (which seems finer than yours!) mixed with my GS…the problem is that it wont stickt to the surface very well. Each time I put some preassure to flatten it out…it moves on the respective part…have you got any idea what I am doing wrong? Is the putty to wet before I apply it to the surface? I use water for the clayshapers btw and I wetten it nearly every second time when it comes in contact with the putty. Something I also found is that my putty-mix seems like its melting when water touches it…it creates a milky water film a bit like clay (but the putties stay together…so they mix up verywell) Any Ideas?

    • Hi. First up I would suggest ditch the water. Because Magic Sculp is water soluable it just ends up making a big mess. Just keep the water handy to help clean off tools. The other alternative is a tiny amount of vaseline, but the trouble with that is it creates film over the putty which can cause problems if caught in folds or cracks as you’re pushing it around. I reserve the vaseline for when I have everything the shape I want and I just want to polish the finish a bit smoother (give it a little extra time to firm up).

      Really I haven’t found anything better or easier than a bit of saliva. It doesn’t dissolve the Magic Sculp as much, and dries quickly on the putty surface. Just make sure to clean the tools before sticking them in your mouth.

      If that’s a little gross for you, you could try an alcohol solution (surgical spirit); something that has less surface tension that water and evaporate easily. I can’t promise that’ll work, but I might give that a try myself now that I think of it.

      As for the stickiness issue, if you’re having trouble I’d suggest going for a 2:1 ratio of yellow:blue in your greenstuff to make it stickier and softer. It’ll take longer to cure that’s all.

      • Cirion

        Thanks for the response. I will give it a try! 😀
        Do you have a suggestion for me where I would best start from when I want a little more edgy design…say these FW Tartaros legs? I would think about creating the basic elongated kneecap from plasticard and glue it in place and then just go on as in your tutorial above? Do you think thats a good approach or have you another suggestion epsecially for someone that is not so used to sculpting metal/edgy designs?

        • Yeah, I think you’re spot on about plasticard and the kneecap. Only thing I would add is that you can always greenstuff over the plasticard afterwards, for example, to create that slight edge that runs down the middle.

          I’d also say that the Tartaros design is a lot easier than regular terminator armour, so would be a good starting point if you are fairly new to sculpting.

          Something that I don’t think is mentioned in the tutorial (I really need to apply some updates) is that if you use Magic Sculp/Milliput in you greenstuff mix you’ll be able to carve and sand it afterwards. So, you don’t have to get it as silky smooth when doing the sculpting, you can always come back to it to give it that final polish later.

          • Cirion

            Yeah about sanding I found that is the best about MS…its making a big mess tho and you have to use a mask…

            Well yesterday I retried and put a huge blob of the mixed putties on the leg and smoothed it out like a wedge…this turned out pretty good. Only thing I watched with the mixed putties is that, when you want to add some more I is nearly refusing to blend in with the rest…it was like a secont layer constantly moving on top of the slightly wettened puttie below…that was strange :
            I got the white MS which is really fine….maybe its to fine and I should get me another one. but yeah its on its way. This evening I will start to carve it and dremel it and start with a kneecap. Youre tutorials where really helpful and they are actually the only tuts on the web that have this kind of detail. So thanks for your work. I will put a picture up once I have something prensetable 😉

          • Fox

            I don’t know if it will help much but I find if I make sure the putty is dry when I apply it to the plastic it’ll stick perfectly. I often roll it in my fingers a bit to get it ready before applying. The same could be done when applying a second layer. I only wet the putty when it’s ready to be shaped.

          • Cirion

            Yeah its really strange behaving when mixed up 😀
            Where GS is sticky as hell no matter how wet anything is, MS is just like dough or clay. I tried around with it yesterday and found out the same you said. So its sticky when I put it on and even spread it out with the slightest use of water to make sure the most part of it was attached to the surface as dry as possible…that did the trick. sadly tho GS on its own is easy to peal of a plastic surface for the use of replication…the mixed putties are really attached to the base once dry. I heard about brownstuff…how is this behaving in terms of stickiness and shapability compared to puttymix?