Some tips and tricks to working with greenstuff

With some of my recent conversion work, a comment was made requesting a FTW collaborative post on greenstuff tips. What a great suggestion!

So without any further delay...
NOTE: Some of these are more practical than others, I just run the show,
I can't control all of these guys and their crazy hobby habits!

+ Well, obviously keeping your hands wet is necessary in order to keep the GS wet and malleable. Better than water, however, is using hand cream - this won't be soaked up by the GS and require constant application - wearing latex gloves can generate a similar effect. Never use the middle 5mm of the GS you buy, it'll already have started to fuse, and go hard in the packet. Use differing quantities of blue and yellow to make it dry quicker/slower and be less/more malleable. Experiment!

+ Easy Cadian Trechcoat (so I've read)
Roll a sausage as long as you want the coat to be. Use snippers to cut excess off the back of the cadian to prevent an abnormally large posterior,(the cadians have the bottoms of their uniform blouse sticking out a little and it will make the greenstuff stick out). Flatten out the sausage by rolling it out, and then cut the edges off so that they are square. Wrap this rectangle around the legs, tucking it in at the top, and leaving one edge overlapping the other.

+ The one fundamental I can pass on is that you MUST keep a little bit of water nearby. Keep your fingers and tools moist. Water also helps get rid of the fingerprints. But, fingers should not be the only tool in your repertoire.

+ Be patient and work with shapes. Let stuff dry before working more detail into it. Everything can be dissected into basic shapes and if you do that it will be easier to sculpt a wonderful piece (so long as you have the much needed patience!)

+ Lubricate your tools with Vaseline. You only need a tiny amount but it will make smoothing my easier...

+ Try grey stuff, it's cheaper and almost nearly as good depending on the brand.

+ Casting with greenstuff:
Greenstuff can be used to make castings. Usually one-sided castings like surface details work best, though 3D castings can be made with a bit more work.
Prepare enough greenstuff to cover the orignal pieice to a depth of about 1/16-1/8 inch, then prepare the original by coating with a release agent (I use PAM cooking spray). Then press the greenstuff onto the original.
Let this harden 24 hours, then remove the greenstuff negative from the original. Now you can make castings by pressing greenstuff into the mold. Remember to coat the mold with release agent prior to each casting.

Bear in mind that making castings of other peoples work is a violation of their IP!

+ Have artistic talent or hire someone with artistic talent to do it for you.

+ Sculpting a model can be done if you take it step by step. In this case, it's a Daemonhost.

+ Taught to me by Jason Hendricks, a sculptor of minis:
Take 2 small pieces of cardboard and cover them in smooth packing tape.
Put a blob of greenstuff between them and roll the pieces back and forth to create perfectly smooth greenstuff strings since it won't stick to packing tape.
Apply more or less pressure to create thin threads or thick sausages.
Useful for making cables on models or spent shell casings (bottom picture).

+ Store any un-mixed greenstuff in your freezer, it prolongs the life of the product when not in use and you can use lip balm (ChapStick) on your fingers and tools to keep greenstuff from sticking to them.

+ Measure twice, cut once - as a rule of thumb measure roughly how much green stuff you will need to do the job. Then cut off half of that ammount. It actually works accurately 90% of times! And if it isn't enough there's never a problem of making more. Here's how to make bandages, sashes and simple press molds.

+ I always mix too much GS and seeing as I'm planning a cityfight map, I've started making sandbags with every left over bit. Sausage it, flatten it, cut it into sandbag size chunks and press lt with a cloth for texture. finally score a line in the side. Voila - sandbag.

+ The plastic used to make milk jugs is 100% non-stick. Sculpt objects on the plastic, then slide the item off and attach to the model when cured. Works great for banners or other large projects.

+ I use greenstuff a lot. My tip is to mix it with other putties (I use miliput most of the time) to alter the behaviour. Using Miliput makes it less sticky and harder after it has dried.

+ I have found that using a thin layer of vaseline on your fingers lets you smooth down both large and small areas on models. It also helps keep you from getting fingerprints on the green stuff when working with it.

+ I use chapstick on my fingers and tools when working with greenstuff to keep it from sticking. Washing your model prior to painting will remove any residue. Greenstuff can be mixed with sculpey to prolong the drying time.

+ If your unsure of how something is going to look, try it off the figure first. Once you get something you like use it as a reference and depending on what it is use it to make a mold so you don't have to sculpt it next time!

+ When working with greenstuff, baby oil or other non-harmful lubricants are the most helpful things you can have.

+ Patience. Overworking projects was the downfall of many of my first greenstuff projects. Now I often break down projects into sections. Once I get one section to a point I am happy with I stop, set it down and wait till it hardens before I move on to the next section. This will prevent mauling the work you’ve already done with fingerprints, seting it down on the wrong area or pushing it around working on the next section. I normally keep painting projects to work on in between sections. I often compare it to playing video games. Wait to long to save and you can lose the work you put in.

+ I would have to say to build your base to work on and let it dry before messing with it. (this seems to be the hardest thing for anyone to do and where most mess ups come from) Patience is the key and building in layers is the best way to go. Here's my converted Repentia Mistress.

+ Here is a quick tutorial on making easy and fast greenstuff bedrolls to add to your trooper's kit that doesn't take long at all.

+ A few sheets of plasticard/sheet styrene coated with a fine layer of Vaseline make an excellent press for a blob of Green Stuff between them, if you have something hard to flatten them together against and you take pains to make sure that you're squashing the GS evenly flat. You can always carve squared-off sections of this flattened piece away for use as shoulder pad- or decorative armor trim - the set GS still remains somewhat flexible (depending on your mixing ratio) and can easily be set into position on your figures with CA glue.

+ If you're new to sculpting stick to very simple shapes, seems obvious, but it's true. Chaos models make good 'test runs' if you're just starting out, because it honestly doesn't matter how it turns out, as you just say 'It was meant to turn out that way'. Check out this psyker squad.

So there you have it, a handful of tips to get you started with greenstuff. It's just taking that first step honestly, the more you use it, the more comfortable you'll become with it and it'll open a whole new world of modeling to you.

My personal experience with the stuff has taught me this:

+Patience! Take your time and work in small chunks. Do NOT attempt to do larger or multiple sculpts in one sitting. Let one part cure before moving to the next.

+ Use plenty of water to keep your fingers and tools wet.

+ I use a 60/40 mix with a bit more blue. I've learned that I like the hardening properties better than the 50/50 mix. Cut out the middle where the two colors join and always cut less than you think you'll need.

Ron, From the WarpIf you've got any questions about something in this post, shoot me a comment and I'll be glad to answer. Make sure to share your hobby tips and thoughts in the comments below!


  1. Awesome compilation. Good work everybody!

  2. Yey! Jason Hendricks! He's awesome, has great tips for people. And is wonderful at teaching people how to work with scuplting/greenstuff and will geek for hours about 40k..


  3. It's nice to get tons of replies from members with all kinds of helpful info.
    That's the whole point of doing these. And it's always interesting to see similar tips get repeated over and over again. Some things are just that important.

  4. I just realised... my tip was anti-greenstuff, oh well!

  5. Wish i would have seen this before i started working with it this weekend. I might have been able to save myself some of the headaches. (for those interested i did get it done it just took alot longer than it should have.

    But one tip that i did not see that i have found to actaully be helpful is to use warm to hot water. Maybe that is an obvious one and i just didn't get the memo.

    Ron, thanks for putting this up here there were things that i would have never thought about doing if it weren't for this one.

    Everyone, thanks for the great tips.


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