Tuesday, June 7, 2011

I Am Afraid of Green Stuff

Green Stuff. The stuff minis dreams are made of.
I've kept an untouched tube of G.S. in my freezer for two years. I keep finding excuses to not do something with it. "Green Stuff is too important to waste", I tell myself. "You better learn more before you try that!" My thinking has been a vicious circle and I know it. But the knowledge that Green Stuff could become rock hard, durable gaming goodness or an indestructible testament to my blobby sculpting has me skittish.
Thank heavens this week a project made its way to the old workbench that was so deeply in trouble that I finally realised there was nothing to loose. If nothing good comes out of this project, at least I will have had that critical first confrontation with the thing that is Green Stuff.
Years ago I ordered a resin 1/76 scale LVTP-5a and an LVTH-6 for my Vietnam project. Both models turned out to have quite a few bubbles and a lot of missing detail, especially around the driver's and commander's hatches. At the time I wasn't about to start a major repair project so I put them on 'The Pile' and forgot about them until this week.

Stowage from Elheim and Britannia (Grubby Tanks)
Green Stuff to the Rescue.
Looking at pictures of these 'Nam era 'Amtracs' I realised I might have a fortunate compromise on my hands.  If I made some G.S. sandbags, and placed them to cover-up the most glaring problems, these flawed but character rich models would finally get on the table. What a great opportunity!
The first step was to mix-up a little bit of Green Stuff epoxy putty. It's very sticky at first, so before starting to work with it, l let it sit while I got everything else organised over the next 10 or 15 minutes.
Meanwhile, the area of the model to be worked on was covered with Parafilm "M" so that the epoxy putty detail won't stick. This way, if I need to, I can start again without having to scrape anything off the model. Also, any detailing I make can be painted separately from the rest of the model.
You don't have to use Parafilm for this step. Plastic wrap will also work just fine.
The epoxy will want to stick to your tools, so you need to keep them moist. I have a little dish of water in the picture, but I ended up just (carefully!!!) moistening my knife & other metal tools between my lips. The Color Shapers will not stick to Green Stuff or other epoxy putties, so they are awesome tools for working this medium.

1/72 scale figure puts the picture in proportion

After the bags were in place I set the model aside to allow the putty to cure.
The two components, yellow and blue, that make up the famous green putty need to be well wrapped (I use a ziploc bag) and kept in the freezer. That will ensure they are in good shape until you need them next. While in the freezer they won't contaminate your food or make the ice cubes smell funny.
So, making sandbags is an ideal way to discover the ease of working with Green Stuff. I'm not afraid any more. I still don't have great skills, but a little practice & I'll be making wicked sandbags.

See the missing detail? Sandbags will hide all...
After a couple of hours, I carefully lifted the sandbags off of the model to be certain they weren't stuck.
Satisfied that the pieces fit snugly yet can be moved for painting, I put them back in place to let them finish curing completely. Only then will the Parafilm under the sandbags be pulled away.
Next, the model can be primed, painted & detailed with the sandbags and perhaps some stowage.
But lets see how it looks after priming; that will reveal all the bubble-holes in the resin.

There may be more work to do yet!

  Twice in this post I have linked to the venerable & excellent War Factory web page.
I love this site. Do visit Aidan's wonderful minis gaming resource!
.50cal from Elheim Miniatures & stowage from Britannia Miniatures (may be available at Grubby Tanks)
Peabody out.


  1. Good post. I too am hesitant to use Green Stuff, but after reading this post I will try it the next time I need to fix a resin kit.

  2. That is some funny shit man...good job bud.

  3. Well done. That's a really good tip regarding the Parafilm or PlasticWrap!