+ inload: Tutorial – building 'true-scale' Astartes part V +

+ This inload forms part of a tutorial, which begins here [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+] +

+ Part 5: Finishing +

+ Shoulder pads +

+ This is simply a combination of skills you've learned earlier in the tutorial, and still using the Grey Knight Terminator kit as the basis. +

I_ Cut the shoulder pad from the sprue and trim away any overhanging parts. If you're neat, you can save these in your bits box.

II_ Carefully clean up the sprue by tidying any trimmed parts and cleaning mouldlines.

III_ Add a small piece of greenstuff across the gap at the bottom, making a bridging section.

IV_ Secure this piece by drawing it up across the back. Ideally, leave this to cure overnight.

V_ Add blobs of greenstuff to either side. Keep these small and evenly-sized; this helps ensure you get an even coverage, and fill gaps to an even depth. One large blob is harder to control.

VI_ It's now simply a case of smoothing things out using the spoon-ended part of the tool, as you've learned earlier in this tutorial. As shown above, you can leave some elements (such as this scroll plate) visible. Aim for a smooth, domed appearance in order to get that iconic space marine look.

+ Completion +

+ Once you've made a second shoulder pad, this completes all the parts you need... You can now assemble your marine, adding whatever head, hands and backpack you desire. If you've followed the tutorial through complete, you will have something that looks a little like this: +

+ Shoulder pads: other options +

+ Building shoulder pads for 'true-scale' marines is awkward; there's no getting round that. I've tried a number of different ways, and while the above is perfectly serviceable (particularly if you just want to use only the Grey Knight Terminator kit), you can also try the following approaches if you prefer. +

The important thing, I feel, is the smooth dome. This is the iconic part of the Space Marine aesthetic, but if that's in place, there's a lot of room for difference otherwise – studs, rims, trim, decoration... +

A_ You can simply fill the scrollwork, leaving out the bridging piece. 

B_ Using the snap-fit Terminators, you can use the arm to help guide you in filling and smoothing the gaps to extend the pad down as shown.

C_ The very easiest method is to make a slightly shortened pad by trimming away the projecting part of any regular Terminator pad.

D_ You can use pure greenstuff to add trims, as shown in the leftmost column. Similarly, as shown in the central column you can use brass strips (available from lots of model shops or online railway retailers) to add rims and detail. This is a good, if more expensive, way to get evenly-spaced and sized trim. The third column shows some other decorative ideas, made by scoring lines acrossand working greenstuff down to them to create the impression of layers.

E_ The earliest method I tried was to use plasticard trimmed down to 2mm or 3mm strips, as shown here. This is a little more complicated, but gives nice clean lines. 

Bend the strips into hoops, then use polystyrene cement to attach one strip around the bottom of the pad, overlapping the lower edge by around 1mm (the overhanging part in the centre helps support it and will help you get it level). 

Hold this until the glue has dried and it is completely secure before trimming it to length. Next, glue the second strip, starting from the front, making sure it is flush with the top edge of the secured strip. Bend the pad round and trim to fit snugly against the top edge at the back of the pad.

Once this has dried, you can add tiny bits of plasticard behind the join to help secure things and make the bond stronger – just be careful to hold it securely, or the strips will start to come off as the glue re-softens the plastic.
You can see the join of the pads at the front here.

F_ I have also experimented with L-shaped pieces of plasticard, which works in much the same way, but you have no visible join at the front.

3D-printed pads from Customminis
G_ Finally, of course, you can go into purchasing pads. I paid to have some designed and 3D printed by Customminis on Shapeways, but this was a very expensive route, so not really ideal. (Great service, by the way – the designer's very helpful). 

Shoudler pads from Master-Crafted Miniatures
Most recently, I've found a great shop called Master-Crafted Miniatures who, in addition to some cool figure sculpts, produce shoulder pads compatible with GW Terminator arms. These are absolutely ideal, and priced very well – no hesitation at all in recommending them. If you place an order, say I sent you! :)


+ *Phew!* Well, that brings this tutorial to a close. Congratulations if you'd made it this far, and I hope the tutorial has proven useful to you. Please feel free to share it, adapt it and use it as you wish. Good luck in your modelling! 

[VAL-request=OPTIONAL] + If you find this tutorial useful, please consider using this Ko-fi exloadlink to support the creation of more free tutorials. + [+exload:GRATITUDESPOOL//+]


+ I'll be back to semi-regular posting now this tutorial's over. Check back for:
  • Word Bearer painting tutorial
  • Pics of Ultramarines
  • The Dwarfs of the Tallowlands
  • Sundry other bits!


Suber said...

Thank you! Absolutely great, both the sculpting tips and the links :)

Anonymous said...

This was amazing! Love the ideas, and even if I don't make true scale marines, this has given me a lot of great conversion plans. Two thumbs up from me!

Tenaebron said...

Great blog mate, seriously nice work on Guilliman. You've inspired me to try and convert a primarch myself and i was wondering if you used the terminator shoulders on him?