+ Part 3: Torso I +
+ Preparing and cutting the torso to shape +
+ If you've worked through the earlier parts of this tutorial, you know all you need for this part, which is often the sticking point for true-scale marines. I've made torsos for my marines in a number of ways, but the inspiration for this one comes from an excellent Iron Hand, Legionary Azhuk, made by MonkeyBallistic of Those Whom the Gods Would Destroy [+noospheric inloadlink embedded+]. +
+ Because this approach uses a grey knight torso, it relies less on free-sculpting, and is thus a fantastic way of making these marines easier to make. It also means that we can make use of the sharp lines of the original sculpt, for a crisp finish. The final part of the choice of the Grey Knight Terminator torso as a basis for this tutorial is expense: if you've bought the box for this tutorial, I'd like to get most out of it we can. +
I_ Assemble the torso as normal using polystyrene cement. Use a knife to trim away the psychic hood, leaving the rim at the height as shown.
+ While not essential, I prefer to cut away the D-shaped detail on the back behind the hood's rim and scrape out the wires inside the remnants of the hood; just to further disguise the source of the parts. +
II_ Cut away any detail overhanging the edge of the chest plate. Follow the curve of the plate to guide you.
+ Try looking at the chest from underneath if the detail is obscuring the line of the chest plate. It's more obvious from this angle. +
III_ Carefully cut upwards from the bottom of the chest plate to remove the surface detail, as described in part I of this tutorial. As before, work gradually to ensure a relatively smooth finish. Follow the curve of the armour plate, and avoid cutting into the collar.
IV_ To check you have shaped the piece properly, look at it from underneath. Here, you can see that the curve is not even, and that a layer of what was decoration remains in place.
V_ Continue gradually shaving away layers until the chest plate is correctly shaped in a smooth curve or even depth. You should be able to see the collar, as shown.
VI_ Trim away the belt detail on the back with one smooth cut. If you are careful, you can slip the blade in flat against the bottom and cut upwards without touching the surrounding area.
+ Again, this is not essential, but removing parts that are distinctive of terminators helps to hide the source of your marine. +
VII_ Cut into the back of the torso, just to the side of the vent detail. Use the curve of the lower corner to help you get a straight line (see the following step for clarity). Press down carefully until the blade sits at the depth shown.
+ Hopefully it goes without saying that you should be careful, cut away from you where possible and use a sharp – ideally new – blade. +
VIII_ Remove the blade and cut back into the side as shown.
+ This shot should clarify where the cut in step VII was made, too – a straight vertical just to the side of the vent detail.+
IX_ This will cut away a square section from the back.
X_ Make a guide cut near the top of the shoulder joint at forty-five degrees, as shown. Make this cut shallower than the one in step VIII – approximately half the depth.
XI_ Cut in from the other side and trim away a triangular section.
XII_ Round off the corner; either with a file or simply by making a series of additional and increasingly smaller angled cuts.
XIII_ Repeat the process on the other side.
XIV_ Trim away the remaining vent detail, aiming to get the back section as evenly flat as you can. The backpack will sit here eventually.
+ For a smoother finish, use a needle file to refine the edges. +
+ This completes the carving and shaping of the torso +
+ Torso sculpting +
+ Phew, you can relax a bit. The carving's the hard bit of the torso. The rest is essentially an extension of the greenstuff techniques we looked at in part II of the tutorial. +
I_ Start by rolling a small ball of greenstuff, using the neck of your space marine head as a guide for size. Drop it into the recess in the torso.
+ If you are working straight through the tutorial from the start, the greenstuff you mixed up earlier will likely still be within its working time. If you are starting fresh from this point, mix up some more greenstuff and let it cure for fifteen or twenty minutes before beginning. +
II_ Use the spoon-ended part of the modelling tool to press the ball down and fill the entire neck area as shown.
III_ Fill any recessed surface detail on the front of the Grey Knight torso as described in steps XVIII and XIX of part 2.
IV_ Roll a smaller ball of greenstuff – approximately three-quarters of the size of the one used in step I – and place it towards the back of the inside torso as shown.
V_ Smooth the ball out with the same circling motions used earlier, to create the basis of the neck piece. It is important that this sits towards the back, against the collar, or your finished marine will look hunched forward, rather than throwing his chest out proudly.
+ Because you are working greenstuff on top of greenstuff, be very gentle. I suggest using greenstuff towards the end of its working time (see the notes at the start of part 2 of this tutorial for more on working time) as it will resist pressure better and not distort. +
VI_ Make another similarly-sized ball and place it on top of the first.
+ When working layers like this, a balance must be struck in the working time so that the underlying layers resist distortion, but not be so rigid you need to use lots of lubrication – or you risk the later layers simply falling off in future! If this does happen, simply use superglue to secure the piece. +
VII_ As before, smooth it out. This creates a simple internal collar.
+ This technique can be used in lots of places. It's good for ribbing or tubing; such as that used in space marine undersuits. +
VIII_ Before the greenstuff cures, use a spare marine helmet to create an impression in the neck area. Push it down gently until it sits where you want the final head to be.
IX_ Carefully remove the head to reveal a dip that will hold any standard marine head and give your true-scale marine more poseability when you are assembling him. If the greenstuff sticks or starts to come away with the neck, leave it to cure completely and simply remove the head later.
+ Greenstuff is not a glue, so you'll easily be able to pop the temporary head out of place once cured. +
+ At this point, the torso can be used as-is (once cured, of course), but if you wish to add more detail or make a specific mark of armour, then carry on. The instructions below are for Mark IV Maximus armour. In future, I aim to add instructions for different marks – let me know if there's a particular type you'd like to see. +
+ Mark IV torso armour layer 1 +
I_ Place a sausage of greenstuff across the upper part of the torso, running from shoulder joint to shoulder joint.
II_ Use your thumb or finger to secure it to the surface, being careful to keep it from spreading over the collar or onto the shoulder joints. Use the modelling tool to 'rein it in' or trim if necessary. Use this sticky surface to add a small ball – roughly half the size of that used in step I of the basic torso (above) – in the centre and press that down too.
+ It looks awful at this stage – but don't be disheartened. That's the joy of greenstuff. It's very malleable and will smooth out beautifully. Think of this stage as the messy basecoat when painting. +
III_ Use the now-familiar small circling motions of the spoon-ended part of the modelling tool to gradually smooth out the surface. Press gently to flatten the torso plate to a uniform thickness roughly the same as the collar. You will likely end up with excess putty – simply use the edge of the modelling tool to cut it away, then smooth back over with the spoon-ended part. +
IV_ Use the flat and edge of the spoon-ended part to create a symmetrical shape with curves that lead towards the abdomen. Continue to refine the sculpting until you have a smooth finish as shown.
+ This completes the basic Mark IV torso. I may well come back to refine this at a later date with the distinctive surface detail. +
+ Next up, in part IV of the tutorial, are the arms and assembly of the basic Astartes. Nearly there! +