Monday, 20 April 2015

Dark Ages fun with Gripping Beast-greenstuff

OK so carrying over from the last post we have a 2nd hand army of Gripping Beast Saxons that I will restore and re brand, to what, I have yet to decide. The possibilities are plentiful, Anglo Saxon, Anglo Danes, Danish or Norwegian Vikings and so it goes. I'll be basing them for Impetus (with dual use for SAGA) so naturally I'll be looking through their army lists.

Now I say Gripping Beast although I'm not 100% certain, certainly some of the figures are and they all seem to be of the same type as far as height, heft and style are concerned so I think it is a reasonable call, if someone out there knows different please share. The figures are quite reasonably painted albeit in a dip or black was style which quite frankly, although serviceable, doesn't float my boat, so I'm up for a small amount of repainting and while I'm at it a select few can act as volunteers for some green stuff conversion.

Now in Impetus you can have units on what they call opportunity ie waiting for the right moment to launch an attack, either by melee or with missile fire. A marker is required to denote a unit is on opportunity and as with most gamers and rules I'm going use a miniature for my marker. There are a few figures in my hoard, which for the life of me, I am unable to determine their function or posing these are my volunteers for a bit of green stuff and opportunity markers.

Good little set of rules, get the basic rules for free plus plenty of army lists at their website and go to you-tube for some excellent training vids on how to play basic Impetus

As you can see the figure seem to be looking around as if he is expecting the number 26 to Űpförgrāb High street to be coming round the bend at any moment. Seems sensible to re skill them to be on the look out for something a little more war-gamey, like an opportunity, an opportunity to deal the enemy a stick it up 'em attack.

 The conversion  will consist of a cloak, a popular piece of clothing and quite reasonable to expect the soldiery of higher status to be wearing. First job is to take down the figure a little where I expect the cloak to sit. I've learnt from experience that placing the putty straight over the figure looks far too bulky and unrealistic so I Dremel a mil or two of material from where I think the putty will sit over the shoulders, it is much easier to add some more putty if needed than find you have  to file off a bit of metal later on to get the right look .

I should also point out that a small quantity of material was removed from the back of the shoulders this allows the putty to give appearance of fitting neatly between the body and the shield.  Otherwise viewed from the rear no further work is required. I checked there was sufficient gap at the base of the shield to place the green stuff, from there the cloak would expand out so no need to take any material off of the mail and tunic. 

I start by placing a small blob of putty on the left shoulder and working it around to the right shoulder, I then try to get a general idea of the shape of the cloak and how it will hang. I followed this with another small blob on the left arm and shaped the putty around the hand to make it appear as though he has hold of the material, from here I went back and worked in the folds and clasp on the front which took up the working time of the putty (never try to do too much at once even this small amount was pushing it for me). Once I was satisfied with the folds on the front I mixed up another small blob and fitted it around the base of the shield down to the bottom of the chain mail no folds this time. I now let the putty harden over night, this will act as underpinning for the next round working in the folds and final shape to the back of the cloak.

With the second figure I became a bit bolder and went for a bear skin over the cloak. Looking at figures where skins are used I realised I would need a reasonable layer of putty to get the right look, I grabbed my trusty Dremel and completely ground off about 3 mil of the shield, as luck would have it that seemed to work out pretty well.

So there we have it, a couple of chaps, a bit leader-ish (it's a word.... well it is now) with a nose for an opportunity and new cloaks to boot. I'll have a bit more conversion work next time and some notes on painting and shields.

thanks for looking


  1. Nice sculpting, Dave. The clasp for the fur cape particularly impressive!

  2. They certainly are GB figures Dave! And that's excellent sculpting too!

  3. Thanks for visiting Dean, the clasp looks a little better than it is. but I can see where I need to focus and that is what it is all about. Have a go find out what works and then have another.

    Cheers Ray, I could find some of the figures on GB's website but I wasn't sure about all of them. The quality varies quite a bit so I suspect some are older sculpts? I have noticed that the GB plastics, in general seem to be better sculpts, had any experience with them?

  4. Yeah the plastics are very crisp and easy to paint, but I nearly went into meltdown gluing the bloody things together!

  5. I wish I could green stuff like you!

  6. Thanks Bacon, truth is it isn't that difficult. Like painting it requires repetition and practice and every time you have a crack at green stuffing you will notice it becomes easier and looks a whole heap better.

  7. Got a box of the Thegns Ray, they are a whole lot better than some of the metal figures. There are a few that are in urgent need of retirement in my opinion.


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