You'll find a little of everything here. Genres covered in this blog include (so far) prehistorics, fantasy, old west, swashbucklers, pulp, Blood Bowl, Ghostbusters, gladiators, nautical, science fiction and samurai in 6mm, 15mm, 28mm, 40mm, 42mm and 54mm sizes. You'll also find terrain, scenery, basing, gaming, modeling, tutorials, repaints, conversions, art and thoughts in general about the hobby.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Green stuff: Making a cape using a jig

So I purchase a couple clay pusher tools yesterday, and I wanted to give them a try on some green stuff. I haven't done any cloaks or capes yet, so I decided to have a go.
The going was rough; there weren't very many tutorials online (many were defunct, and most without pictures!) So I had to teach myself. One of the things I came up with (not saying I'm the first to do this), was to use Super Sculpey to make a jig of sorts- a cape jig! You can either take a block of Sculpey and sculpt a cape in it (See Step 1) or you can take an existing figure's cape and push it into the Sculpey forming a push mold. (Actually, I guess this jig is more of a push-mold...but jig is faster to type :)

Step 2: Get out some greenstuff and flatten it out into sort of a teardrop shape (or cape shape if you're able to do so- I'm not able to just yet.)

Step 3: If you, like me, are unable to hand-form a cape shape, use a knife to cut the shape out of your green stuff. Don't worry about fingerprints at this point.

Step 4: Place your cape on the jig. It's important to lubricate the jig a bit. I use olive oil. Don't add too much or your cape will slide around while you work on it, but don't place too little or the cape will stick. Fingerprints still? No worries, we'll get them out soon.

Step 5: Use a tool to press the cape into the grooves of the jig. Hooray, I get to use my new clayshaper! This step should start to smooth out any fingerprints you may have left.

Step 6: You're almost finished! Smooth out any fingerprints and add some curve to the folds of your cape. I haven't left a cape to dry ON the jig yet. You can try if you want. Otherwise, gently lift/peel the cape off your jig. After the cape is off the jig, you can gently manipulate it into a more billowing shape, or drop it as is straight onto your figure. I let mine dry a bit, then manipulate some more folds, ripples and billows into it. I also gut out a partial circle near the top to fit around the figure's neck. You may need to do small things like this on your own, but the main cape is done! Set it aside and let it dry!

This last picture is my third try at a cape using the jig, and my best effort. I didn't want a wimpy little cape hanging off this barbarian's neck, I wanted a flowing cape ripping through the wind, large like a battle flag whip-cracking its folds announcing the arrival of my barbarian!
It takes a little practice (and a lot of cussing) to get this kind of billowage, but the jig did most of the hard work for me. Go ahead and have a go!


  1. What brand/model of clay pushers do you like? I think it is time for me to get some.

  2. Well, these are my first-ever clay pushers. I 'm lucky enough to live in a university town (Iowa State), so I just went to the Bookstore and bought whatever brand they had.
    In this case, it was Royal Sovereign Ltd UK.
    I got a chisel point and a taper point, both in size zero, both in firm (they have white-tipped ones which are the soft.) I spent $4.50 for each, but usual price I've seen will run from $4 to $7 each.

    So, Royal Sovereign LTD UK (or is that UK LTD?).

  3. Oops- forgot to mention; The Royal Sovereigns I got are technically called "Colour Shapers," (as oppose to Clay Pushers) but it's basically the same tool.
    The reason I pulled the trigger on buying them is that I read somewhere that they do not adhere to the greenstuff, so you don't have to lube the Shapers with oil or vaseline before using.

  4. Hi, this was a great tuto. I used it to do a cape here:


  5. That's great, Christian! I'm also glad to see you are sculpting minis for the Mouse Guard. I actually haven't read the comic, but I've looked at and enjoyed the art.