It’s been some time since Urbik described how to make candles for your miniatures. Still, after all this time the tutorial may still be interesting for many hobbyists, so we’re making it available again. Urbik wrote:Hello!
I thought that since I already registered here and have been browsing the forum for a few days, it would be nice to write something too. And because I have a lot of time, I decided to describe my own way of creating candles in scale of Warhammer Fantasy Battles miniatures, like the ones I presented during Polish edition of Golden Demon.
Note: If anybody had a similar idea and published it before me in the internet/paper/radio/poster/leaflet/TV/another medium, I would like to explain that this idea is my own and hasn’t been stolen from anyone. In case of any similarities, I am not responsible.
OK, so you want to know how to make candles? Let’s get started!
At the very beginning we have to decide about the size of our candles. After a few attempts I found that their standard height would range from 3 to 6 mm.
We divide the wire (or “something” else) into pieces of our chosen length. These bits will become the main (wax) parts of our candles. I used a chopped spear of an Empire soldier, something that I have a lot of, so I could use it with no regrets.
We make a small greenstuff ball (proportional to the size of our candle) and press it to a chosen part of our model. We put a piece of wire into it and wait for the greenstuff to harden. Whe wire is to become our candle.
It looks more or less like this:
Now it’s time for the most important part in the whole process of candle creation. Sounded very serious, didn’t it?
Because burning is the most important job of a candle, we should create a few drips of wax – just like we tend to see on real candles.
We’re going to use PVA glue for this purpose. We thin the glue down a bit with water (don’t overdo it!) so it has convenient thickness for us to work with. Then we use a toothpick (or some other little thing) to apply some glue onto the candle body, creating “spots” in several places of our choice. When the first application of glue is dry, we can add some more in the same places. Usually it’s enough, but if we want even more prominent drippings, we can add even more layers.
Now it’s time for proverbial icing on the cake. What would a candle be without a wick?
We make a wick from thread (which can be hardened with some superglue) or thin string. Then we glue it to the top of our candle with strong glue.
Painting! As we should know from our experience, candles can have very diverse colors. And I don’t really mean cheap candles in bad taste that you can buy at fairs, but different colors that can be spotted in various lighting conditions.
I tend to use two ways of painting my candles:
This time I decided to use the first method, which is the best imitation of wax in my opinion. I recommend using naturally smooth transition of colors, without rapid changes or radical contrasts. The results may look like this:
That’s it. As you can see the technique I use to create candles for my miniatures is not that complex and one doesn’t need to prepare more greenstuff and then remove excess with scalpels. How precise your approach is going to be depends only on you.
Such candles look great on religious-themed models – like flagellants, war priests or inquisitors.
It’s a pretty original method of making the model look more unique and interesting, and many Games Workshop models don’t include candles at all. Well, there are some exceptions, but they only prove the general rule
I hope you find this tutorial useful and now you know how to make candles for your miniatures.
Regards, – Urbik