How to make candles – tutorial

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:


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!

What we need

  • wire or a piece of “something” of 1-1.5 mm diameter
  • thin string or thread (much thinner than the wire above)powyżej)
  • PVA glue
  • greenstuff

Step 1

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. 😉

Step 2

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:


Step 3

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.


Step 4

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.


Step 5

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:

Method 1:

  • basecoat of Rotting Flesh (maybe slightly darkened with a little black or Catachan Green)
  • highlight up to white

Method 2:

  • basecoat of Bleached Bone (also darkened – for example with light brown)
  • highlight up to white or to Bleached Bone (if the basecoat was darker than that)

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.

how-to-make-candles-tutorial-5 how-to-make-candles-tutorial-6

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.

— Urbik

Build me a tree! – Tutorial

This time: Build me a… tree worthy of Lorien! That’s right we’re going to help mother nature make a treetop house ELVENSTYLE! So if you are interested in a How To Build A Tree tutorial – read on:


    We’re going to need:

  • a piece of a branch…a piece of wood that generally resembles a tree.
  • a plate of plastic or hard cardboard as a base
  • a lot “wavy cardboard” (You know, most boxes are made of it)
  • lots of sand
  • lots of PVC glue.
  • at least 1 pack of green stuff
  • water effect
  • something that will look like clumps of leaves. I used special modelmaker’s dyed moss.
  • some plasticard for the actual platforms for the tree house and the pavement.
  • Some static grass, stones, few pieces of natural branches of trees.
  • Super glue
  • some wire/small iron rods

Tree trunk

So starting the fun of Godlike nature construction. We have to have a tree trunk: make a general idea how the tree house is to look like. I decided on a fixed size of the base and I wanted to add a pond to my tree house. So first you make the base. Use strong cardboard and glue a plate of plasticard to it with super glue. The base MUST be strong as we are about to connect the main trunk.

You have it already? Nice! So let’s get down to the actual tree. If you found yourself a satisfactory piece of wood in the forest and planned the general way the diorama is to look like, cut the branch so that it is more or less flat on one end. Place it on the base and make a hole underneath. Than simply nail the branch through the base so that they stick together. I’ve put like 7 nails and poured some superglue around to make sure it’s not going to come apart.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Surrounding terrain

Now we have a stable base lets start building the terrain. I decided to go easy and started to glue flat pieces of the wavy cardboard. Shaping them as I went so that they would make up the general form of the terrain.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

As I went higher and higher I added plates of plasticard so that I could have a cobblestone path and a sort of a by-the-pond boulevard. As mentioned I also started making the banks of the pond. I placed the “stones” on the path using superglue to keep them connected to the cardboard.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Once the general shape of the ground level is done, we start the messy part. This involves a lot of sand so make sure you have some kind of a box. To make the terrain look real we will glue the sand to the wavy cardboard with PVC glue. Pour the glue on a side of “ground” parts and simply throw some sand over the glue. It will stick to the glue and after 2-3 layers you should see a nice round hill.

Make sure that it doesn’t stick to the parts that should be sand-free like things that should be a stoned path.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Branches and roots

Notice that the photographs show some other things which we’ve been doing while the PVC was drying. For one you can see more “branches”. This is done so that the actual tree would look like an actual creation of nature’s product of boredom so we’d expect there would be roots and more branches. We connect those by drilling some holes in the main trunk and in the new branches’ bases. We simply glue the previously prepared pieces of natural shaped branches to our tree. you have to drill both the trunk and the new branch and put an iron rod inside to keep the connection strong and stable! you may use some extra green stuff while gluing them together so it will look smoother.

Remember not to glue the new branches before you finish with the staircase and platforms. Just drill and try the new branches so that the general look of the tree will be satisfactory, than go with the construction of the stairs. It will be much easier this way and after you’re done with the stairs and platforms glue the extra branches to the trunk.

Stairs and platforms

Also you may notice the new side bars added to the pond. This is plasticard that will be black and will be the borders of the pond that are not part of the diorama and are considered open waters. Also we started building the platforms and the road itself. The idea is that the paved path will go around the diorama and eventually change into a stairwell of the tree house.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Now you might notice the stairs are going up the trunk. This is done by making small pieces of plasticard. Cut a few strips of plasticard so that they will be of similar width and that you can cut the stairs-steps one at a time and that all will be roughly the same shape. Than make small, but deep cuts in the trunk and glue the steps in. Try to go up the trunk so that this will look somewhat coherent … you can see the cuts on the photo…I used a small modelmakers’ saw to do this. As we go up you might want to start thinking about the platforms themselves. you can see my first platform on the photo below.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Cut any shape you want and attach the platform in the same manner you did with the stair-steps. However, in this case there might be a fairly obvious need to use additional support like a branch and some adapters below the platform level.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Try not to glue the platforms to the trunk and keep them as separate elements. This will make it easier to build them and to construct the whole diorama. The last thing I did in this part was to glue the platforms in after all the painting and gluing of everything else.


This will help the platforms to be stable and will look better. Once you built the stairs and the platforms you might want to add extra edges to the stairs. This rim will add to the overall construction look and will make you believe it’s made by true craftsman and not an overanxious woodcutter who never got to work for IKEA. The photo also shows some important parts on the platforms. A banister, balustrade or a rail around the platforms will add reality to your creation and will look more natural for a high construction structure. I made this using the iron wire and some plasticard. The best way to do this is to simply shape the wire like the area you want to have a banister around. Than make the plasticard pylons and simply make a hole in each and slip them along the wire. Make a small cut in the platform and glue the whole thing together.


Now that we’re done with the platforms the hard part is over. Take the platforms out and glue the previously prepared branches to the trunk. If you want even more branches simply drill some extra holes, put an iron rod in them and form a branch from green stuff. Don’t worry about the actual shape because we’re going to cover them with leaves later on.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial


Already done with the branches and platforms, are you? Ok… let’s get down to painting. I took the basic black spray available in any construction market/DIY supermarket. Be generous with the spray as the sand will need at least a few layers. Now I went to paint the platforms and stairs. First I painted them with Citadel‘s Bleached Bone , than gave it 2 layers of Citadel‘s Thraka Green wash. In the end I want for two layers of 75%/25% Skull White and Vallejo glaze medium. This last part was airbrushed.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

The same treatment was given to all platforms, but the moveable ones were done separately.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Now with the wood itself:

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

First I gave all the tree parts a drybrush with Citadel‘s Scorched Earth, than a drybrush of Citadel‘s Graveyard Earth and a drybrush of Citadel‘s Bleached Bone. Than a watered down layer of Citadel‘s Devlan Mud wash, a similar one of Citadel‘s Thraka Green wash and again Devlan Mud wash. If you want you can give it a final wash of Thraka Green again and/or light drybrush of Bleached Bone again.

The ground itself was painted with 3 layers of drybrush (Scorched Brown, Bestial Brown, Bleached Bone). The area which was supposed to be underwater parts was given a wash of Thraka Green to give it a muddy/foresty kind of look once the water effect will be applied.

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

Leaves and final touches

Done? Ok… time to make our tree a proper summer/fall tree: I used special modelmaker’s moss to mimic the leaves on the branches. This can be bought in most proper model shops. I simply used strong PVC glue to glue those to the branches in large mixed clumps and than added some super glue into the insides of those clumps to make the connections stronger.

Now the only thing left is the grass on the ground and the water effect. Some PVC glues are better for watter effect than the actual Citadel‘s water effect itself. Pour this into the prepared ‘pond’ and voila!

Photo: Build me a tree - tutorial

See us in Lorien!

You can invite the Ringbearer and his friends once Ian McKellen has ‘fallen into darkness’ in Moria.

— Rzymek

Instant Mold review and tutorial

Here is a little tutorial/review for the Instant Mold product that has been released by Cool Mini or Not (called CMON later in this article) some time ago.

Instant Mold review

The product should be available on their website in the Shop section. I’m not going to repeat what this product is aimed for since it’s clearly said in the description.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Instant Mold is cleary a nice product. You can do a lot of things, not everything but still lots. The level of details you can get is just breathtaking (of course it also depends on the original item). With a little training, you can do things like bases, weapons, and some other accessories, reaching a nice level of quality.

Warning: If you’re expecting to have in putty/green stuff/miliput or even resin the exact same quality as the original product, you would be disappointed and you don’t need to read what’s following. Though, if you can live with something that is of a nice quality but not perfect, then, you’re good to go.

CMON said on their website: “Make your own bits” and that is exactly what I needed.

For the record, I started a Salamander army for Warhammer 40K, but even though Games Workshop and Forge World released a few things for this army, they unfortunately forgot (or didn’t want) to add the Salamander’s Insignia in the drop pod kit, so I decided, thanks to the Instant Mold, to make one.

I’m not going to repeat how to use the Instant Mold, it has been seen on CMON website and you’ll find hundreds of tutorials on the web, though it’s always nice to have some little tips which I’ll try to give here.

Here is what I used

  • The item you want to mold (here it’s a FW front door for a Rhino)
  • Instant Mold
  • Something to cut with (scalpel, cutter)
  • Something to pick up the Instant Mold from the hot water
  • A little piece of plastic card
  • Something to make a container/framework for the mold and something to press the item in it (here some Legos, the number is depending on the size of the item you want to mold)
  • Some stuff (here it’s Green Stuff but you can also use Milliput, Putty…)

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

The box

The first thing you want to make is to make the box that’ll be used as container. I tried doing it without and I ended lots of time having parts that weren’t molded properly or bubbles which wasn’t nice. I noticed that with the container everything was molded nicely.

The flat pieces in the bottom are there so that you can press heavily the item in the mold without ruining it with the circles of the Legos

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now that we have everything ready, we can start working with the Instant Mold.

Heating it up

After having put it in hot water (I have a boiling machine like the CMON guy and I put it in a bowl and then through the Instant Mold inside it) and have it ready, I place it in my container. I’m doing this in multiple times to be sure that I don’t have holes in the mold, or stuff that will make the final result crap.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Once you have fill the whole space with the Instant Mold, as you’ll notice, now, there are finger prints and bumps/holes all over the Instant Mold, so to avoid having a bad mold, I put it back like this in the hot water, taking care of not pressing it or whatever to soften it again a little so that I’ll be able to remove the fingerprints and bumps/holes using the plastic card

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Push it!

As you can see, it’s not perfect, but it’s better. If you’re fast, you can directly press your item into the mold (I personally put it back in the hot water one more time, but it’s me) using something to press.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Once you’ve pressed it, you should have something like this:

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now you wait a little so that the mold hardened itself. Don’t try to remove the item from the Instant Mold while the Instant Mold is still soft, you might break some details here (and it’s not what you want). It takes usually 4-5 minutes to be completely hard, so be patient. You can check, while Instant Mold is hardening, if you don’t have bubbles or anything by flipping it.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

If there are bubbles or anything, you should see it clearly. When everything is hard, you can remove the item from the mold.

Cleaning up

Now the next step isn’t necessary, but I found it easier. Cut the part that aren’t necessary

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial


Once everything is clean, just prepare and put your putty/green stuff/miliput inside the mold.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Now, you just have to wait for it to harden. I personally wait like 8 hours. Why? Simply because I just want to be sure that everything is completely hard, because there are multiples micro details that are so easy left inside the mold.


Once everything is hard, you can easily unmold it by peeling off the stuff you used from the IM, no need to put the mold in hot water again (especially if you want to re-use it for the same item) because, even when green stuff is still pretty sticky, it won’t stick to the IM. Now you can just see the result.

Photo: Instant Mold Review and Tutorial

Do you think Instant Mold is the answer to your needs? Is the quality sufficient? Did you have any problems wih it? Why don’t you share your comments about Instant Mold here?


— Hellspawn

How to sculpt crab legs and pincers

Another little tutorial for my Tyranids, this time we will concentrate on How to sculpt crab legs and pincers that can be very valuable for different projects, from crustaceans to insect segmented legs or just a nasty chaos mutation.

Step 1: Things I need

  • Modeling putty (green stuff)
  • Water
  • Hobby knife (cutter)
  • Pin vice
  • Clay shaper brush
  • Sculpting tool
  • Paper clips
  • Toothpick
  • Flat surface

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Step 2: Structure

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

For starting with a strong internal structure I opened a paper clip and bended it to the desired shape.

Mixed a bit of green stuff and apply it directly on to the wire, with no precautions concerning smooth or clean green stuff surface, since it is just a skeleton sketch of the final crab leg.

Step 3: Smooth shapes

After green stuff is cured its time to start building the final shape, so I mix a bit of the paste and apply it to the structure. It’s better to work on one side of the structure and let it dry before going for the other half, so we start with the left side of the crab leg.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Use the clay shaper brush dipped in water and start smoothing the edges of the green stuff, take your time here and use always lots of water.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

So, when left side is sculpted and smoothed let it dry and only then, go for the right side of the crab leg. You can sculpt the shape you wish just avoid it to be to uniform since it’s a crab leg irregular shapes work best. You should now have something like this.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Step 4: Spikes and final contour

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

And the fun begins, while the stress of waiting for curing times is growing on you we can use one of those endless curing breaks to sculpt some little spikes for our crab legs, do some random sizes and shapes. And for those that say crabs don’t have spikes on legs I say: Who cares it looks great. 😉

I hope everyone knows how to sculpt spikes but for the more hesitant sculptors here is how I do them. Do one little ball of green stuff and put it on a flat surface, then dip fingers on water and start pressing green stuff against surface with vertical movements, just let it dry. Piece of cake.

Now, with all stuff cured, choose one cool spike and mix a ball of green stuff, to use its sticky properties, for “gluing” the spike to the leg.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

For better blending the spike to the crab leg lay a layer of green stuff over the junction

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Its time for the final claw spike and this time we will use the paper clip extremity for a stronger merge. First with a cutter do a cut on another spike and then use a pin vice to do a small hole in it. Mix a bit of green stuff and squeeze the spike against it passing the hole on to the paper clip. This should make a stronger bond, but before you finish you need to smooth the paste with clay shaper dipped in water.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Step 5: Texture

With all shapes finished its time for texturing those legs. I started by putting some spikes on the legs, since you already sculpted several spikes just cut them to the desired size and use green stuff for gluing them to the leg. In this process I use mainly sculpting tool and toothpick dipped in water to sculpt the junction of spike to leg. You could also use pins but since the spikes are small there’s no need for that.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Finally I will try to do those micro organisms and corals that usually we see on crustaceans. Simply cut several random sized small balls of green stuff and again with the help of a toothpick and sculpting tool stick them randomly on the crab leg, also try to shape the balls on the leg with interesting forms.

Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial


Photo: How to sculpt crab legs and pincers - Tutorial

Well that’s it, you now can sculpt crab legs for your projects, if you noticed you can do different shapes on legs or even more segmented ones, funny thing I noticed is that the smaller legs look like scorpions tails’ hope you enjoyed it.

— Pedro Navarro

How to make a biovore

Our former member, Zolwik, posted this step-by-step tutorial showing how to make a biovore in a pretty different way. I think his idea is pretty interesting for somebody who want to have a special and non-typical hivefleet :)

This is a tutorial how to make some interesting non-standard Tyranids from bits that you can find in plastic Tyranid kits and some greenstuff. Conversions are very easy and fast to do, as they are generally thought to be useful mostly for players, who want nice looking army in short time.
I’m not good at writing so I’ve taken a few photos at every stage.

This time it will be how to make a biovore.

What we need

    Parts needed for a plastic biovore:

  • warrior body
  • set of warrior scything talons
  • set of hormagaunt scything talons
  • one ripper
  • left arm from warrior barbed strangler
  • chitinous armour plate from gaunt weapon sprue
  • green stuff

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Carving and glueing

The first thing to do is preparing the warrior’s body. Cut off the shoulder armour plates to make some space for front legs.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Remember to round the edges with knife.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Cut off the rear part of the neck to achieve a flat surface- this will be the place for the ripper’s head.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Cut the ripper in half and match the head to the body.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Remove the plastic triangle that is standing out in lower part of warrior’s body and glue there chitinous armour plate from a gaunt

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Take the barbed strangler arm and cut off the bag with spore mines.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Prepare the chest by flattening it with a knife and place the spore mines bag there.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Now it’s time for the legs. Take a scything talon and cut it apart as in the picture. Make the end of it round and make sure that it fits the holes in the main body.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Standard scything talons aren’t identical so you have to adjust angles or legs won’t fit on standard biovore base.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

If you have done all the previous things you should now glue legs into place. The best method to do it, is gluing all legs at once. You should find a good pose and look out not to place them very wide because they wouldn’t fit onto base.

Green stuff time!

The next step is to hide the leg-body connections. The fastest way to do it is placing there some greenstuff. Make a small roller and place it directly on the connection. Then push some small channels with a sharp knife. This will give you a nice looking pattern.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Fill in any gaps near the bag with green stuff. To achieve smooth surface stroke it with wet finger several times.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

The final stage is making his rear part 😉 Load lots of green stuff into the hole and push the pattern similar to that from legs.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

Make the central channel a bit wider than the rest by pushing it with bigger knife or sculpting tool.

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial


And that’s all. Biovore is ready for a battle err… I mean painting :)

Photo: How to make a biovore - Tutorial

And do you create your own variants of Tyranid creatures? Or do you go with the standard ones? Or maybe you have interesting ideas of conversions which could be made with Tyranid models? Why don’t you share them with us here?