Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Blu-Stuff is the Tru-Stuff

A few months back, in preparation for my Heresy Space Wolves project, I bought a bit of Blu Stuff to help me cast a few items I wanted to work on for the army. I hadn't gotten to the point where I wanted to cast anything just yet, until now.

One of my Chanukah gifts from Hubs was the Forgeworld Angron. I took him out and started getting him assembled recently, and it dawned on me that all of the armor in the kit is (of course) an appropriate style for a Heresy army. This made me especially giddy when I took a closer look at the backpacks- and there my first casting project was born.

All nice and Heresy appropriate.
 I've been hemming and hawing over how exactly I wanted to modify the current style backpacks that came in the Grey Hunters box to match them to the MK IV and V armor patterns that I'm doing for the army. Now I can cheat! I figure I'll make about 10 or so of these to mix into the MK IV half of the army. I had planned to buy a set of 5 of the IV and V marines to mix in, but at £23.00 (~$35 USD) per set, I just need to rely on my ingenuity here. I can't do $70 plus shipping for just ten guys, even if they're ten really awesome guys.

When trying this out, I simply made a mold of the part of the backpack I wanted to copy. I didn't worry too much about getting the top part of the backpack looking nice, because I am planning on only using the bottom half (under the blue line in the photo) and attaching it to the top half of the Space Wolf ones that came in the Grey Hunters box. It'll mean a little pinning and more time, but the wolf ones have a lot of the wolfy bits and bobs on them that it would be even harder for me to replicate than this.

My original mold and first attempt to cast.
 I took a little of the Blu Stuff, mixed the two halves together just like green stuff and made the mold very quickly. It was set and ready to use in under five minutes, which is perfect for my lack of patience. It's very soft feeling when you first mix it. It made am excellent cast of a very detailed piece.

 But, my first piece didn't come out great- I used too much of the blue part of the green stuff. The next one with a higher ratio of yellow came out vastly better. But after they fully cured, I started trying to fit them over an existing backpack I had scraped down, but it didn't work out very well and took an incredibly long time to do for such mediocre results. I was putting it overtop the existing one partially because I'm using the top part, but also because I wanted to get the hole in the back where it sticks to the Marine's torso.

Being somewhat slow and dimwitted while attempting this, it didn't occur to me to simply make a two part mold until the following day. I did this very easily because Blu Stuff doesn't stick to itself. How great is that?

The results using this method were far, far superior to all previous.

 Obviously, the one on the right is my two part mold attempt, and the one on the left is the one part mold copy. I didn't clean either of them up a whole lot.  I do, it seems from the photo, need to get a little better at mixing the green stuff together before I go sticking it in the molds.

Speaking of molds, this is what mine looks like. I made the bottom half of the mold first, let it cure, and stuck two pins into it to use as a guide for the top piece. Then I rolled together another little bit of Blu Stuff, smooshed it over top, and let it cure. The pieces came apart cleanly after the top cured, and I tried my first backpack in it within ten minutes of coming up with the idea.

Now the only things stopping me from making an entire army of these backpacks are my impatience and my desire for variety.


  1. Are you considering casting up a couple backpack bottoms, using the wolfy tops to get your final packs and then casting those so you aren't having to convert every single one?

  2. I had considered that, but there's so much variety in the backpacks that I'd like to use as many different ones as I can.

  3. Makes sense. There are a good number of options.


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