Sunday, January 12, 2014

How to convert a free company fighter into a Blood Bowl human player

Mephisto from the "BB foro" and also the "Talk Fantasy Football" forum asked me to do this tutorial.

this tutorial is similar to the one where I explained how to convert a skin into BB player but to make a human player. In particular I'm going to explain how I make the linemen for my Human Blood Bowl team, I think is quite easy to imagine how I make the other positionals.

For the conversion I'm going to use Kneadite Green Stuff mixed with A+B white modelling putty. When you mix these two putty together you obtain a pale greenish putty.

To work with the putty in this tutorial I use sculpting tools, a hobby knife and my fingers. I kept lightly wet all of those tools so the putty stick to the model instead of the tools.

Planning the player body position
I already have five linemen with different body positions and think of a new one hasn't be easy. I have finally decided that this player should be looking to one side and signaling with one finger of each hand to that side as if he has just score a Touchdown and he is celebrating it or as if he is saluting to his fans.

The pieces that I use to make this player are:
- Body, legs and head from the WFB Free Company box of The Empire range miniatures.
- Two arms of and archer of the Free Company box.
- Arm with signaling hand and decorative feathers from the WFB High Elf 6th edition plastic archers.
- Cut arm from a WFB bretonnian plastic bowman. I cut the arms of several bretonnian bowmen to make our Dogs of War crossbowmen and kept them in the spare bits box.

Initial Preparation
Before we can start adding putty to the model we need to "clean" the model by cutting away all those details that we don't need with a hobby knife.

I trimmed the belt, the little bag and the knife inside the left leg from the legs. From the body, I trimmed the three things that are in the frontal side.

I have selected four arms to do the model but I'm only interested in using the hands from two of them and the arms from the other two. I'm going to use the ands from the high elf arm and the bretonnian arm. I tried to straight the finger of the bretonnian and by applying some head but I end up slightly melting it away.

To finish with the preparations the head helmet must be also trimmed.

Now we have all the pieces ready and we can assembly them together. In the next picture you can start to see the idea that I have for this player.

Changing the trousers
I like baggy trousers in my players and that is the first thing that I'm going to add.

There is a lot of ways of doing the baggy pants some quicker and some better looking. We are going to make them by placing putty sausages in the legs until we cover the surface that is needed for the baggy pants. It is also possible to take a big chunk of putty and push it until the surface has been covered. The reason for the putty sausages is that we can control better the quantity that we need. Then we join all the sausages together with the sculpting tool until there is no trace of the putty sausages. Now we cut the excess, so the knees are not covered by the baggy pants using a hobby knife. Finally using the flat part of the sculpting tool we mark some lines in the baggy pants and then we try to make the edges of the mark less sharp.

Well, in the images above you can see how the player start to loose the arms and head during the process. That is not in purpose even if I take advantage of it in the next step.

Adding some armour to the body
With the excess of putty from the previous step or with some new putty it is possible to make the body armour. I only put armour to protect the chest. This is quite easy and quick to make but we careful not to touch the baggy trousers if its putty is not cured.

We put a ball of putty in the chest and push it with our fingers or the sculpting tool so the thickness of the layer of putty is more or less constant. We also smooth the surface with the curved part of the sculpting tool and then with a hobby knife we mark the contour of the armour and take away the excess of putty.

Adding gloves to the hands
All of my linemen have gloves. I made some of the gloves and use the gloves that came in some arms of the Free Company box. In this case adding the globe is useful to reinforce the join between the hand and the arm.

The way to simulate a globe is quite easy. We start by adding some putty in the wrist (left side of the picture below from top to bottom): We make a putty sausage and put some of it on the wrist; then we flatten the putty until the hole is fill and take away the excess. If it doesn't seem totally good latter you can file it. Then we make another putty sausage and place it where the glove end. We flatten it and push part of it in direction to the wrist with the curved part of the sculpting tool until it has a conic shape.

We do the same thing with the other arm. I also added some putty in the melted finger.

Making the shoulder pads
There are lots of ways of doing shoulder pads. Depending on the shoulder pad that you want to make you will have to use more or less putty, you will have to do it in one or more steps, etc. I make a quite simple shoulder pad for my linemen. I started by placing a putty ball in the shoulder and putting it in place by pushing with my fingers and also giving it the initial shape.If the shoulder pad seems to big, just take all the putty out of the shoulder and make a smaller ball.

The next thing we have to do is to smooth the surface with the curved part of the sculpting tool or a Gum shaper. We also keep working on the shape of the shoulder pad during this process, straightening the edges and shaping the corners.

Now that the surface is flat and we have the overall shape is time to start with the details. We start by marking a border around the edge with the flat part of the sculpting tool. Then with the curved part we push the putty near the border to the center of the shoulder pad, like that the shoulder pad gains more volume.

Now that one shoulder pad is finish we make the other one as similar as possible. Sometimes the position of the arms make difficult this process so it is necessary to do several tries until we get it right.

When the putty of the shoulder pads is cured we will place a small ball of putty in the front corners flatten them with the sculpting tool and giving them a round look.

Making the helmet
In the tutorial of the skin I used a sausage of putty to make the helmet because the skin has the thing in the center of its head. In the case of the human we need a ball of putty. We place the ball of putty on top of the head and push it with the fingers to obtain an initial shape. Then with the sculpting tool we push the putty defining better the helmet shape, I start by defining the shape of the helmet around the face and pushing the excess to the back of the head where I take it away with a hobby knife. Then I smooth and shape the back of the helmet.

When the putty of the helmet is cured we will make the facial protection. We make a slim putty sausage and we wait around an hour until the putty is almost cured. Then we cut two pieces of the putty sausage, a little longer than needed. We place one of the ends of the pieces in one side of the helmet and take the other end to the other side. Flattening the excess of putty against the helmet. We do the same with the other piece of putty sausage. we should have left a part of the putty sausage unused. We will left this part to cure. When the putty of the horizontal part of the facial protection is cured we make two small putty balls and place them in each side of the helmet on top of the ends of the horizontal pieces of the facial protection. The we flatten the putty balls and give them a round shape.

Now we take the high elf decorative feathers and trim away the jewel of their base. Then we cut the base so it has a straight lower edge. Then we cut two small pieces of the rest of the putty sausage that we have left to cure and glue them vertically between the horizontal pieces of the facial protection. We also glue the feathers in the front of the helmet.

Adding the kneepads
I didn't complicate myself doing the kneepads of the linemen. I simply putted one ball of putty in each knee, flattened them and cut the edges so they had a round contour

Making a belt
To finish with this conversions there is only one thing left and that thing is the belt. With the belt we cover the mismatch between the legs and the body.

The belt is simply a putty sausage flatten against the waist with a flatten putty ball as a buckle. I also marked a circle in the buckle.

Finished Result
Well following all the steps above you should obtain something similar to the model shown in the picture below.

I really like the arms position and I think this model could be used as a Star Player.

The picture below show a comparison between this lineman and the other 5 that I already had.

Hope you like this tutorial and feel free to express your opinions as I always like to read what people think of my work.


  1. they look fantastic - can you explain why you combine green stuff and the A+B?

    1. Thanks Tristan! The main reason is that I'm accustomed to mix them.

      There is no real need of doing it and all could be made only using green stuff. The A+B modelling putty is a cheaper putty that is quite difficult to use by itself but hardens really well, not as GS that once its cured it is a little elastic. Mixed with some GS it becomes easier to handle and for coarse things or things that doesn't have small details the mix works perfectly.

      I started to use A+B modelling putty in the Anvil of Doom that needed a lot of putty but only in the anvil. After that I practically mix both putties always, especially in big things like the Trygon because using a mix of A+B and GS has a real impact in the miniature cost and there is no need to do it all with GS.
      Anvil of Doom:

    2. Interesting - I have only used the A+B for stuff like terrain because it hardens so fast - but I find this very interesting. Does mixing them impact how long it takes to harden? It seems you mixed quite a large batch there and if I was to mix up that much, it would harden before I would use it all.

    3. My experience is that the mix has an hour or so of working time (more or less the same as GS), and it takes like two hours or so to harden enough to work on top of it.

      I'm not sure where do you think I mixed a large batch. I don't usually work with a lot of putty, I mix small parts and wait until it is cured before I mix a little more to do more things.

      It took several days to do the conversion of the player that way, I didn't mixed the putty did the trousers and the chest armour and inmediatly mixed more to do the rest, I waited until those first parts were cured before kneading more putty. Sorry if I didn't let that clear.

    4. The photo in the post looks like a big chunk of putty, but could just be perspective.
      Was that simply "enough" to do the trousers and chest armour?

    5. The amount of putty of the first photo flatten is about the size of a fingertip.
      With a ball of putty of about 0.8 cm of diameter you'll have enought putty for the trousers and the chest armour, and maybe for something else. Hope that helps =D


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