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Sunday, April 29, 2012

Lose the Fear: Working with Greenstuff, an Adepticon class review

Last weekend was the first Adepticon weekend I've attended and knowing it was such a big event I really wanted to try a little bit of everything so I made a point to register early for a class. I've taken two separate weekend long masterclasses with miniature painter Mathieu Fontaine so I'm confident with my advanced painting techniques but I really feel like I have a lot to learn in terms of sculpting, especially using greenstuff, so Joe Orteza's class seemed perfect for me.

Learning basic painting tips from someone that paints at a professional level has revolutionized the way I paint models. Things like using a wet palette, pulling paint to the darkest desired area and using the flat of the brush instead of the point are all simple but necessary painting tips that are integral to painting like a pro. I'm happy to say Joe's greenstuff class offered me the same crucial basics that I believe will allow me to develop my sculpting to a useful and enjoyable level. 

We started the class by getting a 5 sculpting tools (only 4 pictured) and a mirror on which to create relief sculptures as well as a small batch of greenstuff and a packet of step by step instruction with illustrations to accompany the various tutorials. Right there I was content with the $20ish dollar cover charge for the class, the right tools go a long way. Since everyone in the class had some exposure to greenstuff we moved right into creating basic reliefs, a purity seal, a chain, laurels, tassels for a rope and a feather. Once Joe covered have to get your greenstuff to stick to the mirror but not your tool, and other stuff like that, I was surprised by how easy it was. I really can't say often enough how easily you can improve when a skilled instructor can look over you shoulder and say "no, like this..." when your dumb hands are trying to do the wrong thing.

We spent about 90 minutes sculpting and finished with another 30 minutes of discussion over how to fabricate other common wargaming articles like capes and banners. All told, I'd got a ton out of the lecture and now would feel confident trying to make some of my own items. I wasn't sure how much I'd get out of a 2 hour class since it's such a short time to learn some very in depth techniques, but it was plenty of time to cover the basics and still ask a few questions. Joe was a nice funny guy and was able to clearly explain what we should be doing so that I was able to get results I was happy with on the first try.

I would highly recommend that anyone looking to up their modeling game look into classes like this, whether they be at Adepticon or any other event. 


  1. So, how do you avoid the GS sticking to your tool? I really would have enjoyed attending this workshop- I wish there were such things closer to the Puget Sound!

  2. To keep greenstuff from sticking to your tools you can keep them damp with water but I've found that saliva actually works better (and Joe Orteza does the same). I know it sounds weird but it actually works.

    The Lazarus Effect team did a 20ish hour drive to get to Adepticon this year but I have to say it was absolutely worth it. I know Washington is a quite a distance but it would be worth the flight to get to Chicago for this event, even just to try demo games and spend days watching the tournaments unfold.