An easy way to use greenstuff to make you tanks unique
First up, let me just say that I really like Battlefront’s plastic tanks. They are super crisp in the sculpt, lightweight, easy to assemble, easy to paint and easy to convert, but one thing is missing, that some of the resin tanks had: personality.
All the plastic tanks look precisely the same. One easy way to change that is to add stowage. The sprue often has a couple of jerry-cans and a spare track, but for someone like me, that is really not enough.
Now we could just buy one of the many stowage packages that are available out there. Both Battlefront, and countless other companies make good stowage, but in this article, I will show you the basics of using Green Stuff (GS) to make your own storage that will be 100% unique.
What do we need?
We need a tank to add the stowage, some green stuff(GS), or milliput, water, a toothpick and a scalpel. The water is to prevent the green stuff from sticking to the tools and the scalpel and toothpick to form the green stuff into the forms we want. If you look closely at the Sherman you can see I have already started customizing it, by clipping a little in the front fenders to make it look a bit more worn and damaged than they come from the box.
After mixing the GS, I take a pea-sized ball and roll it into a small sausage and put it on the tank. This makes it possible to form the stowage to the contours of the tanks, which is often not possible with the stowage you buy.
The reason I put the roll on the tank without adding any structure to the GS, is to prevent it from being damaged when I would try to move it from my work table to the location on the tank. This is the way I do it, with all the things I create.
Another trick is to add all the stowage AFTER you have painted the tank, making the painting and weathering much easier, but in this tutorial, I’ll do it on the unpainted model.
Now with the scalpel, I form/cut 4 lines to represent the straps holding the tarp together.
Then I gently use the point of the scalpel to add some folds and wrinkles to the tarp where the straps are.
Finally, I press the scalpel into both ends of the tarp to make it look like the tarp is folded or rolled together. Now, this piece of stowage is done.
Here I have added another bedroll on top of the other one, but bend it to make it different from the first one I made.
To create leather bags or pouches we need some very small pieces of GS. These are added to the tank, one by one and formed into a kind of light rectangular shape with the scalpel dipped in water.
Then, again with the scalpel, I cut a horizontal line in each of them approximately 1/3 from the top and add two small holes with a toothpick to represent the opening and the buttons to close the bag.
Making camouflage nets is much the same as when we did the tarps. This time we just need a bit bigger clump of GS. Again I roll it into a sausage and place it on my tank in the desired place.
Then with the scalpel, I cut two parallel lines to form the strap and form the GS so that it looks like the strap is pulling the net tight together.
Now with the toothpick, I punch a lot of random holes in the GS, making sure I cover the entire clump of GS.
To make a backpack I take one large and two small pieces of GS and place them side by side on the tank, with largest one in the middle. Then I cut horizontal lines in all three to represent the openings. Finally, I add two thin straps, cut from a thinly rolled piece of GS.
Making sacks is done almost the same way as bedrolls. First I form a clump of GS into the rough shape I want the sack to be and then I place it on the tank. Here I make two sacks at the same time.
Using the scalpel we cut/press a line near the top of the sack to act as the strap tiring the sack closed. Then with the point of the scalpel, I press a hole on the top of the sack and widen it a bit.
Then I add a little structure to the sacks using the toothpick.
Again we start with a clump of GS. Now to shape the tarpaulin I stretch the GS and fold it. When this is done repeatedly it will start to look like at tarpaulin that have been folded together.
Then gently place it in the tank and use the scalpel to mark the contours of two straps wrapped around it.
This time I will add buckles to the straps. This is done by forming GS into two tiny balls and place them on the straps and then using the point of the scalpel to form a hole in the middle and form them into squares. Adding a couple of thin strips of GS to the buckles will make it look like the straps come through the buckles and the ends are hanging loose.
Another way to make tarpaulins is to form a roughly rectangular shape and use the scalpel to add “straps” and form wrinkles and folds.
Using different types of stowage that are overlapping often makes the model much more interesting to look at. Here I have combined a squarish tarpaulin with a long camouflage net. When adding different colours in the painting process, I will end up with a very interesting piece of stowage.
The little extras
Using GS allows you to make the small extra details that most companies don’t have in their stowage range. Here, for example, I have made a little baseball bat, as I imagine the tank commander is a big Yankees fan.
Now using your newly acquired GreenStuff sculpting skills in combination with the stowage supplied with the tank-sprue you can make fun and unique looking tanks. Hope you learned something and is willing to give it a try, cause it is a lot easier than it might look. All that is left, is to paint it all up.