Sculpting Tutorial: Fur Hats


Hello, Obadiah here with a tutorial on giving your minis a warm hat. Although some may know me for the work I have done on my Sisters of Battle Army, I made the switch to Infinity at the same time as Adam and have not looked back*. Up until recently I have not done any major conversions, (other than a few hoods and capes here and there for my Tohaa), but over the past few months I have been converting a whole lot including this bunch of whiskey drinking Grunts into vodka loving Line Kazaks:

Line Kazaks

After I posted a photo of them on social media I was asked how I sculpted the Ushanka on the lady, specifically the fur. At first I thought about just responding there, but then I thought I could add a little more substance if I made a full article of it.

Before I go into the sculpting itself I thought it could be useful to go over the tools I used and why I used them:

Tools Pic

1 & 2 are the clay shaping tools which are incredibly useful for smoothing things because of their soft rubber tips. 3 is a needle tool, also used for clay work, and useful for pressing in wrinkles by pressing it into green stuff horizontally, and creating deep holes by pressing it in vertically. 4 is two-sided shaping tool, but I only really used the side shown, and its primary use was to quickly shape things up before smoothing them out with the clay shapers. 5 is an exacto, with a rounded blade, which I have found to be very useful for creating keep groves because I can press the middle of the blade into green stuff without leaving marks with the tip, and I can also rock it along a surface to get an even line without dragging it.

The first thing I did before mixing up the green stuff was a quick google image search to give myself an idea of what the hat should look like, especially where the seams would be. The image I based my hat sculpt on was this one:

Pic of Ushanka

For this tutorial I wanted to take some photos throughout the sculpting, and since I did not have a spare Infinity model in need of a hat I decided a bald cultist could use something to protect his head from the cold, but first he would need some head surgery, (sorry for the blurry photo, was trying to work quick before I lost the patient):

Pic 1

I trimmed the head to keep the hat from getting too big. Otherwise I would have to apply the green stuff very thin, which would make it more difficult to make details, such as seam lines, and wrinkles. With this in mind I shaped the green stuff using the metal tool to get the general shape and smoothed it with the clay shapers:

Pic 2 - Copy

Then, using the exacto, I pressed in the seam lines, and then pressed in the wrinkles with the needle tool. Using the clay shapers I softened any hard edges. After that I stopped work to let it harden up:

Pic 3

Pic 4

After the green stuff hardened, I took a few blobs and shaped up the fur using my metal tool, and the clay shapers:

Pic 5

I took the exacto pressed it all around the edges of the fur:

Pic 6

Pic 7

Then pressed it to make a rough, cross hatch pattern:

Pic 8

Pic 9

This gave me the base to start working up the detail by pressing into areas with the needle tool to make deep details, and making the fur appear thick:

Pic 10 Pic 11

Using the exacto again, I deepened some of the previous marks by pressing into them, and around the edges of the fur I pressed and then separated some sections to make the fur rough and not brushed in one direction. Other patches were roughed by pressing, and sometimes cutting “V” shapes into the fur, focusing on the front of the hat:

Pic 12

Pic 13

And then around the rest of the hat. At this point in the sculpting it becomes about practice, and just working until satisfied with the result, (I also went back with the needle tool in a few areas), and also not accidentally sticking your fingers in the green stuff, (or yourself with any of the sharp tools: (pic 14, 15, 16)

Pic 14

Pic 15

Pic 16

The finished piece is not as neat and clean as the Line Kazak’s because I wanted to make sure the work would show up in photos I took, and because he is a Chaos Cultist after all, so I figure his hat would not be as well kept, and is likely made from some mangy animal to begin with.  Now he is ready for the cold tundra of the Valhallan battle front, or wherever his fickle gods may send him to fight:

Pic 17

*At least until they come out with some new Sisters models.**

**A few special characters do not count.