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Green Stuff vs. Brown Stuff


madcobaia
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Having little (read: no) experience with sculpting, and wanting to begin, I beg the question: What is the difference between green stuff and brown stuff, aside from the color? Is green better for one thing, while brown is better for something else?

 

--Nate

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as far as i understand brown is better for makinf harder sharper forms where green stuff is more flowy and organic. I have also heard that brown stuff can be filed when dry.

 

 

green stuff - make people and critters and what not

 

brown stuff - make armour, weapons, and robots.

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Having little (read: no) experience with sculpting, and wanting to begin, I beg the question: What is the difference between green stuff and brown stuff, aside from the color? Is green better for one thing, while brown is better for something else?

There are actually a lot of putties out there even besides Green and Brown. The best source of information on mini sculpting is the 1ListSculpting FAQ which you can get by joining the Yahoo group 1ListSculpting:

 

http://groups.yahoo.com/group/1listsculpting/

 

Several of the people from around here, including several of the Reaper Sculptors are members, and the FAQ has huge amounts of good information.

 

Basically, putty can be classified into two basic groupings - hard and soft. Green Stuff (technically Kneadatite Blue/Yellow) and White Stuff (Kneadatite Blue/White) are both soft putties, which means even when fully cured, they have a small amount of give (though not enough to deform noticeably in a mold, otherwise, we wouldn't be using them ::): ). Soft putties tend to have memory, and want to keep their shape - they feel like chewed bubble gum after mixing, which takes some getting used to. When fully cured, soft putties can only be filed with very, very fine grit sandpaper, and it's better to avoid sanding them if you can. Green Stuff is sort of the "gold standard", all purpose material of choice for many mini sculptors. Soft putties will "mellow", which means that sharp edges will get rounded if you don't keep working it until it's fairly well cured.

 

Hard putties like Brown Stuff (Kneadatite Brown/Aluminum) and Milliput have less give and are less sticky. They can both be sanded and filed, and are often used to make weapons. They are a little more self-armaturing, so they're also used for banners, shields, sometimes even belts. Hard putties don't tend to mellow nearly as much.

 

Some people mix putties. You can eve mix putty and polymer clay (sculpey) for different effects.

 

Go read the FAQ before you try sculpting - it will save you a lot of grief and aggravation.

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A note: The softness and "bounce" of green stuff makes it very resilient to spincasting. Harder materials tend to be brittle - EVEN IF they cure rockhard. This is the main reason why green stuff is used.

I think Kev White (Hasslefree miniatures) ues a green stuff/brown stuff mix. Since his greens are green I'd guess he uses a fairly small amount of brown.

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A note: The softness and "bounce" of green stuff makes it very resilient to spincasting. Harder materials tend to be brittle - EVEN IF they cure rockhard.

This is true, but less true than it used to be with Brown Stuff. The newest formulation is less brittle than the previous version and much less brittle than the original "gas tank repair kit" Brown Stuff. From people I've talked to, there seems to be relatively little breakage even with pure Brown Stuff sculpts these days (though I will admit my sampling is way too small to be statistically valid).

 

Can't speak to Milliput or other hard putties, as I stick with kneadatite because they're easy for me to get and I'm getting to know their properties (finally ::):)

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Keep an eye on the greens here on the Reaper website., here:

 

http://www.reapermini.com/?nav=Models⊂=Greens

 

You can see greenstuff, brownstuff, and sometimes you can tell it's a blend.

 

 

That was actually what made me curious, someone had referenced the half-orc with a double bladed axe and said that it was a great example of what can be done with brown stuff. Thanks for the help, and the link to that FAQ, it's all greatly appreciated!

 

--Nate

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That was actually what made me curious, someone had referenced the half-orc with a double bladed axe and said that it was a great example of what can be done with brown stuff. Thanks for the help, and the link to that FAQ, it's all greatly appreciated!

 

Just another word of caution - don't set your expectations of yourself too high at first. Even if you've sculpted before, putty is really, really hard stuff to get the hang of. The Reaper sculptors are the absolute cream of the crop of the profession, some of whom have been sculpting minis for 10 or more years.

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Brown stuff is indeed a more machineable putty, and takes harder edges after the cure by filing and sanding.

 

a word of caution on brown stuff....the dye in the brown portion is very pervasive. When you mix it, the lump becomes a solid brown color BEFORE the mixing is complete, so mix the heck out of it, way past when the color is uniform. this will avert the dreaded rubbery putty syndrome...

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From people I've talked to, there seems to be relatively little breakage even with pure Brown Stuff sculpts these days (though I will admit my sampling is way too small to be statistically valid).

 

I've seen Bobby Jackson do a banner of pure brown stuff--rolling it out, then heating it up when partially cured to make it flexible, then shaping it. Don't remember how long he had to let it cure initially, but it's something interesting with which to experiment.

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I have found brown putty to be brittle in certain circumstances and have snapped the hilts off of several weapons when filing and shaping. Now I mix 50/50 brown/green for everything. It gives a bit of spring to the weapon stuff while still making it machineable and it gives a firmer surface for smoother tooling on organic shapes like skin. I find that ideal but you really have to experiment to discover what work best for your own sculpting methods.

 

Plus, for me it's easier to see details when you don't have bright green screaming into your eyes. :blink:

 

I wish PSI would pre-mix a brown/green blend but I'm sure the market for that would be too small to make it worthwhile for them.

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The problem would be what to call it. Brownish-greenish stuff? Puke-green stuff? See the problem?

:lol:

 

Actually, the colors are just dyes they add in the manufacturing process, so they could easily make a putty that's the equivalent of half-green/half-brown and make most any color they wanted (well, probably not ANY, as the resin and hardener probably have color themselves, but...). In fact - can actually mix hardeners and resins from different Kneadatite putties. I've made, for example, "blue stuff" by taking the blue from Green Stuff and the blue from White Stuff and mixing them. Was just done on a lark - it didn't have any particularly wonderful qualities and the dark blue color made it hard to see what I was doing, but it did harden.

 

Funny... when I was first learning putty, I went through a brief fascination with mixing green and brown. Now that I've spent more time with it, I'm becoming more and more a fan of straight 50-50 green stuff for the bulk of my sculpting. In addition to liking the properties of it, I find the green color to actually be better for discerning details than brown or green-brown mix. Brown stuff can't be beat for what it's good at, though - hard edged weapons and the like.

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I've mixed the hardener and the... other part of magic sculp, andrea sculp and kneadatite and have covered all possible combinations of the three. You've got to try it at least. Didn't end up with anything very useful though.

Still find magic sculp (both parts) and kneadatite (both parts) easiest to work with though lately I've turned more and more towards pure greenstuff reserving the mix for hardedged and mechanical parts.

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