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The Green Stuff Banner Tutorial

1409 Views 4 Replies 4 Participants Last post by  Byjugo
Banners are always a focal point in any army, large surfaces that are the best places to show of painting skills. For this reason its not always the best option to use the precast ones provided, you cant have evey banner looking the same, its just not natural! For this reason, its about time we went our own way, make the banner yourself!

In this tutorial I will produce a nice raggedy banner to fit with my Black Guard Campaign army.
Planning is VERY important in this process, even more so with banners for fantasy models. First off I mocked up a paper banner, tacked it to the banner pole and then placed it in the unit. From this I can see the space I have to add ripples and curves caused by wind etc. You will need the mock up later on, so dont bin it.

As you can guess with this being in the middle of a rank infantry unit, there is little space to play with, some examples later show what can be done with more space.

What will you need?
As you can see, I have used some Green Stuff (this was rather obvious), talc (any kind of old man drying talc will sufice), a 'rolling pin substitute' (I used my cutting knife handle) and a SMOOTH surface. The smooth surface is very important (I used the other side of my cutting matt) as if you roll the green stuff onto any lumps or bumps this will impair the final result. I also used a single pointed sculpting tool, a sharpe knife and a metal ruler before curing, after curing I used some ZAP super thin glue.

Lets get on with it.
OK, before mixing green stuff ensure the area for working is clean. Then apply the talc. Dont be afraid to cover the whole area in talc, the more the safer!

The talc stops the Greenstuff from sticking to it when you apply pressure.
Rub the talc into the surface. It is critical that the greenstuff does not stick half way through, otherwise you will need to start again.

Dont forget to talc up the rolling pin. Just as important as the matt. its good to keep adding a bit of talc to the tool all the way through.

Mix the greenstuff and pop it into the middle of the talc zone and roll it around to pick up some talc. Then begin to roll out. You may need to apply a bit of pressure at first, but the thinner it gets the less pressure required, it can cause havoc!

I find the best way of rolling this out is to keep turning and flipping the greenstuff, this way it is less likely to stick to the matt or the tool. Remember after each flip to rub a bit of talc into the piece.

After a short while you will have a really thin piece of greenstuff. Its possible to get it that thin you can see through it! Paper thin is fine.

Roll out the mock up and compare to the green stuff sheet.

Then CAREFULLY(!!!!!) cut out.

After this I made the banner raggedy. If you want a nice neat banner then ignore this bit. I mae the banner all ripped up by gentley teasing away chunks of the bottom of the banner. As the greenstuff hasnt cured yet it will stiff be soft and will stretch in places. If this looks like it may cause a problem, rub it with your finger an it will slowly go back into shape.

Once you are happy, leave the banner over night to cure properly

After this I simpley neatened the banner with a knife and stuck to the banner pole with a small amount of glue.

To add curves and waves to the banner I used the super thin super glue, this also gets rid of any small giner prints and other defects. I add a small amount at a time to a small strip, hold in position with fingers or tweasers (dont stick them to the banner!) then move onto the next section once dry. By doing this you can add subtle or dramatic curves and waves.

The final piece

Here are the other, more dramatic banners.


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Very nice. I love the finished product. How durable are these banners?
You need to be delicate with them, they will snap if you press hard on them.

That's awesome! Looks really cool, definitely going to have to try it out on my dark elves!
-This post originated from my WiP, but because is works so much the same as DanJones' way, its also posted here for reference-

Ok, making a GS banner is actually quite easy if you know how it works. It just takes a bit of time.
I'll give a step-by-step walktrough here. I know there are more tutorials like this, but this is the way i work. (I've also learned a lot of the interwebbz). If you have any questions or can't see the pictures properly, please contact me.

1- Get your stuff together. These are the main tools i use.
From left to right:
-Super Glue
-Blue-Tack (here we call it Buddy, but i think it's the right translation)
-A High Elf Spear (or any other flagpole)
-X-Acto knife (Used as a roller instead of a knife, you could also use a large brush, as long as it's straight and clean)
-Sculpting Tool (for any touch ups)
-Cutting Mat

Stuff not on the picture but still used:
-Tub of water
-Tub of soapy water (just water with a bit of Dishwashing Detergent)
-Tooth brush

2. Prepare your flagpole. I cut of the arm and hand from the spear with the scalpel. Be Carefull, scalpels are very sharp! For this flag i'll use the back end of this spear.

3. Clear a part of your Cutting Mat and make sure there's no dust, filings or any impurities. The part you are going to use has to be completly flat. Then get a little bit of Vaseline and grease up the part of the mat you are going to use.

4. Cut off a nice chunk of GS, and mix it. Use a bit of water to make sure your fingers don't stick to the GS.

5. Make a Ball of the GS and use the roller to make it as thin as possible. Using a bit of Vaseline on the roller will make sure it wont stick to the GS. Try to keep the Vaseline to a minimum though, because using too much could possibly decrease the quality of the GS.

6. When you Rol your GS, You'll notice a couple of chunky parts in it. You've made the GS thin enough if you can see these impurities.

7. Cut them away, and throw them in the bin. Pick up the GS, and make a ball of it again.

8. Make sure to re-grease the part of your Cutting mat where the GS just has been (just use your finger to even the coat of Vaseline, you don't have to add more grease). Then use the roller again to make a sheet of GS about 0.8-1.0 mm thick

9. Cut out a basic flag shape. Make sure the size is about right, you will need to make the flag a little bit longer then the final flag (see step 13). This is quite a small flag. For reference: the squares on my mat are 1x1 cm.

10. Give the banner some Battle Damage. I've made the endings by just dragging my scalpel through the GS (using the back of the tip, not the cutting side). I used my sculpting tool to make the holes, and to smooth the edges. Rub your finger over the flag to remove any fingerprints, and to round the edges. (you can clearly see i've not done that here yet).

11. Carefully peel the flag of the mat. Try not to damage the flag, or you have to go back to step 8 :p

12. Rub your finger over the flag to remove any fingerprints, and to round the edges.

13. Roll the flag around the flagpole. Try to let the GS meet in a nice tight line. Be carefull not to squeeze the GS on the shaft, it will pretty much ruin it. (back to step 8 again XD)

14. Get your pot of vaseline again and make sure you really grease up your mat again. Get a few (round) thingy's of different thickness. I've used my sculpting tool and a tooth pick for this one. Carefully drape the flag over the thingy's, making the creases in the flag. Using a small angle between the different creases will make a more natural result.

Get some sleep, Seriously! Just walk away, and don't get back till the next day. If you stay in the same room you won't be able to stand the urge to touch it. you'll ruin it. (back to step 8 again!)

15. Had a good night sleep, did ya?
Great, Next step: Get your Super glue out, and coat the entire flag (that means both sides) in a very thin coat of Super Glue. Make sure it is very thin because if you make it to thick it will get white and rough when it dries. Using Super glue that works with a brush will probably work better, but I don't have such a fancy pot right now.
I actually used to much this time, and had to touch it up later, cutting the 'white' super glue away to restore the flag.
Coating the GS in superglue will make the flag a lot stronger, and better to withstand some punishment later in its life. If you will put your model in a cabinet and probably wont ever move it again you can skip this step. That way you will be sure your flag will stay smooth.

16. stick the flag into some blue tack and wait for the glue to dry. Again, make sure you walk away. Just get some breakfast, paint another mini, or just take a good shit. Just make sure you can withstand the urge to touch it.

17. Here's the result of using to much super glue, a nice white rash. So, be carefull with the glue ;)

18. To make sure your paint will stick when you paint your model, gently clean the flag with soapy water. I use our regular Dishwashing soap.

19. Dry the flag using a tissue. After that, check the flag and feel if it still feels greasy. If it does, go back to step 18 ;)

20. Tadaa! finished result. You'll see that i changed the way it is attached to the pole. I didn't like the way it was (there was a huge gap between the GS), so i GS'ed 2 small strips to hold it. (it's also super glued to stick)

20.5. The other side of the finished flag. You'll see this flag in use in my next update ;)

I hope you liked my tutorial, and that it will help you make some fancy banners.
If you have pictures of banners you have made using this tutorial, please PM them to me.
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