I use floral wire for my base structure - you can buy it at craft stores; it's a fairly flexible wire coated in green plastic used for floral arrangements. It comes by the spool and is fairly cheap - one spool will last you pretty much forever. When building the structure, you basically want to build up the skeleton of the model to give support and shape to apply the green stuff to but you don't need to wind the wire to build up mass , I find that often just gets in the way. Some people like to wind the wire around places like the legs and arms to start to create the muscle shapes but in my experience it just creates chances for the final form to be too big or have to be deformed to make sure all that wire gets covered.
With larger sculpts like this and my Keeper of Secrets, there's a lot of green stuff that gets used, so I do use a trick to cut back on that. Once I have the basic form in the pose that I want made from the wire I build up the torso and the theighs with sculpy; not all the way to exterior details but enough to get the rough shape fleshed out. This accomplished 2 things: Because sculpy doesnt harden until it's baked you have a lot of time and freedom to play with it and make mistakes before you commit to your model, and two, once you bake the piece and set the sculpy you now have given the wire framework something a bit more sturdy and stable when you,start applying the green.
When you start layering on the green stuff, work in a single area and then let it dry. Doing too much at one sitting with almost guarantee getting fingerprints on the model as you handle it and you spend more time fixing those later than actually doing work. There's nothing more frustrating than working on a sculpt and realizing you just mashed/smeared or got prints on something outputs spent 20 minutes working on at another part of the fig because you tried to do too much at once. Green stuff also dries fairly quickly so mixing too much at a time will just lead to waste, especially at the detail stage.
Make sure you keep a small pot of clean water for your fingers and tools while you work. Some people say baby oil or other mediums but I find just water is best. The water is more than enough to keep the green stuff from sticking to you or your instruments.
I use only three tools: a double sided spatula with a flat blade at one side and a curved blade at the other, a dental pick for fine details and a small rubber-tipped tool for smoothing tiny spaces where my fingers can't fit. I bought a whole selection of tools a while back but found that for actual work I only ever really used those three; and the rubber tip every rarely.
Green stuff layers and build up well but is harder to remove, so apply it a little at a time. It's MUCH easier to sculpt it than to file or carve later, so build the base structure and then add details little by little on top after it dries. You can always add more green on top of green but it's a lot harder to carve it down. Always keep your green clear of fingerprints as you go.
Buy your green stuff in the bulk tubes you can get from GF9 and just play with it, the more you use it, the easier it grtsr to work with and the more ideas you'll have. My best advice is get a tube, get some wire and find a pic of something you'd like to try and see if you can replicate it. Make some mistakes and by the time you're through with that one you'll be set for whipping up your own custom figs.
Dude... I don't even have to words to describe how stunning that unit is. My favorite part is the Handmaiden from the Coven Throne sitting on the ledge and overseeing her skeleton minions as they march forward. The unit really tells a story. The painting, of course, is top notch. I'm trying to come up with a piece of constructive criticism for you, but it's not easy. It seems something if off with the letters on the banner, but I couldn't tell you what, exactly.
Thanks for the kind words, Greg! I got the dried flowers from Micheal's, which is a craft store in the area; from their floral arrangement section. I find they have a lot of neat random terrain materials like bags of clean sand, colored glass shards, etc. Always cheaper than buying from model suppliers. I also get my basswood sheets there for my movement trays.
Yeah, I definitely wish I had a tighter hand for the lettering - I had a hard time deciding if I should even put it on there but I figured I'd give it a shot. I've sculpted the banner's crest in sculpy for the display board and hopefully the lettering will look better on the larger scale.
I've started basing the Lady and I have the Vampire Lord and the Master Necro mostly finished; now that the skeletons are done I promised I'd be able to spend more time on characters and individual models. Maybe I can get those two that are almost finished wrapped up tomorrow.
Wow, great army! I love the vampire sitting up on the arch in the skeleton unit, and the flowers look really good growing out of the arch. Really top tier stuff here. I'm getting more into scenery style fillers for units myself, but yours are a really excellent example of what can be achieved while still having a functional unit. Bravo.
For anyone interested, I posted some of the unit shots of my Skaven that I never got around to painting in my VC thread; there's some neat early experimenting with fillers that helped inform what I'm doing with my VC hordes. As they're unpainted, it's a lot easier to see how they were built.