This is not really a new idea, but it’s one that I only twigged to in mid-2011, so it’s fairly new to me. The idea of using greenstuff for flags and banners came to me one evening as I was experimenting with a small blob of greenstuff putty. I sculpt about as well as whales fly, and I find the rubbery used-bubble-gum consistency of greenstuff quite frustrating to actually do anything with (the clay-like feel of Milliputt is far more agreeable) so I was messing around wondering what I could do with the 36″ roll of greenstuff lurking in one corner of my desk.
Pressed out very thin, I discovered greenstuff is actually strong enough to hold itself up even before it cures. Once it’s cured it’s still moderately flexible, with a springiness to it. You can actually gently press folds flat to paint them, which is a bonus. It takes three dimensional folds and ripples better than paper, and unlike lead foil it won’t crease easily. A quick shot of primer and it paints up nicely.
The excellent Brushthralls website has a great Greenstuff Gizmos article with more detail, including the use of light vegetable oil to keep greenstuff from sticking to things, which I must admit I hadn’t heard of before. (link dead, alas, the entire Brushthralls site is no more – Sept 2020)
Above, my greenstuff flags in progress. Squash greenstuff into thin sheets on the back of a CD, cut flag-shapes with a knife, wrap around lengths of wire donated by paperclips, gently prod some folds and ripples in with a sculpting tool or just a fingertip, stab into a scrap of foam to cure. Done, pretty much.
Incidentally, I love big paperclips as a source of wire. Not as strong as piano wire, true, but far, far easier to work with and more than strong enough for most modelling purposes.
So, there you have it, flexible, good looking flags from greenstuff, and a use for greenstuff even a non-sculptor like me can manage!