Thursday, June 14, 2012

Warhammer 40,000 Space Marine Build Part 6: Hands

When last I posted about this project, I covered the making of the helmets.  The next vital part of the build was the hands.  Since I was turning a group of under-six-foot guys into a squad of over-seven-foot warrior demigods, I had to add a bit of length to their arms in order to avoid this look:

For full details on how I made the hands, read on...

Here I am with a longer arm:
SM Elbow Insert Fitted

Here's my friend Matt, primary project encourager, with longer arm:
SM Shoulder Test Fitting

Since the longer arms rendered the wearer's hands useless, it was time to come up with some new hands.  I started by cobbling together the fingers from some wooden balls and scraps of PVC pipe:
SM Fingers Start

At about the same time, I started sculpting the palms using oil-based clay over an armature made from an ABS pipe coupler and a piece of MDF to make the shapes consistent:
SM Mitts Started

At this stage they weren't all that useful:
SM Mitts Nosepicking

Once I'd molded some of the finger parts I was starting to feel much better about the overall shape of the hands:
SM Left Hand Progress

Here's the sculpt of the palms once I'd finished detailing them:
SM Hand Sculpts in Progress

Since I needed them to be lightweight, I molded them for rotocasting in much the same way that I did the helmets.  The first step was to lay on a silicone rubber "print coat" to pick up all of the details:
SM Mitts Jacket Mold Begins

Once the print coat had set up, the next step was to layer on more silicone to build up thickness:
SM Mitts Jacket Mold Progress

When the rubber "jacket" mold was thick enough to hold up to repeated casting, I went ahead and built a two-piece fiberglass "mothermold" over each of them.  The mothermold holds the rubber straight during casting to keep the pieces from coming out warped and misshapen.
SM Mitts Mothermold

Here's the first pair of palms cast from the molds:
SM Hands First Cast

The palm castings were then fitted into the end of a piece of 4" ABS drain pipe.  Then the fingers were glued into place either around the grip of whatever weapon they'd be wielding or in whatever gesture they would be showing.*  Here I am in the middle of hand production:
Hand Assembly Lineup

Here's a hand built holding a boltgun:
Bolter Hand

Just behind the wrist, a hold was drilled through the drain pipe and fitted with a piece of 1/2" PVC pipe to act as a handle.  This way the wearer would have something to grip and the drain pipe would act as a brace to aid in the carrying of the various weapons.  Here's my friend Daniel showing off the chainsword hand:
Chainsword Hand

Once the hand extensions were inserted into the vacformed arms, they finally started to really look the part:
Big Arms

More to come.  Stay tuned...

*It was all I could do to avoid building a "thumbs-up" hand and a "hang loose" hand.  I still expect I'll make yet another hand for flipping the bird.  We'll see.

This web site is completely unofficial and in no way endorsed by Games Workshop Limited.

Adeptus Astartes, Games Workshop, Games Workshop logo, Space Marine, Space Marine chapters, Space Marine chapter logos, Ultramarines, Warhammer, Warhammer 40k Device, and all associated marks, names, races, race insignia, characters, vehicles, locations, units, illustrations and images from the Warhammer 40,000 universe are either ®, TM and/or © Copyright Games Workshop Ltd 2000-2012, variably registered in the UK and other countries around the world. Used without permission. No challenge to their status intended. All Rights Reserved to their respective owners.


  1. Great work!

  2. Have you thought of making the hands like this?

  3. Dude. IF your ever in the UK I would more than happy to walk around wearing one of those suits. Man I wish I could build something so amazing as that!!

  4. If you have a spare Ultra Marines helmet or Chainsword at any point that you would ship to the UK please message Your build is amazing

  5. how much money and time will it take to make the same ?? i love to make the same :D its so epic <3