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Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Product Review: ProCreate by Kraftmark

Over the holidays I have been given the task of reviewing Kraftmark's ProCreate Professional Sculptor's Putty. Jason wanted me to 'run it through the ringer' against my beloved Green Stuff by Gale Force Nine. So I decided to do a simple press mold, a 3-D object, and to do some actual sculpting.

First Impressions:
If you've ever used the traditional 'Green Stuff' from Gale Force Nine, you'll remember getting 2 colors of putty: yellow and blue. The instructions on the label simple tell you to mix them 1:1 to a green color. The ProCreate has more specific instructions included inside the packaging. They basically give some guidelines for mixing ratios depending on what you are casting or sculpting. Call me ignorant, but with my green stuff, I never gave any thought to using more or less of the hardening agent to produce different results. A definite plus for the product, is that the hardener and epoxy are separately wrapped to keep the two from setting in the box. The smaller Gale Force Nine packages of Green Stuff do not, which can cause the edges where the two are packaged together to set before you get to use it. (I always splurge on the large containers of Green Stuff that are separated.) As far as quantity, the ProCreate gives you 2.5 ounces for around ten dollars. Gale Force Nine's 3.5 ounces are going to cost about twenty bucks.

The Tests:
 So I first did a simple press mold of cobblestone to add to my Dust Warfare bases. Here was the result:

You can see the grey strip in the middle (the putty) surrounded by sand and cork. I mixed this batch straight 1:1. It holds detail very well as long as you let it set long enough before removing it from the mold. As far as comparing to the Green Stuff from here I'd say they are pretty equal.

Next came the 3-D pieces. Here are the pics of three Panzer Gloves I cast from the Dust Tactics Axis Zombies. (Sorry about the poor quality of the pic, as well as the abundance of flash left over on the pieces)

It's hard to tell from the color here, but the left glove is Green Stuff. The center glove is a 1:1 mix of Green Stuff and ProCreate. Finally, the right glove is straight ProCreate putty. First of all, my casting job kinda sucked here. But this test brought a big distinction between the three. The quality of the casting was the same. All held the detail nicely and gave me no grief removing them from the mold. However, when it came to trimming the excess flash, the solo Green Stuff glove felt 'gummy' as I cut it. This was even after sitting to harden for a couple of days! It didn't lose it's form, but it would bend. Now, my delicate parts would move rather than break off, but there was little sanding or scraping to be done. The solo ProCreate and hybrid were firmer, which allowed me to scrape the sides of the gloves with my hobby knife to remove little pieces of flash.

Now, this is not to say that the Green Stuff wouldn't be easier had a mixed it with more hardener than epoxy, but to a novice, there are no indications that I should do that on the packaging, so I ran it straight 1:1 for the whole test,

My next test was an entire 30mm Dust Tactics base. For those of you who want nice detailed bases, but don't want to decorate every one, this is for you. Granted, the two I have done are simply basic bases, but you could add your decor first before making your cast.

For this test, my Green Stuff base looks much nicer than my ProCreate one, but that was all due to poor pressing of the mold on my part. You'll notice the GW style base 'within' the putty. To conserve on material, and to help with leveling the base, I simply put in the putty around the edges of the mold, then used the 25mm base to smash it into the recesses. Both of these did very well here, although the Green Stuff seems a bit thinner and easier to smash than the ProCreate. I did however, mix more hardening agent in with the ProCreate, hoping to make it sturdier, possible causing it to be more difficult to cast.

My last test was to actually sculpt with the ProCreate. Let me be the first to say, SCULPTING IS NOT MY FORTE. But if I'm reviewing "Professional Sculptor's Putty", I figured I should at least try. So, I attempted to put a shirt onto my Dust Warfare commander. (Note: she is not a Fantasy Flight miniature. I am using her as a stand-in to create a theme)

The first image is my model before the putty. The next shows the half-unbuttoned shirt tucked into what now appears to be a skirt. While for the most part the Green Stuff was equal to the ProCreate, this time the grey putty wins out. In my past experiences with using Green Stuff for sculpting, it felt like I was using bubblegum. The ProCreate seems similar at first, but when wet, it becomes much easier to detail with. It's not clay by any means, but to me, it felt more forgiving than it's green counterpart. The drawback was it began to set on me -quickly. Good for impatient people, bad when the baby starts crying in the next room and daddy has to go make a bottle. This may have been because once again,  I was heavier on the hardening agent.

Closing thoughts:
All in all the two are very similar products. Either would be a fine addition to your painting table. My opinion...

Better on the $$$
Easier to sculpt

Green Stuff:
Larger Quantity
Easier for simple press molds

(ProCreate , Instant Mold, & Green Stuff)

Well that's all for now. Feel free to comment or ask any questions. Also, if there is another modeling product you'd like reviewed, shoot us a message here at Indy40k. 

Rock on...

Editor's note:  While Johnny did not know this, I was sent a sample of ProCreate putty to check out and review.  I sent it along to our resident mad converter to test out and share his thoughts.  But as a disclaimer, we did not pay for the product.