Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Making a Purity Seal

Now that I've a display board, I wanted to label it for the Executioners. I know the common way to do this is to get a brass plate engraved. However, I priced it out from a couple places, and it costs $40 to $50 to get the amount of words I wanted engraved. I figured I could save some money by making my own label, and make it more fitting for the army to boot.

I've seen quite a few purity seals floating around the internet, so I decided to make one of them. First I needed to make a stamp for the seal. First, I found a wooden dowel of the diameter I wanted the finished seal to be. Next, I chose a symbol for the seal; I went with a skull in front of the Imperial Eagle as it fits with the Executioners and was the right scale.

I just put a smooth coat of green stuff on the end of the dowel and smashed it down on the eagle bit. Make sure to cover the bit in lubricant such as olive oil or vaseline, and make sure that it's centered in the green stuff.

I gave the green stuff overnight to cure, and ended up with this.

Now it was just a matter of pulling out the eagle, lubricating the stamp, and then imprinting on it a disc of green stuff. Make sure the disc is a bit wider than the stamp. Once you've mashed the stamp onto the disc, press the green stuff that comes out the sides back towards the center. This will produce the raised edge we see on purity seals on Space Marine models.

Once again, I gave the green stuff overnight to cure before separating the stamp from my new purity seal. I then washed it to remove any remaining lubricant and painted it, starting with Mephiston Red and working up using heavy drybrushes of lighter reds. I finished it up with a red wash.

Now I needed to work on the paper section of the seal. Cut two strips of paper to the length you want, and a width about 2/3 the width of the seal. You can theoretically use any paper, but heavier, more textured paper will look better. I actually had some sheepskin vellum around, so I used that. I used a calligraphy pen to write on the strips, making sure to leave enough room to glue the strips to the seal. I used white glue to glue the strips to each other by these blank areas, leaving about a 30 degree offset between them so that both strips would be visible. I then glued them to the back of the seal, and matte varnished the completed purity seal.

The front strip identifies my army as Executioners Strike Force 'Red Nails' (named after an excellent Conan story), and the second strip asks "What is best in life?" In this case, I think the answer would be to win best painted army, but I'm hoping to see my enemies driven before me as well.


  1. I like it, and I think the process can be expanded upon to make something really professional looking.

  2. Thanks, and I totally agree. This is a first attempt and is pretty basic. In particular, I think the strips of paper could do with some extra wear and tear. They just look too clean and new.

  3. You could soak the ends in some tea to give them a manilla tint and add some age.


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