Every Warhammer 40k fan has way too much plastic – from shelves overflowing with minis, to an overflowing bits box, to a to-do list in the form of a towering pile of shame. But how much thought do you give to the humble sprue, the little grey cast-offs chucked away after every Warhammer project? For Anthony Bath, the answer is ‘a lot of thought’. This 32-year-old logo embroiderer from East Sussex, UK, avoids wasting sprues, which “cannot be recycled in a lot of places” by turning them into artfully made 40k terrain. To him, the feeling of “creating something from nothing” is extremely satisfying.
Bath’s sprue-craft began in 2018, around the same time he returned to the Warhammer hobby. He spotted some rudimentary sprue Necron models online, and liked the idea of recycling “what is essentially a waste item to most people”. At first, Bath began with small wall sections and ruins, but soon he had built his way up to making intricate creations, from multi-storey Necron pyramids to a sprue-plated helmet.
It seems he’s built a bit of a reputation, and now most people know Bath as ‘The Sprue Guy’. People even send him sprues for his builds!
Building regular Warhammer 40k models these days is relatively straightforward. Instructions are much clearer than they used to be, and push-fit designs are a doddle. With sprue building,” Bath says, “It can take a lot longer.” Even small sprue builds take a few nights of work, so patience is key. “You have to cut down the sprues, clean each end up with clippers, before gluing them together and trimming off the excess,” Bath explains. It’s a lengthy process.
But for Bath it’s well worth it, as “to reuse the majority of the sprue in new ways is very satisfying.
“For me, it is a way of winding down after a long day of work. Just being able to sit there, cutting down the sprues and creating something from them gives me a lot of satisfaction, considering how much I see going to waste.”
Plus, Bath points out, he gets a free extra model with every Warhammer product he buys.
Bath’s favourite creation is his sprue Necron tomb, a two foot by two foot juggernaut that took 300 sprues to build. Just cutting all the sprues into the right shapes took Bath a few weeks, and he says the overall piece was six months in the making. “It was so satisfying to watch it slowly come to life, and now it is complete, I am very proud of it.”
The Sprue Guy usually dreams up his projects rather spontaneously. Right now he’s working on a Necron Lychguard cosplay for London Comicon, and has made a wearable helmet that’s – yep – completely covered in sprues. When the entire cosplay is finished, Bath says, it’ll include a sword and shield, and be full of sprue elements.
If you want to make your own sprue builds, Bath recommends patience above all else. “These things take time to make, but give you immense satisfaction when completed. The knowledge that you have created something from what is essentially a scrap piece of material, is very satisfying and also saves the environment at the same time.”
You can find more of Anthony Bath’s stuff, including WIP builds, on Instagram @the_sprue_guy.