Greeble, Greeblie, Nurnie, Wiggets and Decorative Bits

What Is A Greeble?

A greeble or greeblie is a part that is taken from plastic modelling kits, bits boxes or 3D Printed. That are used in model making to add details and character to other models. This form of modelling is often called kit bashing.
These can be used in modelling at any scale, from tabletop modelling to studio scale works and is even used 

Nurnies are a similar concept however they are not used for physical models, they are to add details to surfaces on digital 3D models in computer games or CGI design work. 

These greebles are often mechanical junk and industrial infrastructure. The Greeblies suggest practicality function and give a 'lived in' look while at the same time implying importance.
STL 3D Model Greeble and Greeblie PacksSTL 3D Model Greeble and Greeblie Packs

Is It Greeblie Or Greeble?

The term greeblie is roughly attributed to industrial light and magic (the production company heavily associated with the production of Star Wars models and studio miniatures). The most famous greeblie of note is the Universal Greeble. The universal greeblie was a part from a WW1 railway gun model kit that was made from an assortment of shapes that made it perfect for use in a vast array of situations from space ship surfaces to wall panels and terminals.

Although they can be used interchangeably there seems to be a bit of a controversy as to whether the term is greeble or greeblie. Adam Savage, who worked for Industrial Light and Magic seems to call them greeblies and so that is what we tend to go with. Greeble seems to be preferred by spell checkers though, suggesting that its more commonly recognised within the English lexicon.

Following from this the term nurnies comes more from the digital creation realm and CGI. The term originates from Foundation Imaging when they were creating the Babylon 5 CGI. The term is also often related to game asset design.

And just for completeness on the making of 2001 a space odyssey the team there referred to them as wiggets.

Greebles, HUH, What are good for? 

Greebles make an impact, from the opening scenes of Star Wars A New Hope, the world was in awe of the industrial power of the empire as the landscape of the Star Destroyer slowly passed across the top of the cinema screen chasing the sleeker blockade runner. A far departure from the clean and clinical look of the sci-fi that came before in Star Trek these ships had presence, these ships had character, these ships were alive and it was all down to the inattention to detail of the model makers that covered every surface in a planned random way that suggests industrial might. 

This is the power of the greeblie, To take a boring box or a simple shaped fuselage and break up all the large geometric areas with details and points of interest for the eye to explore and wonder over. What function does that have? What is that a cooler for? Why is that even there?

Kit bashing is a common method of modelling that allows people to create unique and interesting models that differ from the source, creating many variations from a standard model. It also can come under the heading of scratch build which is a method of taking any resource material and creating a unique idea from disparate materials and elements. Scratch building can often be referred to as Trash bash or terrain from trash, although it is not limited to terrain and often plasticard, cardboard and other things are used to create vehicles, figures and more.

Greeblies are a large resource of ‘bits’ that can be used in these creations and we have a huge range of 3D printables and STL Greeble sets that you can 3D print to fulfil all of your modelling desires.

Why are they useful for model making and kitbashing? 

Greeblies allow you to create interesting detailing quickly and easily on any model surfaces and types. Forming a good bit’s box of things that you can raid when kitbashing and scratch-building is important however you can also look to 3D printing to fill any gaps in your inventory.

3D printing these STL Greeble parts as you need them allows you to create a massive supply of 3D Printable in digital archive of 3D designs and model bits that you can print out as you need them.

Greeblie STL’s are also handy for doing digital kit bashing, which involves taking a 3D model and adding greeble STL files to it.

These can be positioned then merged with the item to create variations on a 3D model in much the same way as physical kitbashing and scratch building.

How do we use Greebles?

The greeblies we design have found their way into a vast array of our wargaming 3D models and you can look at our model range and identify greeblies from our different packs adorning the walls and surfaces of the 3D printable models.

A prime example of this was the Tidy Town model range. To create these, we took the Stuff-in Stacker set and then created greeblie templates and texture stamps and used a pattern of stamping both of those on in different combinations to create an expansive range of variations to add enough unique options to your tabletop so you can print out multiple versions of the same model without repeating the same look.