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Thread: Types of clay

  1. #1
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    Types of clay

    Hello everyone,

    I just wondered if you guys would be able to help me out? In a few months time, I'm thinking about trying out these new clays, (see below) specifically for the purpose of super fine detailing, like hands, amulets, patterns etc. Normally, I advise people to try out samples of clays when I'm asked the same question but the clays I'm looking at don't offer samples.

    Here are a few clays that I'm looking into at the moment:

    WED CLAY:

    I done a search for 'WED' clay, which is very rare over here where I live (England) But I found ONE place on the net that sells it. If any of you use it, I was just wondering, do you have to use a kiln to heat it? In the description it says that it's 'like' ceramic clay and it stays moist much longer than normal ceramic clay. Pretty vague I thought.

    SCULPEY FIRM:

    Is it as good as it says it is? How firm is it?

    GREEN STUFF:

    I was thinking about using this stuff for detailing, but is it any good? Nice to use?

    APOXIE:

    They don't sell it here!!!

    EPOXY:

    I use it, but mainly for making an armature stronger, for fixing and repairing. (And I'm too bloody slow at sculpting anyway, since it hardens quickly..

    Any feedback will be greatly appreciated, so thanks in advance if you can help!

    Best wishes!

    Kenny!!!!!!!
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    Hallo Kenny!

    I've used Sculpey Firm quite a lot, so I can throw in a few words on it.. it's not very firm! I don't know what you're used to using, but it's not as firm as, say, a medium-hard plasticine clay. Much fimer than regular Sculpey, I will say that. Has the same 'drawbacks' .. a rubbery, bouncy texture, likes to 'feather' instead of smoothing unless you're using very smooth tools.

    I would say that it really depends on what kind of a touch you have, soft or hard.. if you have a soft touch and a lot of patience, Sculpey Firm can be worked up to a pretty good level of detail. It's going to be annoyingly soft to someone used to a material that can take a firm touch, like wax.

    I'm a newbie-sculptor, and am forever messing up my work, though, by resting fingers on it and accidentally mooshing as I turn it this way and that.. *sigh*.. sculpy firm isn't firm enough to resist that kind of abuse.

    I will say, however, that a savvy character could experiment with shaping it close to the desired form, then baking it, and working it more - properly fired, it's quite tough.

    ... epic answer, sorry.. ^^;

    Oh!

    If you're interested in trying the epoxy puttys, you might search for Milliput - it's like Apoxie (two-part putty, meant for art.. hardens in hours instead of minutes), but I think it's actually made in England. IIRC, it's expensive.. so it may well be that you'd get more material for less money by paying the shipping on Apoxie or Magic-Sculp.

    Hope that helps!
    ____
    Ramie
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    Quote Originally Posted by razimo View Post
    Hallo Kenny!

    I've used Sculpey Firm quite a lot, so I can throw in a few words on it.. it's not very firm! I don't know what you're used to using, but it's not as firm as, say, a medium-hard plasticine clay. Much fimer than regular Sculpey, I will say that. Has the same 'drawbacks' .. a rubbery, bouncy texture, likes to 'feather' instead of smoothing unless you're using very smooth tools.

    I would say that it really depends on what kind of a touch you have, soft or hard.. if you have a soft touch and a lot of patience, Sculpey Firm can be worked up to a pretty good level of detail. It's going to be annoyingly soft to someone used to a material that can take a firm touch, like wax.

    I'm a newbie-sculptor, and am forever messing up my work, though, by resting fingers on it and accidentally mooshing as I turn it this way and that.. *sigh*.. sculpy firm isn't firm enough to resist that kind of abuse.

    I will say, however, that a savvy character could experiment with shaping it close to the desired form, then baking it, and working it more - properly fired, it's quite tough.

    ... epic answer, sorry.. ^^;

    Oh!

    If you're interested in trying the epoxy puttys, you might search for Milliput - it's like Apoxie (two-part putty, meant for art.. hardens in hours instead of minutes), but I think it's actually made in England. IIRC, it's expensive.. so it may well be that you'd get more material for less money by paying the shipping on Apoxie or Magic-Sculp.

    Hope that helps!
    Hello Master. Razimo Dude,

    Wow, many thanks for the detailed info on the Sculpey Firm.. I will take it all into consideration. Yes, normally I use Super Sculpey and Chavant now and again the medium stuff, so I can imagine the pros and cons.

    And yeah, I'm too slow at sculpting you see.. so I'm not so sure about the milliput. I use it mainly for fixing and repairing. But, I may just have another go at using it for sculpting simpler things.

    You're a great help my friend, it's much appreciated! Thanks for the advice.

    Best wishes,

    Kenny!!!!
    Check out my scary monster thread!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=109738



    Want lotsa sculpture resources? Add some if you want to!
    http://www.conceptart.org/forums/sho...d.php?t=154013

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    Well, there's the suck thing about being a girl - 'Mistress' makes you sound like something off a vampire movie, and 'Dudette' just... well.. it's just not the same.

    Oh well. I appreciate the sentiment, Master! You do me much honor.

    And oh, oh.. oh... I forgot. The sculpture I'm working on right now is a different mix, that I'm enjoying.. I used this stuff:

    http://www.katopolyclay.com/

    .. there is a UK retailer for it.. by itself, OMG, obnoxiously hard. Just really obnoxious. I never did have enough patience to see if I could have, eventually, gotten it to smooth out with enough kneading... it was still at the stiff / crumbly stage when I got fed up with it and started throwing in regular pink SS. I ended up with a mix that was .. mm.. 2 parts SS, 1 part white Kato and 1 part black Kato. That mixed to a lovely cool grey, and so far, I'm liking the texture.. I wouldn't call it harder, but it's less......mmm... fluffy? Just feels more dense under the tool, and a little less rubbery.

    My other big HURRAY moment for wee bitty details came when I discovered making wee-bitty loop tools out of guitar wire.. I have one that I made myself for about $3, the loop is tiny.. well, here, see for yourself in this fabulously non-awesome photo:

    http://thepeep.pucemoose.com/a-and-the-very-sm-tool.jpg

    .. and MAN, it helps. Well, assuming you're a loop-tool kinda gent, anyway. I am - create a rough shape, loop it down to what I need.

    .. epic answer #2. Mea culpa - I am not much for editing. ^^;

    Best of luck to you!
    ____
    Ramie
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    I've been using Roma Plastilina recently, and I've really come to like it. I love using #4, which is very firm, but it hold detail incredibly well. It feels more like wax than clay, and it needs to be warmed before use. I usually break it into smaller chunks and shoot it with a heat gun for a few seconds to loosen it up. Though you can still scratch it with a fingernail, you don't have to worry about fingerprints. I've even dropped a piece a few times and it was totally unaltered. Plastilina also comes in #3 and #2, which are much softer (#2 feels more like ceramic). It doesn't dry out because it's oil based- there's sulfur in the mix, so it's a little smelly, and it can also cause some problems with certain silicones. But overall, I definitely recommend it. I hope that's helpful!
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    Hi Dreamsorcerer!
    Good question, glad you asked as I'd like to try new clays too...
    Yeah I still haven't found out much on WED clay-I'd like to try it as they use it in movie studios?

    My 2p on sculpey firm- all the stock I've bought in UK has been old and crumbly. I've recently been mixing it with regular sculpey but I just gave up- too much work for me- much prefer the soft stuff.

    Avesstudios makers of the apoxie sculpt do ship to UK if you make an enquiry with them, just add 30 quid on for shipping! Totemo takai!

    Green stuff, you can get from games workshop shops £5 to try, I find it a bit too rubbery for detail.

    Milliput is okay but can stick more to your fingers than your sculpt.

    Hope it helps, let me know what you find out
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    to me castiline (or whatever it's called) seemed a nice option. i think you can use it like a polymer clay, but it's also waxbased so you can melt it down and pour it into a mold. seemed like a good idea to bake a sculpt mold it. melt it down and cast it. so you can keep using the same stuff and keep adding detail.

    unless i'm completly mistaken. it's just a summary of what i remember from a couple of sites.
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    Hey dreamsorcerer,
    I guess if you won't work that fast you should absolutely stay away from epoxies like Aves, Milliput, etc.
    Sculpey Firm might be just right for you, considering what wonders you do to that mushy standard Sculpey. If thats still too soft (at least for me it is), give wax a try; Gary's ZEN is simply amazing and you can probably work on it for several hundred years
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    Hey there dreamsorcerer,
    As far as wed clay goes, it is basically like a ceramic clay except it stays wet longer. FX shops tend to use it for large-scale applications because of its speed. Since it is soft and muddy like a ceramic clay, you can shape it very quickly. When special effects studios use it, they're generally planning on molding it, because true wed clay isn't formulated for firing (though it can be). It's mixed with glycerin which is what keeps it wet for a longer period of time. That being the case, it's best not to use wed if your intention is to harden your original sculpt for permanence, since cracking can occur. Also, it's good to note that wed clay, because it is soft and muddy, can be more difficult to achieve super-fine detail. Not impossible, but certainly more challenging.
    Last edited by Aquanaut; March 2nd, 2009 at 05:57 PM.
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    hey, i use a mix of sculpey firm, milliput and green stuff. cant comment on any others, but my thoughts on the above:

    sculpey firm -

    not a huge difference to super sculpey, never tried them side by side, but if they are both fairly cool and not been handled, they arent vastly different in texture. the most recent batch i got was from an ebay shop. was a bit hesistant, but turned out to be in perfect condition, smooth and easy to mold, but not too soft. (i'll dig out the name of the guy if anyone's interested)

    i stick with firm because it shows up detail and imperfections well (pre-baking), and can be got to a damn good finish with a bit of work.

    milliput -

    good for armatures, incredibly hard and tough (duh!). most recently ive been shaping this into rough objects and then filling/sanding them to get more mechanical/rigid shapes. good for blade weapons and gun parts, as with a bit of patience you can get a very precise "machined" effect.

    also for the impatient (like me) you can bake it at low temperatures to accelerate the setting time, though this possibly makes it a bit more brittle. i dont find it sets that quick in the open air, but after an hour or so it becomes more crumbly.

    as mentioned above, this stuff gets everywhere, especially sticking to fingers. it helps to keep tools and finger damp, but if they are too wet it really will get everywhere!

    green stuff -

    i dont use this very often, as it has quite a spring/elastic quality (not fun for non-organic shapes) however, as demonstrated by the games workshop team, extremely high detail can be got with the right skills

    this is also pretty good if you are making small shapes on an armature, as it has a slightly sticky texture. i used it for the fingers of my last model, as milliput and sculpey kept falling off and stretching. (hard to describe and very frustrating! but the green stuff stayed where i wanted it!)
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    Quote Originally Posted by TeaMonster View Post
    My 2p on sculpey firm- all the stock I've bought in UK has been old and crumbly. I've recently been mixing it with regular sculpey but I just gave up- too much work for me- much prefer the soft stuff
    Hmm... I was wondering why it was crap

    IIRC WED clay is just ceramic clay with glycerine in - so it doesn't dry out. There's a tutorial somewhere on how can make your own from clay dust.

    Green stuff is brilliant for small things. BUT - it's difficult to get the hang of to begin with. If you give it a go keep at it. I guarantee it the first time you use it you will hate it Mixing in a gnat's cock worth of Brown Stuff makes it easier to use, but now you're pushing up the price. Procreate is also nice - but also more expensive again.
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    hey guys!!
    i m new to this forum and my english isn´t the best but i think and hope that we will understand us ;D .
    i never did something like sculpting ,although it´s a whish of my for so long.and since i read through this forum and see how people like u sculpter your own fantasy and share your love with eachother i can´t wayt anymore.
    yesterday ,i bought super sculpey normal and firm.and in about to weeks i have the time to start my first lession in sculpting ;D.

    but now back to the topic:

    i´m very glad that dreamsorcerer opend this thread cos i have some questions,too.

    - how much time do i have to work with super sculpey bevore it gets brittle??
    - how is magic sculp??i heard it´s made out of resin and would be good for making details...

    good night dear colleagues!!
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    Hey Kenny,

    I don't really know what to recommend...it seems to me that super sculpey and sculpey firm is the best thing out there because it is so versatile and can be made permanent right in your oven.

    However, I think the next best thing would be the wax-based clay like Casteline or Zen. I haven't tried this yet but I am sure that you can create insanely detailed and sick sculpts with it. If you have seen the toys from Todd McFarlane company, that is what they use. I collect the dragons from that company and I'm amazed at how much detail they could pack into small scale.

    Quote Originally Posted by SavannahLeigh
    I've been using Roma Plastilina recently...
    I tried this before, and I admit that the quality is good, although it is smelly and leave green color all over my hands. Like you said, it contains sulfur and may cause problems with some molding compounds. I recently brought some modeling clay from Van Aken...I still have yet to try it but it is sulfur-free and seems pretty firm to me.

    Quote Originally Posted by Diam
    - how much time do i have to work with super sculpey bevore it gets brittle??
    I have left some uncured sculptures out for several months and they got a little dry. My guess is that you can leave your sculpey clay out for about a month or two before it becomes too dry to work with. If it's too dry you can always add some drops of sculpey clay softener and it will become good again. If they are kept in plastic bags and in cool area, they will last much longer...I have some that are several months old and still good.

    Hope that helps!
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