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Making Sculpey bases


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#1 Enchantra

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Posted 04 March 2004 - 06:41 PM

Earlier in the week I posted the following thread:
http://www.reapermin...?showtopic=6323

I've received a few PM's from people who were curious as to how to build up bases from sculpey.

First of all it is not hard. It takes very little talent, basic sculpting methods, and One box of super sculpey can make a huge number of bases.

Plan out ahead of time the kind of base you want to make. And do all your work on a wax paper covered surface.
Materials:
Super sculpey
Template/cookie cutter
Xacto knife or clay knife
liquid sculpey
wax paper
clay roller


1) Warm up your clay a bit in your hands. Now using a polymer clay roller (Found at most craft stores), Roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Be sure to do this on waxed paper so the clay does not stick to what you are rolling it on.

2) Now cut the base to the shape and size you need. A sharp knife or a specially designed clay knife will work fine. Xacto knives work well too. You may find using a template will keep the shape you are cutting looking even. After cutting lift up the clay from around the shape you cut and put it to the side. Cookie cutters can be used in place of the template and the knife.

3) Pick up the base and using your finger smooth the edges. You now have a basic base to build things on. Now you can start to add rocks, or other surface features you want, using the very sculpey you made the base with.
-To make rocks, simply roll a few different sized balls of sculpey, now irregularly press them onto a flat surface to create planes on the ball. Doing so mimics the look of rock. Now you can attach these rocks to the surface. I find that simply putting them on does not always ensure they won't accidentally get knocked off later. To remedy this, I use a drop or two of liquid sculpey as a kind of glue between the rock and the base.

Now you can add as many rocks as you wish. Many different things can be done with sculpey.

Crystals: Take a piece and freeze it and then using a sharp knife quickly but gently cut planes down the sides of the piece to create crystal planes. Affix to the base with liquid sculpey.

Texturing tools: The heads of pins, sewing needles, rubber stamps, texture plates, burlap, and just about anything that can apply a texture that will not be harmed by the clay.

Modelling tools: Clay extruders. This will be your friend as you can crank out a long coil of uniform size and shape or a flat ribbon like piece that can then be cut into pieces that when applied to a base look like tile or stone. The uses are almost endless. These extruders are hand helf and often come with 10 or more plates that the clay can be pushed through, each creating a different shape.

Wire: It can be used as a tool and also is good for using as an armature on anything you are building up.

4) The last step. After you have ensured the base is how you want it, preheat your oven to 275 degrees farenheit or even up to 300 and bake it for about 15 minutes. The higher the temp of the oven the lower the baking time. Before I bake a base that is meant for a mini I am basing, I mark with a needle where I want to glue on the mini. If the mini has a base on it meant to go into a slotted base, I make a slot into the sculpey just before baking that way I can easily glue the mini in afterwards. The area around the mini where the slot is visible can be smoothed over with Kneadatite after the base has cooled and the mini has been mounted.

NOTE: When baking bake the piece on baking parchment on a cookie sheet. Do not bake on the waxed paper. Also be sure to use a little ventilation as sculpey when it is baking can give off an odor that some do not like.

When your piece is finished baking and cooling, prime and base and add foliage as you desire.

Voila! A base!

Maybe eventually with Kit's permission I will do an article of this with more detailed instructions and pictures.
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#2 claymoore

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 02:31 AM

1) Warm up your clay a bit in your hands. Now using a polymer clay roller (Found at most craft stores), Roll out the clay to about 1/4 inch thickness. Be sure to do this on waxed paper so the clay does not stick to what you are rolling it on.

To ensure consistant thickness use a guide strip on each side of the clay you are rolling out and rest the edges of the Brayer tube/roller on them as you roll. These can be cardstock, plastic or whatever material is handy and of the desired thickness. A roller type pasta machine can also be used to get very consistant strips although they usually max out at 1/8 inch thick.

#3 Enchantra

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 04:51 AM

To ensure consistant thickness use a guide strip on each side of the clay you are rolling out and rest the edges of the Brayer tube/roller on them as you roll. These can be cardstock, plastic or whatever material is handy and of the desired thickness. A roller type pasta machine can also be used to get very consistant strips although they usually max out at 1/8 inch thick.

I haven't found a crank style pasta machine yet that went above the 1/8 mark. In fact the one I have I believe maxes out at around 1/16 and goes down to literally paper thin.

When rolling out sculpey I find that if I use consistent even pressure on the roller, guides are not necessary. Then again I have this uncanny ability to be able to look at the clay and tell when it is at the proper thickness without measuring it.

The Federal Government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it.  We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as "progress," doesn't spread.  -Andy Rooney

 

http://www.artfire.c...nchantedRegalia

 

http://www.pinterest.../amandabielski/

 


#4 claymoore

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Posted 05 March 2004 - 11:10 AM

I haven't found a crank style pasta machine yet that went above the 1/8 mark. In fact the one I have I believe maxes out at around 1/16 and goes down to literally paper thin.

When rolling out sculpey I find that if I use consistent even pressure on the roller, guides are not necessary. Then again I have this uncanny ability to be able to look at the clay and tell when it is at the proper thickness without measuring it.

My Pasta machine does strips just under 1/8 inch which is the height of most plastic bases. Not that many people have pasta makers anyway.
While I too can eyeball the thickness I work faster with guide strips. They help when making sheets of greenstuff as well. Nice post btw.

#5 Mastertickles

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 09:09 PM

I thought I would show everyone the stamps I made out of sculpy a few years ago. (parts are black due to over cooking) alot of pics ::D:

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#6 Enchantra

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Posted 28 January 2006 - 09:22 PM

Those stamps look burnt. :blink:

The base for your dragon actually looks like one of the Amaco texture sheets was applied to the Sculpey. It makes a great stonework pattern. The stone accents the dragon nicely too.

The Federal Government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it.  We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as "progress," doesn't spread.  -Andy Rooney

 

http://www.artfire.c...nchantedRegalia

 

http://www.pinterest.../amandabielski/

 


#7 Mastertickles

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 08:55 AM

yeah like I said they are burnt a little but it doesn't matter they are just to stamp nothing more. the six picture down shows the stamp that did the dragons base. I just pressed a little part at a time.

#8 Enchantra

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 09:48 AM

yeah like I said they are burnt a little but it doesn't matter they are just to stamp nothing more. the six picture down shows the stamp that did the dragons base. I just pressed a little part at a time.


What surface did you bake those stamps on? I'm curious, and how long did you leave them in the oven/toaster oven? The last time I saw burning like that was when I used a toaster oven belonging to an ex, and despite watching the temperature carefully on it the sculpey burned taking on that lovely brown/black color. I've also heard of burning like that happening when the sculpey was baked on a teflon surface. (teflon + sculpey = bad news.)

The Federal Government has sponsored research that has produced a tomato that is perfect in every respect, except that you can't eat it.  We should make every effort to make sure this disease, often referred to as "progress," doesn't spread.  -Andy Rooney

 

http://www.artfire.c...nchantedRegalia

 

http://www.pinterest.../amandabielski/

 


#9 Mastertickles

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Posted 29 January 2006 - 10:02 AM

I now bake in the main ovemn in my house at 215 degrees I don't burn anymore. Like I saiod before I made these years ago accept the one that is not burned which is recent. I used a toaster oven but foundthat the tempature rose to fast thus burning most objects I don't remember what surface I used.

BTW the sculpy base that is round is not burned. The wooden disk was painted brown first because I was going to glue with super glue (the paint keeps the glue from absorbing into the wooden disk)

#10 Darin W

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Posted 23 March 2006 - 03:08 PM

I recently made some handy texture pads with Super Sculpey.

By pressing a ball of Sculpey into various materials with my finger, you get a "negative" impression of the material. After baking the Sculpey you have a finger-fitting texture pad to put very realistic textures on your models.

I made texture pads from:
- fine/coarse gravel (for rough orge/troll skin)
- un-popped popcorn (great cobblestone-like texture!)
- old dish rag (for fur)
- rough sandpaper (for skin pores)
- small jewelry chain (well, for chain.)

Later, I'm going to try:
- various sizes of BB's (for bubbles and boils)
- overlapping flakes (for dragon scales or mail)

Do many mini sculptors use texture pads?
It might be a good tutorial at ReaperCon this year.
-- Darin "The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

#11 Darin W

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 01:18 AM

To continue a thought I had in a previous post, I've posted some pics of some texture pads I made from Super Sculpey. They were really easy to make and are going to come in really handy with my sculpts.

Super Sculpey texture pad (left), Impression in green clay (right)

skin.jpg fur.jpg
rock.jpg hair.jpg
chain.jpg

The chain impression can be lifted with a hobby knife and transfered to a work-in-progress.

Mastertickles has some great sculpts posted on this forum. (Lot of worms and tenacle-thingys.) A couple of dabs from a "rough skin" or "fur" texture pad could add that last bit of realism! Sculpting all that reptile and worm skin must be really hard.

Just some thoughts.
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-- Darin "The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein

#12 Bodhi

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 02:15 AM

Texture pads are great for large surfaces that need texturing (such as "rugged" skin and similar). Not to sure of the fur and hair though. It looks better done by hand. Of course a combination can allways be useful - to first use a pad and then, after some curing of the putty, to sharpen up the details with a scalpel. I've tried making tiny symbols (Kanji and the like) with stamps but so far I'm not getting it to look clean and sharp enough. Better to sculpt them by hand after all. For such tiny detail work I'm finding that using a differently coloured putty to the underlying material helps me to see better what I'm doing and using a stamp doesn't make that an option.
That which is great is allways greater than something else. That which is small is allways smaller than something else. Therefore: The universe is a grain of rice and the tip of a hair as big as a mountain Lao Tse

#13 Darin W

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Posted 24 March 2006 - 08:09 PM

For such tiny detail work I'm finding that using a differently coloured putty to the underlying material helps me to see better what I'm doing and using a stamp doesn't make that an option.


That's a really good point. A mix of Green Stuff could be used, for instance,
for the chain impression and then lifted and placed on a field of Brown Stuff for further
work on the details and blending.

Texture pads are, of course, no substitute for lots of sculpting practice.
They are just another arrow in the quiver of the craftsman. :B):
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-- Darin "The important thing is not to stop questioning." - Albert Einstein




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