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sculpey/oven bake polymer clay

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I bought some sculpey III today with the intent of using it to make custom miniatures. I made a little armature out of brass wire and tried to build it up on top of it, but I find the sculpey too soft and I keep accidentally undoing my work. Does anyone have any advice for working with this material?

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...Don't use it for miniatures is the best advice I can give.  You can't double bake it, and it's nigh impossible to sculpt anything beyond furniture or blobs at this scale without a self-hardening clay like Greenstuff (or Apoxie or Kneadatite, etc).  I love Sculpey, but it's not for what you're after.

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you might have limited success in working in small amounts. Apply the torso, bake. Apply leg understructure (muscles), bake, etc. In these cases, it may help to work on 2-3 models at once, do one, set it to bake, do the nextstep on model 2, set it to bake when model 1 is baked, and rotate as needed.

 

It's not the best polymer for this application, but it can be done with patience and technique.

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So it turns out that a friend of mine is actually quite experienced with sculpey. He tells me that I should make most of the understructure in either aluminum foil or epoxy putty first on top of a small wire armature and then work with the sculpey on top of that in a fairly thin layer and keep building it up until I'm satisfied, and then bake it.

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you might have limited success in working in small amounts. Apply the torso, bake. Apply leg understructure (muscles), bake, etc. In these cases, it may help to work on 2-3 models at once, do one, set it to bake, do the nextstep on model 2, set it to bake when model 1 is baked, and rotate as needed.

 

It's not the best polymer for this application, but it can be done with patience and technique.

Doesn't Sculpey start to crumble after being baked twice?  I overbaked some once and it did not turn out well...

 

So, I think my over-baking issue was thinness of the slab.  Apparently as long as you keep the temperature below 275 F re-baking is just fine, and leaving it in longer will actually further polymerize the clay and make it harder (and darker).  Still sticking to GS for minis, but my furnishings are about to become more elaborate...

Edited by BLZeebub
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Recently took a class where we tried a material like that. The theme was Monsters.
This is, I guess, the first thing I have sculpted from scratch.
 
IMG_1441_1442_zpszlw2cmfc.jpg
 
I think the white stuff is either Fimo or Sculpey. The 'hair' strands were created in an extrusion tool.
This was baked just the once. The dark green is a self-hardening putty.

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I bought some Sculpy today as well, but I plan on  making a well, similar to 02634: Well Of Doom, but without the tentacles. (Bonus, Nice cashier lady had a 50% off coupon that she used for me!) And other dungeon dressing things.

I was surprised at how malleable the stuff is, I expected to have to knead it for a long time, but it was pliable and easy to work with in under 5 minutes.

 

So I started by making a circle 13/4" in diameter and about an 1/8 in thickness. I then laid a 'worm' of sculpy about 1/4 in in diameter around the outside, and proceeded to use

clay shapers to blend it into the base, and then flatten the top, and carve a pattern like laid stone around the outside. I plan on another 2 pieces about the same size on top, so that the whole thing will be about 5/8 in tall or so.

 

Pics of first layer:

001.jpg 002.jpg

 

Astrid the Chronicler for Scale:

004.jpg 003.jpg

 

The baking directions say 15min @ 275 deg F per 1/4 in. I am guessing that would be for a solid object. As mine is going to be more of a torus, about a 1/4 in thick, do I bake for 15 min? or longer due to the height?

I have heard that sculpy doesn't like to be burned....

 

Also. I am sculpting this on the bottom of an upside down pyrex dish. when the sculpy is baked, will it come off the pyrex without breaking????

 

Thanks for any and all help!

 

8)

George

 

Moving to it's own thread.... Here

Edited by knarthex
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You can rebake polymer clay with no ill effect.  What you can't do without ill effect is overheat it.  I strongly recommend an oven thermometer.

The thickness recommendations are based on the narrowest dimension.  Truth be told, if you've got more than 1/4" (6.5 mm) or so, your armature is too small.  I like to work on the bottom of an upside-down Pyrex baking dish so that I just put my sculpting surface in the oven.  It's easiest to remove about 10 minutes after you take the dish out of the oven (it's still a little flexible when it's warm).   I recommend a plastic spatula.

 

Polymer clays come in a dizzying variety of flavors with differing textures and temperature requirements.  Once you open it, I recommend keeping the clay and the wrapper in a sandwich baggie so that you can refer back to the specs.  I prefer FIMO for gaming applications because it's more durable than Sculpey or Super Sculpey.  FIMO soft is a bit easier to work with.

 

Polymer clay can be softened with mineral oil.  Use sparingly.

 

Polymer clays are more or less PVC.  The guides for painting Reaper Bones won't steer you wrong. (No sprays.  Don't do it.)

 

The master sculpts for the Confrontation miniatures from Rackham were done with FIMO, so it is an appropriate material for miniatures.  But it doesn't work anything like green stuff, and the production process has a couple of extra steps.

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I couldn't get Super Sculpey to sculpting anything miniature-worthy.

 

Super Sculpey Firm, on the other hand, is doable with a lot of patience. A bit of vaseline softens it in localized places.

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Also. I am sculpting this on the bottom of an upside down pyrex dish. when the sculpy is baked, will it come off the pyrex without breaking????

 

Parchment paper. Parchment paper. <<=== tip from the class I took. 

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Also. I am sculpting this on the bottom of an upside down pyrex dish. when the sculpy is baked, will it come off the pyrex without breaking????

 

Parchment paper. Parchment paper. <<=== tip from the class I took. 

 

Parchment or wax paper?  I was going to suggest using vaseline or mineral oil on the Pyrex to keep it from sticking too.  I usually do my sculpting on either greased aluminum foil (I bake sculpey things on that) or wax paper (for GS, etc).

Edited by BLZeebub

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Also. I am sculpting this on the bottom of an upside down pyrex dish. when the sculpy is baked, will it come off the pyrex without breaking????

 

Parchment paper. Parchment paper. <<=== tip from the class I took. 

 

Parchment or wax paper?  I was going to suggest using vaseline or mineral oil on the Pyrex to keep it from sticking too.  I usually do my sculpting on either greased aluminum foil (I bake sculpey things on that) or wax paper (for GS, etc).

 

I tried making a couple of bases and a tree stump from sculpey last night, and I used aluminum foil when i baked it and it worked fine. I think parchment paper would likely work equally well.

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