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  1. RPF Premium Member Hecubus114's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 3:00 AM - #1

    Title says it all - any of the experienced fellas here (Howard S., Wampa, etc.) that can tell me what the best clay for sculpting a bust is... maybe even if someone has a simple tutorial about how to support it and what not. I really, REALLY want to get into this. SO anybody who can help me - thanks in advance.
  2. JRX's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 4:13 AM - #2

    <div class='quotetop'>(Hecubus114 @ Oct 1 2006, 10:00 AM) [snapback]1329737[/snapback]</div>
    Title says it all - any of the experienced fellas here (Howard S., Wampa, etc.) that can tell me what the best clay for sculpting a bust is... maybe even if someone has a simple tutorial about how to support it and what not. I really, REALLY want to get into this. SO anybody who can help me - thanks in advance.
    [/b]

    ... I was just asking Cyberman almost the same question in his latest Thread ...

    I sculpt my 1:1 Heads in Super Sculpey, but that is definately NOT the best material to do Lifesize heads.
    I just have no other options right now ...
  3. RPF Premium Member Hecubus114's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 4:23 PM - #3

    Yeah, I know very little about it - I've tried large projects out of sculpey, and even I could tell its not what its intended for - come on guys. Help out a poor, lonely ameture.
  4. Trooper TK409's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 5:27 PM - #4

    I'm interested in knowing what's best as well.
  5. Roughneckone's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 6:16 PM - #5

    <div class='quotetop'>(Trooper TK409 @ Oct 1 2006, 11:27 PM) [snapback]1330098[/snapback]</div>
    I'm interested in knowing what's best as well.
    [/b]
    Use an OIL BASED clay like Roma Plastila or Castilene since they will both give you plenty of time to work on your sculpt. As to hints tips and ideas on sculpting you could do worse than check out
    The FX Lab.

    Roughneckone

  6. propsculptor's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 6:30 PM - #6


    I suggest if you don't like the (Sulphur) stink that Roma Plastilina leaves in your House-Garage/Shop then try Chavant Clay (http://www.chavant.com) they have a soft clay called Chavant NSP (Non Sulphur Plastilina)

    It's great for Sculpting busts or even smooth projects such as Helmets and Armor, I sculpted the Helmets for all the Soldiers in Kurt Russell's "Soldier" with Chavant NSP




    It's great stuff and you also won't have any problem with it setting up against Tin-Based Silicone for your Molds since Tin-Based Silicones don't like Sulphur and won't set up because of it.
  7. RPF Premium Member Hecubus114's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 7:06 PM - #7

    Very helpful info guys. Thank you.

    One more question - what do you guys use for the "bulk" of a bust? I assume the entire head isnt solid clay, correct? What should be used as a space filler?
  8. TK1536's Avatar
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    College Park, MD
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    Oct 1, 2006, 7:38 PM - #8

    I purchased about 15lbs. of the non-sulpher plasticine based clay from Monster Makers last year, and while it's great for maintaining a nice, solid sculpt, I found that it was just too hard and difficult to work with. I generally always had to use a heat lamp to soften it up. I'm assuming that's not normal?
  9. RPF Premium Member Goldenrod's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 8:59 PM - #9

    A heat gun works well also. Or if you live in a hot climatey state just toss it in a bag and set in your car for a few hours. It will be nice and soft.
  10. rollerboi's Avatar
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    Oct 1, 2006, 10:59 PM - #10

    <div class='quotetop'>(Hecubus114 @ Oct 2 2006, 12:06 AM) [snapback]1330150[/snapback]</div>
    One more question - what do you guys use for the "bulk" of a bust? I assume the entire head isnt solid clay, correct? What should be used as a space filler?
    [/b]
    For my clay sculpting class, the teacher had us pack on the clay on a simple T-pipe armature affixed to a base, although this method used quite a bit of clay.

    Some folks do use a smaller styrofoam head or a block of wood to take up the internal bulk, and this is the route that I would personally recommend. However, my recommendation means jack, as I don't have the experience to back it up yet. ;-)
  11. gobler's Avatar
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    Oct 2, 2006, 12:13 AM - #11

    I start with a T section and a pipe about 12' long. Screw it down onto a flange, which is connected to a wooden base. I build up the bulk using plaster bandages wrapped in a ball or oval depending on what you're sculpting. I like to let the bandage dry for a day or two then brush on a few layers of orange shellac.
  12. propsculptor's Avatar
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    Oct 2, 2006, 3:40 AM - #12


    It all depends on the hardness of the Clay you bought, the Clay comes in Soft, Medium, and Hard, I usually use the Soft or Medium.

    I have a dedicated Microwave for melting all my Clay in.

    <div class='quotetop'>(TK1536 @ Oct 1 2006, 05:38 PM) [snapback]1330166[/snapback]</div>
    I purchased about 15lbs. of the non-sulpher plasticine based clay from Monster Makers last year, and while it's great for maintaining a nice, solid sculpt, I found that it was just too hard and difficult to work with. I generally always had to use a heat lamp to soften it up. I'm assuming that's not normal?
    [/b]
  13. TomSpinaDesigns's Avatar
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    Oct 2, 2006, 8:53 AM - #13

    all good suggestions. I use chavant soft, medium and also WED depending on the project.

    I've been using WED (which is a water based clay) more and more in the last year or so. Mark Alfrey and Jordu Schell have some great videos out there with tips and teqniques for that particular clay and working with it.

    The armature I sculpt over depends a bit on the character I'm doing and the type of mold I'm going to be creating. I've used styrofoam heads (male ones, larger than your basic wig forms), plaster busts, hard foam busts from www.monstermakers.com and custom carved styrofoam for oddly shaped characters.

    hope that helps a a little.
    Tom
  14. Trooper TK409's Avatar
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    Oct 2, 2006, 10:32 AM - #14

    So Tom, do you just let this WED clay air harden or do you fire it before making a mold?
  15. TomSpinaDesigns's Avatar
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    Oct 2, 2006, 11:48 AM - #15

    <div class='quotetop'>(Trooper TK409 @ Oct 2 2006, 11:32 AM) [snapback]1330488[/snapback]</div>
    So Tom, do you just let this WED clay air harden or do you fire it before making a mold?
    [/b]
    Almost the opposite, actually. But I'm usually working with ultracal (plaster) molds for latex work, so in that case a soft clay is needed, so it can be removed from the rigid mold without harming it.

    WED is sort of a "best of both worlds" clay for mask guys. It's soft and easy to work like water clay, but it's got glycerin in it to inhibit hardening so it stays flexible like an oil clay. It will eventually harden, but much slower than a normal water clay and with a spritz of water every now and then you can keep a sculpt workable for a really long period.

    Tom
  16. Kredepops's Avatar
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    Smørumnedre, Kobenhavn, Denmark, Denmark
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    Sep 7, 2010, 9:02 AM - Re: Whats the best kind of clay for sculpting a lifesized bust? #16

    Bumpy

    How much clay would you need for a 1:1 human bust? I plan to build it atop a Styrofoam head. The only shop in Denmark who sell Chavant clay sell it by half a kilo, so how much would I need? 1 kg? or two or more ?
  17. Member Since
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    Staffordshire U.K.
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    Sep 7, 2010, 10:40 AM - Re: Whats the best kind of clay for sculpting a lifesized bust? #17

    I used a metal pipe screwed to a board, then bulked out a smaller than head form in tin foil, then taped it all tightly, then used around 4 blocks of chavant for a head and neck
  18. Kredepops's Avatar
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    Smørumnedre, Kobenhavn, Denmark, Denmark
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    Sep 8, 2010, 4:05 AM - Re: Whats the best kind of clay for sculpting a lifesized bust? #18

    Thanks - I'll start out with 4 blocks then.
  19. Member Since
    Jan 2011
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    Feb 1, 2011, 10:37 AM - Re: Whats the best kind of clay for sculpting a lifesized bust? #19

    The Monster Clay is getting really great reviews and it is widely available. Here is some info if you are interested: http://www.monstermakers.com/files/PDFs/claypromo.pdf

    Arnold
    monstermakers.com
  20. RPF Premium Member Pannaus Props's Avatar
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    Mar 17, 2011, 3:00 PM - Re: Whats the best kind of clay for sculpting a lifesized bust? #20

    SOrry to resuccrect this guys, but I'm working with Soft NSP to make a shinguard. If I heat it up with my heat gun, the NSP will get hard again in few minutes and that's really annoying. I guess it doesn't help the thing that inside my working environment it's about 12 Celsius. NOw the problem is that even if it's soft, I find it really hard to work with. Especially to get rid of bumps. Is there a solution that doesn't involve a oven (microwave or standard) that I cannot get right now? Thanks

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