Dragon faux taxidermy busts -sculpey on foam

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fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Hey all, I'm doing some fun pieces that involve using super sculpey (the living doll kind for extra strength) and I'm very unsure of how to cure it. I'm laying it over a taxidermy blank, which is a rigid polyfoam cast backed with a wood plate.
I've used sculpey for all sorts of things before but never over anything other than aluminium foil which I know is fine in the oven. I doubt I'll be able to bake this sculpt when it's on the armature and I'm looking into other methods for curing the sculpey. I do have a heat gun, I've heard you can sort of cure sculpts with them if you use it on low and make sure you heat the stuff as evenly as possible, but that kinda worries me as I don't like the idea of half-cured bits and stuff causing it to crack.

Anyone know if wood and polyfoam could survive an oven trip, if it'll kill me (or you know, burn or melt or turn into a toxic goo monster) or whatever?
If not, any alternative methods I could try with my limited equipment would be really cool to know.

Thanks!
 
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zorg

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Ive done the heat gun method and found it doesnt give good redults.

As for oven....

Maybe you could increase the temp gradually over an extended period. Setting the sculpey slowly. It would hold its shape. The foam could melt but hopefully the outer shape would stay.

Not saying it would work but that what I would try.
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Ive done the heat gun method and found it doesnt give good redults.

As for oven....

Maybe you could increase the temp gradually over an extended period. Setting the sculpey slowly. It would hold its shape. The foam could melt but hopefully the outer shape would stay.

Not saying it would work but that what I would try.
Yeah, I figured the oven might be the only way. No idea how it'll work with stuff like the eyes though, and there's no real way I can put the eye in after the eyelid for instance. Very annoying. I might be able to do a test with my heat gun on a small area maybe, see if I can wangle a way to making it work nicely.
 

rbeach84

Sr Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

What temp does the Sculpey 'bake' at? Should be able to determine what temp the foam can take before it has problems... if the temp is too low the epoxy may not set at all.
R/ Robert
 

mash3d

Active Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Sculpey cures at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 C) per 1/2 inch thickness (12mm)for 20 minutes.
So foam and an oven may get you visit from the local neighborhood fire department.
Not to mention the really foul smell the foam will give off.

A better alternative is Aves Apoxie sclupt or Magic Sculpt.
Same thing but they air dry over night and will be hard as a rock the next day.
http://blog.kitkraft.com/working-with-magic-sculpt/
www.avesstudio.com/apoxie/apoxie-sculpt
http://www.magicsculp.com/
They will both stick fairly well but you may need to rough up the surface of the foam to give the clay more surface to bite into.
 
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fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Sculpey cures at 250 degrees Fahrenheit (121 C) per 1/2 inch thickness (12mm)for 20 minutes.
So foam and an oven may get you visit from the local neighborhood fire department.
Not to mention the really foul smell the foam will give off.

A better alternative is Aves Apoxie sclupt or Magic Sculpt.
Same thing but they air dry over night and will be hard as a rock the next day.
http://blog.kitkraft.com/working-with-magic-sculpt/
www.avesstudio.com/apoxie/apoxie-sculpt
http://www.magicsculp.com/
They will both stick fairly well but you may need to rough up the surface of the foam to give the clay more surface to bite into.
Annoyingly enough I've got apoxie sculpt but I absolutely hate it for sculpting. Happy to use it for basing out forms but for detail I can't get it to do anything but slump and suck.
I did look up some foam MSDS and some are fine to 300F or so, but yeah - no knowing if this one is until I try, and in any case the resin eyes wouldn't be ok. I'm pretty darn stuck at the moment, might just have to rip all the sculpt off and try maybe covering the whole thing, doing a buildup of clay so each cure is only wafer thin and can be done with the heat gun. Can't really see it working any other way. No idea what to do about the eyes though, maybe just cover then with foil and hope!

For the next one though, anyone aware of a heat-resistant resin or something I could use? I'm carving down the taxidermy blanks anyway so if I can seal the one I've done and cast it in something less ridiculous it'd be much easier to bake properly.
 
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mash3d

Active Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Sorry I don't know anything about heat-resistant resin. A friend of mine who is a scluptor uses apoxie sculpt.
Two tricks he told me were to mix it, apply it, then wait 20-30 minutes before trying to put in the detials.
Also instead of mixing it 1 to 1, Mix it with a littler more of the hardner to resin.
Maybe 2 to 1, or 3 to 1. It will set up faster that way.
 

MonsieurTox

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Why not use apoxy sculpt to get your basic shape over the foam, let it cured overnight then do the detail work with super sculpey and put it in the oven ? The foam may melt but the apoxie sculpt would act as a sealed container. And if you're doing only details with the super sculpey it would bake in less than 20 min. Never worked with any of this stuff, this is just an idea but maybe you should run a test with something small first.
 

division 6

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Make your core out of aluminum foil then skin it with the Aves, then use the Sculpy.
Or skip the Aves and just put the Sculpy directly over the foil.
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Why not use apoxy sculpt to get your basic shape over the foam, let it cured overnight then do the detail work with super sculpey and put it in the oven ? The foam may melt but the apoxie sculpt would act as a sealed container. And if you're doing only details with the super sculpey it would bake in less than 20 min. Never worked with any of this stuff, this is just an idea but maybe you should run a test with something small first.
Yeah, I think if my tests don't work out this is what I'll have to do. Need more apoxie sculpt though, hard to get here in OZ :|

Make your core out of aluminum foil then skin it with the Aves, then use the Sculpy.
Or skip the Aves and just put the Sculpy directly over the foil.
I've done that in the past but the aim here is to make it work with the foam base. Thing is, I've seen it done so I know it -can- be done, I'm really trying to figure out how!
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

I've used magic sculpt to upgrade my Rancor ... indeed you need to let it rest 15 minutes after kneeding the resin and hardener together before sculpting ... also build your sculpt up in small batches, not all at once you'll run out of time it hardens before your sculpt is done, however once fully cured you can detail it even further with sculpting tools or in my case from the dentist's and approach your work as if it were made in marble instead of trying to sculpt it like clay while the magic sculpt is still soft and the best part is you can keep adding more magic sculpt, on thus making smaller and smaller details visible ... here's the thread with pictures of the Rancor upgrade : http://www.therpf.com/showthread.php?t=187886 ... it's my first attempt workinh with the stuff :)

Chaim
 
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Sean

Sr Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Sorry to jump in here. just had a couple of questions please. how brittle is magic sculpt? and is there any deference from epoxy sculpt? I wish bondo made a clay that would set In an hour or so. about to try some sculpting and i have no clue what medium to choose...
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Magic Sculpt gets very hard and tough like any epoxy I suppose ... it can withstand quite a lot and is not brittle at all once cured ... it takes about 2 hours before you can't sculpt any further since it's become fully hard ... just start working with small batches and work in rough shapes first before trying to do all the details ... here's a Witch I'm working on when I had some magic sculpt leftover from the Rancor build and I did not want to let it cure without any good use :



I'm getting the feel for this stuff ... and what I love the most is that I can add more details on after curing ... so I don't squish and destroy any subtle details as would happen with Super Sculpy still being 'wet'. And after curing you can carve, sand, file, drill, scrape, cut or even saw any excess material off to create the shape you need.

Just get some small sample cups from magicsculpt.co.uk to try it out yourself :)

Chaim
 

Sean

Sr Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Magic Sculpt gets very hard and tough like any epoxy I suppose ... it can withstand quite a lot and is not brittle at all once cured ... it takes about 2 hours before you can't sculpt any further since it's become fully hard ... just start working with small batches and work in rough shapes first before trying to do all the details ... here's a Witch I'm working on when I had some magic sculpt leftover from the Rancor build and I did not want to let it cure without any good use :

http://i833.photobucket.com/albums/zz258/Sym-Cha/Eucalypta Prototype-10_zpsbm5xedaq.jpg

I'm getting the feel for this stuff ... and what I love the most is that I can add more details on after curing ... so I don't squish and destroy any subtle details as would happen with Super Sculpy still being 'wet'. And after curing you can carve, sand, file, drill, scrape, cut or even saw any excess material off to create the shape you need.

Just get some small sample cups from magicsculpt.co.uk to try it out yourself :)

Chaim

Thanks man. I think that's exactly what I'm looking for.:thumbsup and your sculpting skills rock!
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Maybe I'll give it a go if it's not too pricey then. I can never seem to hit the right detail window with apoxie sculpt, always seems so soft and... sort of elastic? Flowy? so it doesn't stay where I put it. If magic sculpt is any different I'll have a go. If it's just my timing being off I'll give the apoxie another go, but I can never seem to be where I need to be when it's time to do anything with it. Inspiration strikes and you want to be able to sculpt away, you know?
 

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Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Magic sculpt is a 2 part epoxy which you need to mix together thoroughly before use ... I suppose it's the same with Aves apoxy sculpt ... so I don't understand why it should be flowy or elastic unless ... do you use equal parts hardener and resin? Still as I said before working with magic sculpt differs quite a lot from working with super sculpey ... also I read that super sculpey is now also available in a 'magic sculpt-like' epoxy ... which hardens without the use of an oven ... check it out :)

Chaim
 
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fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Magic sculpt is a 2 part epoxy which you need to kneed together thoroughly before use ... I suppose it's the same with Aves apoxy sculpt ... so I don't understand why it should be flowy or elastic unless ... do you use equal parts hardener and resin? Still as I said before working with magic sculpt differs quite a lot from working with super sculpey ... also I read that super sculpey is now also available in a 'magic sculpt-like' epoxy ... which hardens without the use of an oven ... check it out :)

Chaim
Hm! Well, I've ordered some magic sculpt to see what it's like. I have no idea why I'm not having luck with the apoxie sculpt, but yeah, it just doesn't hold detail! I use equal parts, knead together until they're uniform in colour and then I try to sculpt with it and it slowly slumps like it's melting. I'll try magic sculpt and definitely check out that sculpey product, thanks! :D
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Perhaps the temperature in the room might affect the working process? But it should only shorten the time you can work with it ... when starting with magic sculpt make a small batch the size of a marble to experiment ... and after kneading put it away for 15 minutes or so before starting the sculpting process ... also start to build up your figure roughly ... don't try to detail everything right away ... when it has cured you can still fine tune small details with other tools or by adding on smaller bits of magic sculpt ... please, do try and find some tutorials on youtube to give you an idea how to work with this medium while you wait for arrival :)

Chaim
 

fallimar

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

Hm. I got some magic sculpt, it's certainly better than apoxie sculpt and doesn't have the slumping issue but it isn't as nice to work with as sculpey. It's also far more expensive and smells like sweaty feet :p
I'll use it for one of the dragons I'm making, see if I can do one each of sculpey and epoxy sculpting mediums and see if I can see a measurable difference in durability and detail.
 

Sym-Cha

Master Member
Re: Curing super sculpey over a foam base?

It's not Sculpey ... I experienced myself you have to use this magic sculpt with a new approach ... try and find some tutorials online ... you have to think like a sculpter not a clayer for lack of a better word . . . make a rough outline of the figure . . . let it cure then add more details ... let it cure ... perhaps file or sand excess material away and add more where needed ... forget your sculpey clay techniques ... some won't apply to this 'new' medium :)

By the way ... I used lots of aluminum foil inside the body of my witch as well as armed wiring for the pose that way you only have to use magic sculpt on a small layer on the outside and save you some money once cured . . . remember make a small batch of kneaded magic sculpt at the time . . . once done you make another batch ;)

Chaim
 
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