Need Advice/Insight on Smoothing Chavant Soft Clay - Help!

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Raigen

New Member
Evening, all.

I've been working on a clay sculpt of an arm for a cosplay build, and I'm just about pulling my hair out trying to smooth out the clay.

To just point out the obvious, I have never attempted anything like this before, but I'm one of those "go big, or go home" personality types, much to my own chagrin.

Now, I've tried a couple of different things based on things I've read online, and I'll list them below, as well as what the purpose of the sculpt is for.

Purpose

Once completed, it will be coated in Rebound 25 for a silicone mold, and then plaster for a mother mold. I'll then be slush casting it with Smooth-Cast 65D.

Methods Attempted

I've tried using:
91% Isopropyl alcohol with a brush to smooth out imperfections.
Mineral Spirits (or White Spirit) with a brush to smooth out imperfections.
Leaving the sculpt in the fridge over night and attempting to smooth with various methods above as well as general clay tools (rakes, steel kidneys, paper towel, etc).
Using air spray canisters turned upside down to freeze sections and work on them with methods above.

No matter what I try to work with, I appear to leave a lot of brush marks in the clay. The Mineral Spirits appear to work the best, but the amount it "dilutes/dissolves" the clay makes me exceedingly nervous.

How "smooth" will I be able to get this? Am I being too OCD/Perfectionist about this? Or am I missing something entirely? The arm does have muscle structure that makes using some tools rather difficult to achieve a smooth surface.

I realize I won't get it "perfectly" smooth, but I feel as though each attempt I'm not getting the results I'm looking for.

Anything anyone can provide would be exceedingly helpful.

Thanks!
 

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jimmiroquai

Sr Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
You can try going over the sculpt with a piece of fine wire mesh screen. Then a brush ir rag with mineral spirits.
 

Sinned

Well-Known Member
I've had quite a hard time smoothing Chavant (and honestly, all other types of clay) myself, and haven't found the perfect solution either. For things I really, really needed smooth, I got it close, created a throwaway mold, and cast a master out of that, which then received some bondo, and a lot of sanding, followed by making the real mold. Sounds like this process probably work too well for you though, given the muscular structure.

I haven't worked with Chavant Soft, but with medium at least, you can get it really close with rakes, and other smoothing, then give it a good finger polish, using *water*. So long as you've gotten rid of all the dips and humps, you can get it very smooth this way. Just be careful not to push too hard, of you'll move the clay around more than you want.
 

Mr Mold Maker

Sr Member
You can try flame polishing the sculpture.

What you'd do is get the clay as smooth as you can using the mineral spirits and brush, let the solvent completely evaporate away and then take a torch about 10 to 12 inches away from the sculpture and do smooth passes by... Kind of like you're spray painting with the fire.

It should melt down just a tiny bit of those brush strokes and uneven bits. Just be very careful to not over heat the clay or keep the torch in one spot for too long.
 

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