Sculpting question

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by steveo, Feb 18, 2006.

  1. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    Alright sculptors...I have some questions. How do you guys get those smooth perfect shapes when you sculpt? When I've sculpted in clay, my shapes don't come out smooth, but bumpy or with divets. What are the techniques? Are there any tutorials out there? Would love to hear from everyone and anyone.

    Steveo
     
  2. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    ahh the age old question that never gets answered.

    i've asked several times but all i got was tumbleweeds :$
     
  3. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    Great, I guess people don't like to share. Oh well.
     
  4. zorg

    zorg Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    this might not be any help but if you cast your sculpt into a plaster, you can sand it down that way, i intend to do this shortly myself with a fifth element sculpt.

    theres only one person on here that gets the clay REALLY smooth and he never answers................
     
  5. Durasteel Corporation

    Durasteel Corporation Well-Known Member

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    Id be happy to answer your question guys.


    There are several ways to gets smooth clay.


    First, turn on an easy listening jazz station, preferably with a basey voiced DJ who smothers your clay in love....it will smooth out. Well, I do this first.

    Second, try a heat gun, it will heat the clay up just enough it will be easier to move.

    Use all kinds of cylindrical objects: old cans, anything that has a diameter big enough that the pressure wont put a U shaped dent, but rather the rolling back-and-forth will smooth out the clay. I guess its balance between diameter of the cylinder vs. pressure applied.

    Try using good old H2O, or water. Water...even a bit of spit in small places, will lubricate the surface area and keep the clay from sticking.

    And my secret...if youre using oil based clay.....spray on WD40. The oil will mix with the clay and create a very smooth and easily manipulated surface...BUT BE WARNED, it can take a while for the WD40 to dissapate so youll not want to do this on a piece that requres significant detailing. Ive been thinking about cooking oil too....but if you are using a petroleum oil based clay this may or may not benefit....dunno yet.

    and of course, you can make a quick mold, cast the piece, then sand....


    So, there are lots of ways to accomplish the smoothing out process.

    Good luck guys

    Drew
     
  6. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    Cool, thanks for the tips. Those all sound like solid plans.
     
  7. mez7

    mez7 Sr Member

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    use the back of a spoon....

    really its kind of hard to answer cause different areas of a sculpt will need different techniques to smooth, just work at it really...
     
  8. Goldenrod

    Goldenrod Sr Member

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    First use a rake tool to see if its all even. Turpinoid works well on oil based clays as well for smoothing and softening out deep sculpt wrinkles or lines. Got that tip from a Tom Savini when i lived in PA for 2 years back in the day. And set it in front of a mirror and you'll see a world of things to fix.
     
  9. Got Maul

    Got Maul Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I stay away from anything chemical because ultimately, it takes off layers from your sculpt and if you're not careful, it will take too much away.

    Personally, it takes PATIENCE ...the reason why you get tumbleweeds is because there's 101 different ways of doing it. Personally, I first use a rake, then I get a straight edge....cross hatch over and over and over again.

    Drew is right, Jazz is the right thing to put on because usually you need that back noise to keep going.
     
  10. Clerval

    Clerval Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    A little bit of heat and rake tools are the best way to work out bumps. You might have to jump through a few guages of wire rake in succession. Think of it like sanding. Be certain not to just try to correct the bump you can easily see, but be sure that you take into account the whole area of arcs or surfaces around it. In order to chase a bump or irregularity, you sometimes have to travel a bit across your form.

    Depending on your clay, you can smooth and diminish the clay's resistance with isopropyl (go for a high %) and in some cases, water. At times, you may use a small alcohol torch to direct a more intense heat at small areas. Most clays react well to this, and set-up times will vary depending on how much heat you nail it with, so experiment.

    Remember too, saran wrap is your friend when it comes to detailing.
     
  11. Got Maul

    Got Maul Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    iiiinteresting . Where do you get this alcohol torch thingy majig ? And the different rake tools .?
     
  12. steveo

    steveo Sr Member

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    Cool, I love these ideas. Great tips, people. Thanks again.
     
  13. Goldenrod

    Goldenrod Sr Member

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    The alcohol torch is a dental tech tool. I know because i was a DT for 13 years. Its used for heating wax and smoothing it out. It takes practice and i do not recommend it, because your using fire.
     
  14. Got Maul

    Got Maul Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    question then, do you think a bench torch (the small kind, like you get at Crate and Barrel) will have the same effect ?
     
  15. Got Maul

    Got Maul Official Licensee RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    okay, so I am looking at this thing...how in the heck does it work ?

    [​IMG]
     

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