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Does anyone else do character modeling with Super Sculpy or the equivalent?  I have just started and found that there is a vast amount of information on the web about how to best smooth out surfaces.  I have tried a few substances using brushes, sponges and paper on oil-based clays using olive oil, 91% alcohol, acetone and naptha and found them all to work (although some flash off better and quicker).

Does anyone have an opinion of the best solvent to use for smoothing for super sculpy (or the equivalent)?  

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I don't use polymer clays except when I want to bake the sculpt to make it hard - which is not often. I find it difficult to work with, "draggy" compared to plasticine which holds its shape when you scrape clay off the surface. (But I see amazing work done by others, making art dolls especially.)

I don't think I used any solvent for smoothing, and definitely not oil, a I don't want to dilute the clay.  (I use naphtha to smooth plasticine, because it evaporates and doesn't change the consistency of the plasticine.)  

So I looked in a book  -  Creating Life-Like Figures in Polymer Clay by Katherine Dewey. Very detailed instructions.  I did not see anything about using any liquid to smooth the clay - it was all done with the fingers and rounded tools, with both stroking and rolling actions to blend the added parts onto the base, and shape and smooth it.  Nothing in the section on tools and materials, nothing in the step-by-step sculpting of faces.  So maybe you don't need any water or solvent?

I do use a little water to smooth the surface of sculpts made in Aves Apoxie, a 2 part epoxy sculpting putty that hardens in around 3 hours.  I use it more often than Sculpey because it doesn't need to be baked - but it's no good for something you want to stay soft while you make a mould of it.  If I am making a mould over it, I use silicone, then cast in epoxy or polyester resin to make hard objects.

One thing I discovered when I did try to make a Sculpey head using the plastic beads that I normally use for eye blanks in my plasticine sculpts - over a couple of days, the styrene bead will start to dissolve and blend with the Sculpey.  I think you would need steel ball bearings or glass beads that match the size of the eyeballs you are planning to use in the finished puppet head. Or roll Sculpey to make eyeballs and bake them, then put them into the unbaked sculpture.  I didn't have any non-plastic balls of the right size, so I re-sculpted the head in Chavant NSP plasticine and that was the end of that little experiment.  

A question - what kind of plastic beads are you using. I bought some plastic bearings meant for sailor equipment (comes in all the sizes you might need), they are white but showed to be slightly translucent, which shows when embedded into the eye socket. They don't reflect the light very well, and turn sort of greyish. I have to paint them with white nail polish before they're actually useful.

StopmoNick said:

I don't use polymer clays except when I want to bake the sculpt to make it hard - which is not often. I find it difficult to work with, "draggy" compared to plasticine which holds its shape when you scrape clay off the surface. (But I see amazing work done by others, making art dolls especially.)

I don't think I used any solvent for smoothing, and definitely not oil, a I don't want to dilute the clay.  (I use naphtha to smooth plasticine, because it evaporates and doesn't change the consistency of the plasticine.)  

So I looked in a book  -  Creating Life-Like Figures in Polymer Clay by Katherine Dewey. Very detailed instructions.  I did not see anything about using any liquid to smooth the clay - it was all done with the fingers and rounded tools, with both stroking and rolling actions to blend the added parts onto the base, and shape and smooth it.  Nothing in the section on tools and materials, nothing in the step-by-step sculpting of faces.  So maybe you don't need any water or solvent?

I do use a little water to smooth the surface of sculpts made in Aves Apoxie, a 2 part epoxy sculpting putty that hardens in around 3 hours.  I use it more often than Sculpey because it doesn't need to be baked - but it's no good for something you want to stay soft while you make a mould of it.  If I am making a mould over it, I use silicone, then cast in epoxy or polyester resin to make hard objects.

One thing I discovered when I did try to make a Sculpey head using the plastic beads that I normally use for eye blanks in my plasticine sculpts - over a couple of days, the styrene bead will start to dissolve and blend with the Sculpey.  I think you would need steel ball bearings or glass beads that match the size of the eyeballs you are planning to use in the finished puppet head. Or roll Sculpey to make eyeballs and bake them, then put them into the unbaked sculpture.  I didn't have any non-plastic balls of the right size, so I re-sculpted the head in Chavant NSP plasticine and that was the end of that little experiment.  

You should try cosclay - it becomes like a hard rubber after a trip in the oven. So it stays a little flexible and is way more durable than sculpy. It doesn't break easily. To for a hard density when choosing, the soft is really soft.

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