Quite a while ago, those of us who make molds professionally were distressed to find out that Klean Klay® was discontinued as a product. We heard rumors that the formula had been purchased and would be reincarnated under the same name at some point but, it has yet to be returned to market. (as far as I'm aware anyway) But the demise of Klean Klay has been resolved by the Reynold's® company in the form of an identical clay known as Sculptex®!
Not sure if this stuff is the same, but I just got an email the other day from Monstermakers about their new Monster Clay, which is also a wax-based modeling clay. I think it's more similar to the hard grade of Sculptex, it's used as a sculpting wax. Here's a quick demo somebody did with it:
So you warm it up and rough out your forms, then carve when it's cool. This is the way most of the pros like to sculpt super-detailed things like action figures, where you need a hard carvable material.
They're pushing the fact that it's sulpher-free, so good for platinum-cure silicone casting, and also good for melting and pouring into a mold and making changes while it's still warm, so also good for replacement faces etc.
Probably not a great Kleen Klay replacement now that I look into it (it's probably very similar to Sculptex Hard), but a great product anyway, so it deserves to be posted somewhere. And it's in the same family as Sculptex, so here it is.
One moment please ...
My understanding was, that Klean Klay was used by artists/sculptors/molders, more for UTILITARIAN purposes, such as for Separating Walls on the sculpture models to create the the multi-piece mold splits. I do not recall Klean Klay being used as a premium type sculpting clay/medium. There are other name brand clays such as Roma & Chavant which also have their own non-sulphur versions. The promotion of Sculptex appears to be as a 'sculpting medium'. Why would you purchase Sculptex over the other more established, proven in industry brands????
Also ... I believe, from the old vaporized stop motion animation forum, there were comments about Klean Klay properties - It was not OIL BASED. Instead, Klean Klay had a plastic-type formulation similar to the Newplast sculpting medium, primarily available in the UK. You cannot melt the Newplast medium but instead, you knead soften by hand. With oil/wax based clays, it can be melted to liquidous state.
This is not a negative about Newplast. Actually, I wished that Newplast were more easily available here in the USA .... give us more choices, options. With regards to Newplast, years of seeing it mentioned on the internet, almost everyone mistakenly (a misnomer) has called it a plasticene but that description usually refers to oil/wax based clay formulations.
The real TEST if Sculptex is the supposed replacement of Klean Klay - If Sculptex can melt to a liquid state, then it is NOT the same as a Klean Klay. As stated before, people used Klean Klay, said that it cannot be melted. Piecing together the evidence, it appears that the old Klean Klay had a similar formulation to Newplast (not oil based clay).
I rest my case
The Klean Klay I tried, even the one called "extra firm", was too soft for any serious sculpting. I roughed up a body with it, and it was quick to get a basic shape, but then I wasted a couple of days trying to get a good finish and started over with Chavant NSP Medium. It is good for clay walls though, it's nice that it's softer than the harder clay used for the actual sculpt.
So I can't understand why anyone would market a professional sculpting clay as being a replacement for Klean Klay.
The Klean Klay did feel and smell like an oil based clay though. It mixed readily with Chavant to make a softer blend - though even a little of it made it too soft. I didn't melt any to be sure.
It's true that Klean Klay never melts, it gets extremely soft when heated but for some odd reason it never liquifies. So maybe it's not a perfect chemical match for Klean Klay but, I never had any reason to melt Klean Klay. The only time I remember melting clay into a mold, Klean Klay wouldn't have been good for that purpose because it's too soft to pull from the mold and retain it's cast shape anyway.
The Klean Klay I tried, even the one called "extra firm", was too soft for any serious sculpting.
Hmmm, yeah that is weird. If it's that soft, then it's nothing like the hard carving wax the action figure guys use. Probably best to stick with the soft grade and use it for mold walls like good old Klean Klay.
I have a big box of Klean Klay that might last me for the next decade. But because it's used primarily for mold making, it's tough to keep it 'Kleen'. Now that I think about it, it's actually quite amazing how much I use Klean Klay, I always seem to have a cup of paint stuck in it, (to hold it in place) a lump of it on set to prop up a puppet or a piece of wire stuck in it to use as a small surface gauge. I even use it to make temporary caps over small cups of paint... it's like one of those things that's just a constant presence that I would be lost without!
I wish, I had an inventory of the original Klean Klay. I was not criticizing Klean Klay because it does not melt. On the contrary, I would LIKE those properties for a utilitarian clay material, especially for wall separation/molding uses. Water clay, too much maintenance to use & store (keeping it moist).
As I stated before, the MELTING TEST would prove or disprove Sculptex claiming itself as a replacement of Klean Klay ...
> If Sculptex does not melt, then it is same/similar to Klean Klay = positive test result
> If Sculptex does MELT, then it is NOT a supposed replacement for Klean Klay = negative test result
I have a feeling though, that I will be Pushing Up Daisies before anyone around here purchases Sculptex. If this is new clay product, perhaps company should maybe offer evaluation samples. I suppose, anyone can contact the makers of Sculptex about samples.
Not sure if this stuff is the same, but I just got an email the other day from Monstermakers about their new Monster Clay
I have both Monster Clay and Kleen Klay, and the two are very different. Monster Clay is a very nice sculpting medium, a great alternative to things like Roma #2. The only things I would sculpt using Kleen Klay would be very large items that didn't need fine detail.
But the demise of Klean Klay has been resolved by the Reynold's® company in the form of an identical clay known as Sculptex®!
So can I just mix my Kleen Klay with Sculptex? I'd rather not have to keep the two separate. I use Kleen Klay only as a "junk" clay that I don't really care about. Same thing I used WED for, but I don't need to worry about Kleen Klay drying out.
Like it Ron. Like it sir. ;)
Trinity Ceramic Supply in Dallas still has over 350lbs of Kleen Klay available. For more info call or email 214-631-0540 or email@example.com
Another option is Protolina, which is Van Aken's replacement for Klean Klay.
It's all pretty much the same material, with a few minor substitutions.
From talking with mold makers, the thing that made Kleen Klay special was that it could be "melted" or cleaned up with water which made it very useful when building a mold wall against an oil clay sculpture. From what I've heard none of the replacements can do that, I don't know about Sculptex.