Hi all,

I am in the process of creating some heads for various characters and decided to switch methods from sculpting in chavant, molding in silicone and then casting in resin to simply just sculpting in Super Sculpey firm as this is cheaper and also reduces the number of processes involved. However i know it is recommended not to have very thick pieces of sculpey as it may not bake correctly, it is suggested that you bulk out the sculpey with an intrinsic mass of tin foil or balsa wood or something but my problem is that sometimes i get halfway through a sculpt and decide that I want to change the head shape or certain features, maybe the eyes need to be further into the head for instance, obviously with tin foil or balsa inside this makes it difficult so I am thinking i may just use the sculpey, bake and then possibly drill out a small hole for where the neck will join via K&S and reinforce with glue or epoxy. If anybody has any suggestions or alternatives I would love to her them. Many thanks.

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I know what you mean! I have learned to make the wood block inside a lot smaller than I first thought, because once I added clay I kept wanting to carve in where the block wouldn't let me. If the block looks close to the right size on it's own, it is too big. I say learned, but I did have to peel back some clay and saw off a bit of a pine block on a horse sculpture, only last week, so maybe I haven't learned it well enough. But I do get it right with heads by now.

I like a firm anchor for the neck wires so I usually use a bit of pine instead of balsa. Unless it's a really large head the weight is still not too bad, pine is lighter than Sculpey at least. I would use something inside though, if only to save on the cost of Sculpey.

Sometimes i avoid baking altogether, and use Apoxie Sculpt instead. You can also use epoxy putty over wire for a base, then add the sculpey over that and bake it. That avoids a big blocky shape, but you still have to keep it small so,you won't need to cut in later.

Great response Nick, I'm glad I am not the only one who is tormented by pieces of wood sticking out in a very obvious manner. It is very annoying and I had that problem with the devil armature to the point i had to scrape off a huge amount of detailed clay just to cut back some tin foil! I will try the epoxy method for now as I have got a load of Miliput lying around and I have never had it fail on me, it is fantastically robust, plus i can also reinforce the K&S with some toughened acrylic glue if needed.

I've found it easier to shape the head in foil, punch out large sockets for the eyes and epoxy it to tubing or a dowel or something to hold on to.  I then cover with a layer of clay in the rough shape of the head I want to model-undersized.  Then I bake to harden it off before adding the finer details.  Sometimes it takes a couple of bakes to keep from mashing things as you sculpt.  Super Sculpey gets progressively darker the more times you bake it.  The alien looking skull is being sculpted with Sculpey Living Doll.  Something that is new to me.

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