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Old 08-09-2006, 05:03 PM   #1
William Paquet
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Baking Super Sculpey to achieve proper hardness

To start, you should ignore the directions as written on the package. You can get the clay to harden by baking for fifteen minutes per ¼ inch thickness, but it won’t be properly hardened.

Going under the assumption that what you will be baking is a full finished figure, anywhere from 6 to 15 inches tall, requires far more time in the oven than most people would assume.

I always bake the finished work for several hours. If the sculpt has some very thick areas that haven't been beefed up with foil or previously baked blocks of clay even longer.

This works for me-

225 degrees for three hours, turn the oven down to the minimum- 170 degrees on most ovens, bake for another three hours, shut the oven off and leave the sculpt to cool overnight.

You want a higher temp for initial baking to properly cure the clay, and you want the reduced temp over an extended period to allow the core of the mass to gradually cool which reduces the chance of cracking.

A poorly baked sculpt will be weak and prone to breaking and chipping. Sometimes when I bake in stages areas of the sculpt will get very dark. The darker the clay, the harder it is.

Here's a sample-



Notice the head color. It may not look like it if you've never baked a long time, but that's the same sculpey as the rest of the figure. When it get's to that color the material is very strong and will take quite a bit of abuse before damage can occur.

With the new Grey Sculpey firm, the changes in the color of the clay are more subtle, but it will still change. The same baking techniques still apply.

Also, the clay when hot or warm is always "rubbery". In fact heat is a great asset when cutting a sculpt into separate components. When I need to remove arms, like on this piece, I use a heat gun to warm the areas. The sculpey softens, and I use an exacto to make the cuts. If you've assembled a vinyl garage kit, the technique is similar to heating vinyl before cutting the parts. In the future I will try and find the time to post a thread just on separating and keying a figure.
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Old 08-10-2006, 08:31 AM   #2
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Excellent information thanks very much, for one I am very appreciative of anyone that shares their knowlege for the advancement of others.
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Old 08-10-2006, 09:01 AM   #3
Kdawg59
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William... thank you.
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Old 08-10-2006, 10:59 AM   #4
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Awesome advice William. And I f**king love that Captain America piece.
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Old 08-10-2006, 11:53 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by hulkfan
Awesome advice William. And I f**king love that Captain America piece.
Said well enough for me to just quote him. lol
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:20 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Paquet
In the future I will try and find the time to post a thread just on separating and keying a figure.
PLEASE DO!!
Im a noob and having trouble figuring out how to serparate pieces after theyr baked and racking my brain on how/where to do it mid-sculpt. Problems such as how to go thru the wire armature when you get to it without damaging your smooth Xacto cut?

thanks for the Paquet brain access
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Old 08-11-2006, 08:31 AM   #7
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I think we are in need of a paquet zombie

hmm dont you guys get in trouble when the wife needs to bake something too
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:24 AM   #8
FrazzM4n
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Quote:
Originally Posted by occulum
PLEASE DO!!
Im a noob and having trouble figuring out how to serparate pieces after theyr baked and racking my brain on how/where to do it mid-sculpt. Problems such as how to go thru the wire armature when you get to it without damaging your smooth Xacto cut?
thanks for the Paquet brain access

Yeh i wouldnt mind knowing this too .., getting my head round DE-construction before its even constructed is a mind bender.

I cant remember the link d4mmit but one guy used cotton thread to part limbs in mid sculpt, wrapping it around the armature then making the shape required leaving the cotton strands hanging out. To part them he just pulled on the strands to make a clean cut.

However the Armature as a bit more involved using wire inserted into sections of small bore tubing so the armature could be easily parted off too.
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Old 08-11-2006, 10:32 AM   #9
William Paquet
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I'm going to put together a comprehensive outline of separating a figure, including pics. Included will be dealing with cutting the armature and repairing any damage that occurs during the process.

Give me a little time to do this right. It's not brain surgery, but there are techniques that will make the work go easier.

Kdawg has offered to post stickies of any tutorials I want to offer, so I will try and give you guys as much info as I can, given my schedule and the time constraints that I have.
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Old 08-11-2006, 11:04 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by William Paquet
Give me a little time to do this right. It's not brain surgery, but there are techniques that will make the work go easier.
you rock man. take your time. patience is a virtue

FrazzM4n, I believe I saw the string technique in the tutorials on Martin Canale's site. goregoregore.com if I remember right.
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