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The Force user
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Many years have passed, but this tutorial is still pure gold, thank you very much for your generous contribution Tony
 

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Action Figure Custumizing:Re: Need some Sculpey help part 1.
First, I'm really impressed with Tony Barton's tutorial! All of his knowledge is based on years of hard-fought experience! BRAVO, Tony!
I am new to action figure and statue collecting, but I have 20 years of figure kit prototype sculpting (lucky for you guys).
FIMO is the most durable polymer clay PERIOD!
I'm more familiar with the clay below:
Polymer Clays: (Polyform Products Co. brands)
Grades are:
1. Sculpey(white stuff), for kids no durability but chaepest.
2. Sculpy III(Sculpey in colors) for kids), same grade as Sculpey.
3. Super Sculpey(beige translucent Caucasian flesh color, light grey color) Use this stuff. It has better machining characteristics after baking and is more durable for sculpting heads, shoes and other bulky parts. For hands or thin parts, it is not so tough and will break. For thin parts use a wire core.
4. Premo(comes in colors) This is the best, because it bakes to a more impact-resistant hardness or it has more flex and is less brittle than Super Sculpey.

NOTE: For durable museum quality figures:
A. Action Figure Joints with Epoxy Putty and Steel will last forever. Example: custom neck pegs with epoxy double ball ends with nails for shafts. Foot Pegs do the same.
Think about making a head core socket female part with epoxy and add polymer clay (Premo) to the outer head. Then you will have a durable socket and a transluscent flesh tone skin. Note: if you know of a rubber head female socket supplier, chime in here! Make epoxy sleave that would fit rubber ball socket!
B. Making parts in colored clay:
Making bald head sculpt in flesh tone; hair in natural colors using premo colored clays is best way to have a museum quality long lived piece. You will notice most of the best action figures are molded in the finish color, so why not do that for your peices as well?
Variable skin tone clay: Making mottled realistic variations in flesh by inserting tan clay onto translucent base color as well as miniature textures.
Variable hair tone with partially mixed clay colors left in stratified layers. Should work for wood accessories too.
C. Epoxy Putties will last a life time.
Use epoxy putties for thin parts or cores of thin parts (use a wire core)(for capes use wire mesh alum.). Most epoxies are toxic and many thin with petroleum products.
Aves Epoxy Sculpt is not toxic, is water-based and comes in colors. www.avesstudio.com
Baking polymer clay:
250% F for 20 minutes. Don't use a cigarette lighter or a heat gun or a hair drier(You won't get the hardness you want)! Use a dedicated counter top electric convection oven not a toaster oven!
Hope this helps...
Sincerely,
Wayne THE DANE Hansen
Next up best tools to use...
Re: Need some Sculpey help part 1.
I am new to action figure and statue collecting, but I have 20 years of figure kit prototype sculpting (lucky for you guys).
Polymer Clays: (Polyform Products Co. brands)
Grades are:
1. Sculpey(white stuff), for kids no durability but chaepest.
2. Sculpy III(Sculpey in colors) for kids), same grade as Sculpey.
3. Super Sculpey(beige translucent Caucasian flesh color, light grey color) Use this stuff. It has better machining characteristics after baking and is more durable for sculpting heads, shoes and other bulky parts. For hands or thin parts, it is not so tough and will break. For thin parts use a wire core.
4. Premo(comes in colors) This is the best, because it bakes to a more impact-resistant hardness or it has more flex and is less brittle than Super Sculpey.

NOTE: For durable museum quality figures:
A. Action Figure Joints with Epoxy Putty and Steel will last forever. Example: custom neck pegs with epoxy double ball ends with nails for shafts. Foot Pegs do the same.
Think about making a head core socket female part with epoxy and add polymer clay (Premo) to the outer head. Then you will have a durable socket and a transluscent flesh tone skin. Note: if you know of a rubber head female socket supplier, chime in here! Make epoxy sleave that would fit rubber ball socket!
B. Making parts in colored clay:
Making bald head sculpt in flesh tone; hair in natural colors using premo colored clays is best way to have a museum quality long lived piece. You will notice most of the best action figures are molded in the finish color, so why not do that for your peices as well?
Variable skin tone clay: Making mottled realistic variations in flesh by inserting tan clay onto translucent base color as well as miniature textures.
Variable hair tone with partially mixed clay colors left in stratified layers. Should work for wood accessories too.
C. Epoxy Putties will last a life time.
Use epoxy putties for thin parts or cores of thin parts (use a wire core)(for capes use wire mesh alum.). Most epoxies are toxic and many thin with petroleum products.
Aves Epoxy Sculpt is not toxic, is water-based and comes in colors. www.avesstudio.com
Baking polymer clay:
250% F for 20 minutes. Don't use a cigarette lighter or a heat gun or a hair drier(You won't get the hardness you want)! Use a dedicated counter top electric convection oven not a toaster oven!
Hope this helps...
Sincerely,
Wayne THE DANE Hansen
PS: using tony's half head baking tech, one could make one's own PERS eye system, right? I'm nuts. I know!
Next up best tools to use...
 

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Quick question [I hope]. I have a figure head [specifically a Darth Maul], that I wish to "enhance" his appearance to be more lifelike. I will be looking at doing some work on the eyes [in applying some clear lacquer, or related material to the existing iris's and pupils], BUT the biggee for me is what to use to make the flesh on his face, skull, and the like appear to be somewhat "moist" or sweaty. Any thoughts anyone? And how best to apply it.
 

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How do you avoid moonies and cracking?

I've followed this, but can't seem to get my head to cure perfectly.

Maybe I just need to keep practicing.
 

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Captain Eyestrain
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Discussion Starter · #69 ·
Dustinf ,
How are you curing the head ? Presumably in a domestic oven, so the really important part is to get the temperature right, which may be hard unless you have a thermostat marked in degrees C.
If there's no visible temp control, I suggest you experiment with whatever settings you do have with scraps of clay , until you get a firm cure, and if you are still having trouble, get an oven thermometer .
Cracking can be caused by using an armature of different material to the clay, which means they will expand and contract at different rates causing cracking : that's one of the reasons I use the two-halves on the tile technique, since you don't use an armature at all , and heating obviously causes expansion ( unlike sculpting in epoxy ) .

The perfect temperature is 120C for Fimo and Sculpey.
If the clay goes brown at all, or smokes, it's too hot !
If it crumbles like cheese once cool , it's too cool!
And always put it in the center of the oven to avoid it getting too hot near the elements or flames.

I hope that might help, better luck !
 

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Thanks so much for the fast and informative reply.

It was this tutorial that inspired me to attempt my own sculpts. I've now referenced it over 100 times.
 
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