Friday, June 18, 2010

Product review: Super Sculpey Firm

My previous sculpey experience was lack luster. I hated the stuff. It was super hard and you had to kneed it for a few minutes to get it to be work able. After that the biggest let down for its use in 40k was that it shrank. I just started using green stuff after that and never looked back...until now.

Lately I've been on a Les kick from over at Awesomepaintjob.com and following him like he's the messiah. I already used most of his recommended products but then I heard him mention sculpey in one of the videos and I took him down a peg or two. Then I remembered he is my personal lord and savior so I went to micheal's and picked up a one pound block for $14.40.

My review will compare green stuff to sculpey firm. It will address cost, workability, quality, and a general opinion at the end.

Cost- Much cheaper than green stuff. Its not something you can compare costs to very easily considering green stuff can do two jobs and sculpey only one, but overall, your 1lb block is cheaper and should last you a really long time. Plus, when you take too much, its not wasted like Green Stuff.

Workability- Surprisingly this stuff is workable right off the block. Its really soft compared to sculpey of old. I just pinch off a bit and start making whatever I need. Aside from that its awesome because its not an epoxy, so as mentioned before, you don't need to get close on your estimate and you don't need to work the two parts together. The stuff comes in a card stock paper box and I assume won't dry out considering I pulled it off the shelf and it wasn't wrapped in any sort of plastic.

The major difference between Sculpey and GS is that GS can be used on models and it'll set up on its own. So therefor I would say it has a larger range of roles it can fill whereas Sculpey can only be used to sculpt bits or totally new models which GS can be used to do as well.

One of the first things I've noticed is that unlike GS, sculpey is not sticky. This is a double edged sword because to build you have to press your clay in and can't just set it on top like with GS. Also, its harder to do molds because you can't get your sculpey out once you mold the piece. I think a combination might be great and I'm still working that out by making a mold with sculpey (since it won't stick to what I'm making a cast of) and then casting with GS. We'll see how that goes.

Quality- It does set up pretty firm but is still softer than GS. I carved on some that I baked and I say it is about as resistant to cutting and carving as resin is. It's hard to cut a baked piece in half without one of the halves crumbling.

Overall the detail is just the same with either. Sculpey is easier to carve on after it's set than GS, you just have to be really careful since it'll crumble.

Opinion- I feel like sculpey is a great addition to my paint box. If I need to make something like a banner or a base really quick I just scuplt it up, throw it in the oven and I have it in 15 minutes versus a day later like with GS. Sculpey shouldn't replace your Green stuff, but should get a home right next to it. The things that attract me to it the most are that its cheap, its fast and there isn't any waste.

So give it a try, its not a total loss if you hate the stuff, you're only out 15$ and you'll have a block of oven bake clay just in case you need to Macgyver something.

Please feel free to post comments and questions including your personal experience with Super Sculpey Firm!!

10 comments:

  1. Sounds good, if not for anything but the fact that it's not sticky. Some projects you just don't need the clingy-ness of GS. I'll try some out for my banners.

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  2. You might want to try out Apoxie Sculpt. It is a two part epoxy like GS. It is sticky, though not as sticky as GS. It smooths really easily with a little water. Has a longer work time. Dries rock hard, not sure you could carve it after it is dry, honestly because I have never tried. It is so hard I just don't want to try shaving it, sanding yes carving no.

    I like having it in my toolbox next to the GS. Somethings get the GS others are more suited for Apoxie Sculpt. Can't remember how much I paid for it since I bought a large amount the first time I bought it and I am still working to the bottom of the tubs. But as I remember it was not that expensive, plus no oven like Sculpy.

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  3. I'd love to see a banner-from-sculpey tutorial. I have a serious issue making those out of green stuff, and I hate the way paper looks as a banner.

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  4. Talking of MacGyver, I was decorating my childhood bedroom a couple of years ago and discovered a 4" chunk of plaster missing from the chimney brest where I'd picked at it as a child.

    Short of time and completely at a loss I suddenly remembered some 'Fimo' I had in the cupboard: general arts-n-crafts coloured baking clay in a similar vein.

    I pressed it into the corner, squared off the edges, removed it and baked it.

    Then, all I had to do was pop it in place with some strong household adhesive, sand it down and paper over it...Et voila!

    Oh...Sculpey looks great too. Useful reviw - thanks!

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  5. I have to say, that I agree with your findings on the sculpey. I like it for some uses, but not all. I can also vouch for apoxi sculpt, I LOVE that stuff. It has a consistency similar to sculpey, but dries rock hard without baking (so you can use it on models).

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  6. Thanks for the feed back everyone and for digging past the first article. Usually after a day or two the feedback is pretty dead on a post.

    Drax- I've always wanted a collection of stories about how people have used their GW stuff for more than they originally intended. Recently I filled some nail holes with green stuff.

    Dave and Andrew- I'll have to try and find some Apoxi Sculpt and fiddle with it.

    Thanks agian for the feedback everyone!
    Maxwell- I'll put a tut up soon for you.

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  7. Fimo/sculpey are RESIN polymeric putties. Get some silicone putty, and you can do some awesome mold base works and the like.

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  8. Heh, I fix EVERYTHING in my house with milliput and green stuff! Maybe not the toaster.

    You know if you mix super sculpey or sculpey firm into green stuff it takes away the stickiness and makes it easier to work with, but you still get the self curing. Only mix a ratio of 1:6 sculpey to green stuff or less, otherwise it becomes too rubbery after setting (you can put under a heat lamp to harden off though)

    For my green stuff I take a large can (the sort you get bad coffee in office supplies in) and put a regular desk lamp over it- it makes a little oven that cures green stuff quickly. You can set a fresh batch in about twenty minutes like this- but dont leave plastic conversions in there too long or your minis droop a bit!

    A few of my professional friends use sculpey firm for making minis. They love it! They suggest putting green stuff on the armature because firm wont stick to wire and cracks off... another tip is to use sculpey softener liquid to help act as glue when adding finer details on.

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  9. That coffee can thing is an awesome tip! Its too bad this article is burried so deep. I've been half ass looking for an easy bake oven to put in my work shop just for GS and sculpey work. One day I'll mention to the right person and end up with a free one, but until then I'll just keep thinking to myself around 2am "Damn, I'd love an easy bake!"

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  10. I often find Sculpey Firm depends on the box it's too hit and miss to be worth a damn, when it's not crumbly and super hard it works a charm but when it shows signs of being truck baked you might as well chuck it and get another box or another product as it's so hard to get just right again, I've used a little vaseline to get it working again and that's worked at times but at other times you end up with a clay that's still crumbly and yet soft enough to not let you get any details in. my best advice is to move out of this stuff and try wax far better results for around the same price...

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