Modeling clay (which brand/ type)

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Old 08 August 2009   #1
Modeling clay (which brand/ type)


I'm not exactly sure where to post this, but i feel this is a good place, but if it's wrong, please remove mods. Thanks.

So, i'm looking to start getting into tradational sculpting for anatomy learning.

So far i've been looking at sculpey and plasticine, as i'm totally new i'm not quite sure what is best suited for modeling detailed models of anatomical models i.e. face with muscles, torsos, legs and arms, with and with out muscles.

Any help/ links would be great,


I dabble...
Old 08 August 2009   #2
Hi Dan,

I'm a total noob at sculpture, having sculpted a grand total of 2 sculpts but between water based and oil based clay, I prefer oil based, which I tried only yesterday! It apparently never (or not for years) dries, and needs only to be protected from dust and not remoistened.

You might check out some dvds or some youtube videos to get you started.


Korpus School of Art + Gallery
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Old 08 August 2009   #3
Thanks for the reply

I was looking into oil based clays, i don't really want to have the hassle of wetting the clay every few minutes, so i think i'll have a look around for some oil based clays.

Would this type of oil-based modeling clay be ok for sculpting of heads and small creatures (Possibly with a metal inner skeleton);

I'll also have a look aroud on youtube/ vimeo


I dabble...
Old 08 August 2009   #4
Oil based clays are the best for studies since you can change them easily. Regular clays (clays you fire in a kiln) dry SO fast. It's stupid. When I have sculpted I've mixed a few clays together.

The best is Super Sculpey. However, it can get too soft when used often. It's quite oily. So I mixed a harder sculpey with it. Just like a little square of regular sculpey III or whatever. The fun colors. Mix that in with super sculpey and you will have great consistency and modability while still retianing it's shape.
DSF Sketchbook
Old 09 September 2009   #5
yes super sculpey [the flesh tinted one] mixed with the gray sculpey firm is a good idea. Sculpey is great because it can be baked firm and the flesh one can be then nicely painted. I've seen people mix the two using the pasta machine

Also Chavant is a great and popular clay as it never dries. Mind you, make sure you buy the firmer version not the regular Le Beau Touche version... it's very tacky and hard to work with. I've found it out the hard way [I'm a newbie to this business too]

Old 01 January 2010   #6
Hi Dan

I don't know about the plastiline you found, but I've tried some cheap plastiline clays that were not that great to work with, so I think you'd better try to find some very good one first to get a good reference. I think buying small quantities of different brands owuld be a good idea if you plan to work on sculpting seriously

my favourite is chavant NSP medium (plastiline) which exists in brown or greenish tones.
WED clay is another standard (used by jordu schell for example) but I never found it in France, I heard of a reseller in the UK though, send me a pm if you're interested I must have kept the adress somewhere...

Old 01 January 2010   #7

Thank you for all the replies and information, I actually ended up going with some super sculptey, I've yet to sit down and give it a proper try but so far it seems quite good. I think I will need plenty of practice though as it's very difficult to sculpt with out crushing the whole model in your hand.. Perhaps I need a rig set up or something. Been watching some Gnoman DVD's on sculpting though so I'll try and get some stuff uploaded soon.

StephaneD: Hey, thanks for the information, if I ever need that kind of thing I'll be sure to get in contact, I'm still very new to the whole sculpting thing so my preferences of sculpting clay may change in the future and yea, I think it would be good if I bought a small qauntity of a few different brands and types to find the best one, I'll wait until I've finished with the sculptey first though, I think I bought just under 1Kg of the stuff
I dabble...
Old 01 January 2010   #8
nice, supersculpey is an excellent clay
but I think you should try to mix it as intervain mentioned with sculpey or fimo soft
if you don't mix it it looks way too translucent to visualize form correctly in my opinion,
you never get hard shadows.

as for the armature it is absolutely necessary, even for a small sculpt
its quite boring to do but you can't pass it really.

Old 01 January 2010   #9
uhh! great thread...
another noob here (done 4 small heads). i got a bit of super sculpey (the skin tinted one) and a regulare sculpey grey/white (comes in a red and blue pack), . they where both too soft for my taste. the regulare sculpey was even softer than super sculpey.
i'm also looking into other clays. i haven't found anywhere here in denmark where they sell super sculpey "firm", which should be very good.
it also got a nice grey color. heheh

Old 01 January 2010   #10
sculpey is a very interesting clay if you intend to bake your sculpt (you can bake it along the way as well to get a solid structure if you like),
If you don't intend to do so I think chavant or some similar clay is a better choice
It is harder by default than sculpey and can will get softer by warming it instead of getting harder, so you have control on the softness
I personnaly much prefer to work this way

Last edited by StephaneD : 01 January 2010 at 02:29 PM.
Old 03 March 2010   #11
I have recently just started trying out some sculpting in clay myself and have been using Newclay air drying nylon reinforced modelling clay. I'm really enjoying using this stuff and I think it's quite a bit cheaper than some of the other brands mentioned, it's very tactile and generally does what I want it to.

I haven't used anything else so I can't give informed comparisons, the only real potential downsides are maybe it drying out accidentally before your finished working, cracks resulting from it drying too quickly and Ive noticed that up close, loose nylon fibers can be seen sticking out of the clay. Avoidable issues and the up side of course is that you don't need a kiln. Hope that helps when you're buying in the future.
Old 03 March 2010   #12
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