Sculpting Tips

Sculpting Tips 
 
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·         Form the kneadatite epoxy putty into equal balls as you develop the figure symmetrically to keep the part you are working on in proportion.
·         Form the small piece of kneadatite epoxy putty to be applied into a shape as close as possible to its final shape.
·         Use lots of spit or lubricant to keep tools from sticking as you smooth kneadatite epoxy putty surfaces.  I currently use saliva or “chap stick” a lip balm.  If you use an oily lubricant you may need to gently wash the sculpt in warm soapy water from time to time or new added parts may not stick. 
·         Do not cut corners.  Make everything as clean, crisp, and sharp as possible the first time.
·         Use a flat bladed tool or a round burnishing tool to smooth surfaces.
·         With kneadatite putty use more yellow putty in a mix for very detailed features, like faces.  More yellow also slows cure time.
·         Speaking of sculpting faces, rest your eyes momentarily every 15 minutes or so by closing them or focusing on something at a distance.
 ·         The properties of kneadatite epoxy putty varies from when it is mixed to when it cures.  Some modeling should be done when the putty is first mixed and very soft.  Some detailing should be done 15 or 20 minutes after the putty is mixed and is becoming firmer.  I generally firmly burnish putty that is almost fully cured to smooth a surface.
·         Heat speeds up curing.   Cold slows curing.  Put your uncured sculpt into the freezer if you have to stop to rest your eyes, talk on the phone, or change the kitty litter.
·         Mix tiny bits of epoxy putty at a time.  After the initial skin coat, I rarely use more putty that the size of a bb.
·        Work in lots of small stages, layering up details a little at a time.
·         Use green kneadatite putty for organic forms.
·         Do not be afraid to waste putty.  Do not keep working just because you still have putty.  I often try to forge ahead and squash a detail that took me an hour to perfect.  If you are driven, be working on a second miniature while the other miniature cures.
·         Sharp Edges with green putty:  You can still get these sharper edges in this way:  Form up the shape as sharp and smooth as you can with the freshly mixed putty.  Put the piece on the side for fifteen minutes or so (less if using a heat lamp) and let it partially cure.  While it is stiffer use your tools and sharpen and flatten edges.  In some situations you can come back after it is fully cured and cut a sharp edge with an x-acto knife, although most of the time I find this impractical.
·         Use green mixed with milliput (50/50), pure milliput, or brown kneadatite for sharp edged or machined items.
·         I believe that generally, a miniature cast in one piece cannot have parts perpendicular to the molding line of excessive length, depth, or undercut (probably less than 5mm).
·         Study anatomy.  Buy a few anatomy books with lots of good poses and with views from different directions.  See the bibliography for my favorite books.
·         Keep a sketch book / scrap book of notes, ideas, images from the net and magazines, etc.
·         Patience, patience, patience.
·         Practice, practice, practice.

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