Model Making Materials and Tools

Making an original model is a lot easier than most people believe and for creative people offers the opportunity to create copyright pieces of art.

Materials used to create models include plaster, wax, would, metal or clay to mention just a few. Clay in its many forms is probably the most popular due to the fact that it is easily manipulated by hand and with simple tools.

Water-based clays
These clays such as pottery clay, are very low cost clays, model well with normal pottery tools but have the disadvantage of drying out quite quickly and are very brittle and easily damaged. All work must be covered by a plastic sheet overnight to retain moisture.

Air hardening clays
Air hardening clays such as Das clay which is non-toxic has an even, fine, texture and are easy to smooth. They can be used on various supports such as wood or cardboard and are highly plastic and suitable for most modelling techniques.

Oven Hardening Clays.
These polymer clays, such as Sculpey 111, have the advantage of being able to be carved or modelled by hand and subsequently hardened by heating in a household oven. This can have advantages when wishing to transport the finished model undamaged to another location or when using the model as the finished article.

Non- hardening clays.
These are probably the most popular of the clays for modelling and include Plastelina and Klean Klay. One of the advantages of non-hardening clay is that they do not dry out and become brittle while modelling. A disadvantage is that extra care must be taken not to damage the finished model while mouldmaking.

Klean Klay contains no sulphur and therefore can be used with all platinum based silicones while mould making.

Children’s modelling materials

Papier mache.
Mix-It is an instant papier mache and has similar qualities to the original papier mache but without the mess. It is easy to prepare and use. It is very economical, so is perfect for large groups or projects as a little goes a long way. Finishsd projects are very light weight. It can be decorated with any type of medium or paint.

Sculpt-It is a modelling mix that combines the best features of clay, plaster and papier mache. Supplied in powder form you simply add water and cast or model with fingers or tools. It doesn’t shrink and adheres to most surfaces and may be used to build up relief sculpture. When dry this medium may be sawed, carved or decorated with any paint.

Play Dough. This reusable product, Fun Dough comes in a variety of colours and is one of the most colourful, softest squeezable play doughs. It is a safe way of introducing young children to the delights of modelling. It is clean and stays soft.

Model Making Tools.

Boxwood Clay Tools These are available in a set of 12 in a resealable zip lock bag. They are 20 cm long and are suitable for use with clay or Plastelina modelling. This set is highly recommended and provide the most economical to alter the clay model surface with an almost infinite variety of shapes.

This tool extrudes a wide variety of clay shapes. Simply place some clay in the barrel and press on the plunger and as many as 18 different shapes of clay can be extruded to make anything from flowers, hair or walking sticks that can be used on your model.

Rolling Pins
A rolling pin is very useful for preparing even thickness slabs of clay for your model. Simply place to stripsof the desired thickness between a lump of clay and roll out the slab to an even thickness.

Texture Pads
A great deal of time can be saved in the final carving of your model with the use of texture pads. A wide variety of texture moulds are available and are used by simply pressing into the clay. Custom texture pads can be made to pressing silicon 50 against any required texture to make a texture mild that will last for years.

Armature Wire
Your clay may need support if the model is large or has parts that protrude such as arms or legs, such as would be found in a figurine. Extruded aluminium wire is use to support the clay. Form the rough shape of the model with the armature wire and attach it to a wood base to support your model. Apply the clay over the armature to complete building up the shape required and then carve in the additional detail required.

Stainless Steel Tools
Durable stainless steel tools are available in 4 piece sets. They are essential aids for sculpting models and are designed by professionals for complete control and detail. There are 3 different sets of tools available include a 4 piece spatula set, a four piece pick set for fine detail and a 4 piece carver set.

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