An Exercise in Tiny Molds

November 1, 2012 by  
Filed under News

I’m making slugs.  Little garden slugs will silly faces who are as collectable as Smurfs and probably a billion times cooler.

I’m going to take a huge leap into the unknown soon by casting molds to try to produce plastic Garden Slug figurines.

So far the look like this:

Giggles
Giggles

Chuckles

Chuckles

Dapper Dan
Dapper Dan

Franky

Franky

Party Hardy

Party Hardy

Zombi

Zombi

UFO Sighting

UFO Sighting (AKA: Mulder)

Love Slugs

Love Slugs

Baby Face Nelson - He's not a baby, he just has a disease.

Baby-Face Nelson (He’s not really a baby.  He has a disease.)

Here’s the trick to sculpting well with Sculpey…

First, Super Sculpey is much nicer to carve and sand after its been cooked.  It’s got more plasticity to its feel and sculpts nicer.  I’ve combined the two for some of these guys.  Regular and Super.  I had purchased the regular thinking “Super” was just a marketing gimmick, but it really is better.  the combination was an attempt at stretching my supply.

Sculpt the way you would sculpt with clay, but instead of letting your clay dry, you’ll have to cook it.

So, begin with basic structure (for a figure bone and muscle, but in my case a squirmy slug body).  I took in mind to have a gaping mouth hole for open smiles and sticks in place for the eyes.  Cook it and let it cool.  Carve away what you need to with a sharp exacto and continue to add clay for detail.  I ended up putting these little guys through the oven about 6 times each, if not more when things chip or need extra smoothing.

I think too many people struggle with small sculpture because they try to hold on to soft and squishy material while trying to detail.  That’s when it ends up looking like a rolled up Play Dough cinnamon bun.

Carve out wrinkles and details, sand it down with sand paper and then varnish.  The varnish should do away with the last little scratches and microscopic lumps that sanding didn’t take care of.

I’m hoping to be able to make a sensible mold and create a series of plastic (resin) slugs using a system like this one:

I haven’t made a mold in a couple of decades, so it’s still a mystery as to how the project will end up in the end.  My tiny little guys may need to be cast in three pieces.  It’s their wiggly slug bottom that’s throwing my brain for a loop.

But plastic slugs are what I want.  Just like smurfs.  Only cooler.

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Comments

One Response to “An Exercise in Tiny Molds”

  1. Garden Slugs and Beyond! | Rachel Peters Animator Artist Performer on November 18th, 2012 6:38 pm

    […] molds for the world of Garden Slugs is fully in the works. More cutesy and hilarious characters are being developed and here is one of […]

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