Maquette clay

So pardon my question if it seems too basic, but I'm wanting to make a full body maquette (not just a bust) of a creature that I designed, and basically want to make it permanent display piece but I'm not sure what kind of clay to use. I have basically all of my pieces that I need together except the clay. I've been to a local art supply store in my area and they basically carry two types of clay that I can tell. One is Van Aken Plastalina, and various types of Sculpey. My concern with the Plastalina is that it says it "never hardens" which I would think would be a bad thing for a display piece. So is the Super Sculpey my best option here?

My next question then is, since my clay options seem somewhat limited, if I move into sculping bigger pieces, will I need to order clay from a website and if so, does anyone have any suggestions of where to get it from?

Thanks for the help!


  • Sculpey can be hard to work with at first, it's kind of gummy and it can be fragile after baked. there is a finishing clay called CX5 by Adam Beane that holds up well. 

    Let me explain the most common process for making a permanent sideshow quality maquette and it may help with your process. 
    1) sculpt the maquette out of a semi firm sulfur free clay. like chavant
    2) make a throwaway silicone and plaster matrix mold. 
    3) pour your finish material (usually castaline wax) that can be smoothed and have high frequency detail put into it.
    *Note CX5 acts as both the rough and finish and does not need the 2nd and 3rd step, i'm partial to it after using it.
    4) Make a final matrix mold master
    5) cast resin
    6) debur, fill and clean up
    7)paint and enjoy

    Sorry it seems like a lot but that is the process.

  • Chris, that information is AWESOME. But I have to say, I'm a bit overwhelmed by it. I'm new to this process so I'm not entirely clear on everything you said or even what some of those things are so I apologize if I end up asking more questions.

    What exactly is the silicone and plaster matrix mold? If you can point me in the right direction I'll be glad to do my own research on it!

    So let me see if I kind of understand the process.. I'm sculping out of probably Chavant NSP (Medium grade?), then creating the matrix mold (guessing this is a temporary mold to create a cast of my maquette with something a little more firm?) then I'm taking the cast (castaline wax) and creating a final mold that would be a little more sturdy for the cast resin?

    Again I apologize if I sound dumb when it comes to this. I'm new here and new to the entire process so I'm trying to learn as much as I can!

    Thanks for your help!
  • Oh it's not problem Nate. The matrix mold is a silicone mold with a shell made out of plaster or fiber glass.

    Also you would actually work the castilne to put smaller detail in.

    you can save the throwaway mold and castiline by using CX5(s)

    Lastly yes i prefer chavant medium, but that doesn't mean you will.

  • I really want to give CX5 a try, it looks amazing.

  • Everyone and anyone thoughts on making Bayne, a character i created, a maquette. What are ideas and people or places i can go to make this Dream a reality.

  • Nate, I'm curious... Did you ever create your maquette? And if so, did you go with Super Sculpey since it was a "one off" or did you go with the molding process for multiples?
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