If you check out the relevant internet forums you will quickly learn that Super Sculpey is THE modelling compound for model, doll, and figure makers as well as animation studios and all ambitious and/or professional artists working with small sized sculptures. It is the standard choice when it comes to modelling small, graceful, very detailed sculptures – especially in the USA but more and more in Europe as well. Because its colour is very similar to that of skin and its surface has an ideal matte waxiness, it is often used for the realistic representation of human skin (especially for dolls).
Super Sculpey has a fine, homogenous and, to a certain extent, elastic consistency. In comparison to other modelling compounds it is very soft, less porous and exceedingly easy to work with and especially so after you have warmed it up somewhat by means of kneading and pressing it with your hands. This compound practically never cracks, stays pliable and can be formed into different shapes over and over again until you are satisfied enough to bake it in the oven. Another advantage is that other pieces or details can be seamlessly added to an existing shape, something comparable compounds are far less able to accomplish so successfully. The same is true for small holes and grooves – they are especially easy to close back up. It is additionally noteworthy that Super Sculpey, despite its softness, is nonetheless very sturdy so that even figures or shapes with thinner wall thicknesses are dimensionally stable.
It should be noted that this modelling compound will shrink somewhat when baked to hardness in an oven. To that notation should also be added that Super Sculpey has not yet been tested regarding food-safety. It is, in fact, non-toxic and meets the requirements of the USA Standards ASTM D4236 for artistic materials but should nonetheless not be put in the mouth; it is therefore only recommended for use by children 8 years old and older and even then parental supervision is advised.
Super Sculpey is basically comparable to FIMO, especially FIMO SOFT but its consistency and workability is more supple and amenable. FIMO is really more like plasticine: it sticks a lot more to the fingers (less cohesion) and will tend to tear or split more easily when being formed.
Treatment: Using a glass or metal base plate is recommended when making models. This has the advantage that you will not have to take your modelled form in your hands but can rather leave it on the plate when putting it in the oven for baking. Super Sculpey can be worked with by hand or with all the different kinds of MODELLING TOOLS and can be cut with a knife or CUTTER. The surface already becomes somewhat smooth after only being worked on with a wooden modelling tool or just your fingers. In addition, the outer layer can be quasi polished by employing CLEANING PETROL. The petrol lightly dissolves the surface and smoothes it out. This work can be done with a brush and a certain amount of carefulness.
Super Sculpey cures in an oven heated to 130 °C in about 15 minutes. This specification applies to the compound when its thickness is six millimetres; when twice as thick the curing time is, yes, twice as long, i.e. thirty minutes. The material darkens a bit during curing. In the case of thicker wall thicknesses, under certain conditions a sculpture may cure unevenly and should therefore be handled carefully. It is therefore advisable when working with larger volumes to employ a placeholder or a mould support made of wire, wire netting, aluminium foil or even wood. Please note: Super Sculpey cannot be hardened in a microwave oven.
After the material has cured it can be worked on with SANDPAPER or FILES, small holes can be (carefully) drilled or it can be carved with a knife. The surface takes to being painted; water-based paint (POSTER PAINT) or ACRYLIC PAINT should be used – paints containing solvents should not be used or, if wanted, only after a careful analysis in combination with preliminary testing has affirmed efficacy.
A negative mould for making reproductions of the form you have made can be created using CASTING SILICONE or LATEX MILK.
All oven-hardening modelling materials are distinguished by the similar chemical reactions that take place during the „burning“ process. The hardening of oven-hardening modelling materials is based on a gelling process and is therefore completely different from the hardening of water based modelling materials: the plasticizer, because of the high temperatures during the hardening process, penetrates into the plastic particles of the moulding material and itself crosslinks into a gel that, after cooling, holds the particles together. Because the plasticizer has a boiling point of about 300 °C, it does not evaporate during the hardening process. An everyday example of a gel process is the binding of a sauce with starch. In this case, the starch takes over the function that the plasticizer has in those modelling materials.