Sculpt / Vaccu-forming question


Active Hunter
Say I wanted to sculpt a new bucket, what material should I be sculpting with? any particular clay or whatever?

And when that's all said and done what do I do to turn a lump of hardened clay into a piece of heatformed plastic?

Big dreams little talent.
so happens you can vacuform dirrectly over wet water based clay. Only thing to keep in mind is that you have to sculpt it as if it were a vac tool. This can be tricky if you need it to match up well. You can always sculpt it in clay, cut it apart and make tools from there with the moist clay.
Clay is such a fantastic thing when you know how to keep it wet. I have around 10 kilos of clay under my wash basin and it's in the meantime a heavy stone now :eek:
Clay is good, but at the same time, you have to have access to a kiln and continuous watering. Plastic bags help keep it moist, but only if you can sculpt it all in a quickie.You also have to make sure there are no air bubbles in it before you sculpt. S-cracks or airpockets can explode your pieces in a kiln. Or, there is a type of clay that you can bake in your own oven... anyone use the stuff i am talking about??

I used super sculpy for small pieces, but it gets too expensive for the larger pieces and you have problems when trying to stick it in a home oven. (Doesn't like to fit big pieces of armour/large stuff.) There is also this sculpting foam i have heard of that people use to make model cars. And, I heard that this stuff can go right on the vac table. No molds needed. Cept, it can ding kinda easy, so if you have a ding, use some putty. I don't have a link for any of this stuff, but if anyone knows it, please post.
For the puposes of vacuforming you would not be firing the clay. It would be wet or leather hard. Most times it is a starting point so a quicker sculpt can be made so the problem of drying out wouldn't be too big a consideration. Final detail work can be done in the stone. This makes sense right? YOu realize that you make a clay sculpt...vac it then use the vacu formed plastic from the clay as a mold where you cast in hydra-stone into. Sanding and detail work on the stone will finish the process off.
I want to modify one of the licensed helmets to be a bit more accurate. I was thinking of just sculpting over or adding to the helmet with a clay vac-forming that then making a plaster plug that I could use for the final product.
Is that kinda what you're saying?
I'm completely clueless so if what I just said is stupid then forgive me. :D
no - not stupid at all. But you might have to consider doing it in sections which may require you to cut apart the helmet into sections. You can do the modifications to the helmet in bondo or what not before cutting it apart in order to retain accuracy and proportions. These sections can be modified and set up as tools then vaced over. the vaced pieces then can be assembled to creat your newer helmet. Hope that makes it a bit more clear...
can you use sintra/styrene as a base to your sculpt and then put clay on top, then vacc it? Just wondering how that would work, cause of heat from the vac form table would destroy your original, right?
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