I seem to be on a sculpting kick lately, with this being the third article in a row dealing with sculpting in one form or another. But it is also one of the hardest parts of customizing, and perhaps the largest divider between custom minimates and official minimates. Today’s post is a guest article written by Boyd, one of the finest minimate customizers you will ever find. You can view Boyd’s customs at his web site here. But first, you should stick around and read his excellent article on the basics of Magic Sculpt:
Magic Sculpt is a two-part epoxy putty very similar to Apoxie Sculpt. By mixing the two compounds together, you get a sculpting medium that is easy to work with and dries solid at room temperature. It works great for customizing Minimates because it dries to a hard, lightweight plastic state.
To start, get equal amounts of the resin and hardener. This does not have to be precise – as long as the amounts look roughly the same size, you should be OK. Take the equal amounts and mix them together in your hands thoroughly until it becomes a uniform color.
This will be sticky, and you probably will end up with some residue on your fingers. You might consider using talcum powder or wetting your hands to keep it from sticking, or just wearing disposable plastic gloves.
Did I mention that this will be sticky? Freshly mixed Magic Sculpt will be sticky, soft and hard to work with. It’s best to let it sit a little bit to firm up – anywhere between 5 to 15 minutes. When it feels right to you, start working.
Mixed Magic Sculpt has the consistency of clay, and can be flattened, rolled, carved or cut easily. You have between an hour to two hours of sculpting time before the Magic Sculpt will dry and become solid, so work quickly. Some tips:
- Work with small batches. Magic Sculpt will dry within two hours no matter how much you’ve mixed. Don’t get stuck with a pile of Magic Sculpt because it dried out before you could use it.
- For big projects, think in steps. Start with a base – something you can sculpt and let it dry. Afterwards, you can add details or layers to the top of it. Wet Magic Sculpt sticks great to dry Magic Sculpt.
- Water is a great tool. Wet tools and fingers don’t stick to Magic Sculpt. And you can smooth Magic Sculpt by rubbing it gently with a wet finger – great way to remove fingerprints or seams.
- Don’t want to leave fingerprints? Try disposable plastic gloves.
After curing, Magic Sculpt dries very hard, and takes sanding and paint well. Thicker pieces will be sturdy enough to drill through or beat with a hammer. However, thinner pieces can be brittle and will break or chip, so be careful. And have fun with it!