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Topic: Albus Dumbledore Mini-Figure  (Read 2260 times)
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tapestrymlp
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« on: January 11, 2010 05:55:59 PM »





A mini-figure I made just before Christmas of Albus Dumbledore from the Harry Potter series. I am planning a couple more small figures to go with him. I tried to buff his robe but sadly it did not come out well. I may try some acetone and have another go.

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springgingal
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2010 04:40:04 AM »

Oh my gosh, why doesnt anyone reply on such a good project!

I was in a hurry, saw it a couple of days ago. I have to tell you now what a great job you did!


If you had trouble to buff his robe, I would suggest to make it bigger. It looks about 3 or 4 cms high ... very small ... I couldnt do it neither.

Bye!  Cheesy
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Diane B.
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« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2010 09:19:25 AM »

Nice little sculpt!  What did you use to texture his beard with, and hair?...or did you just hand shape them?

Quote
I tried to buff his robe but sadly it did not come out well. I may try some acetone and have another go.

Were you talking about "buffing" his robe while the clay was raw or baked, since acetone (and other perhaps better things) can be used to help smooth raw polymer clay but buffing usually refers to sanding-then-buffing after baking. 

.......(apologies in advance if you know all of the following already!)

After baking polymer clays have to be fairly smooth already before hand-buffing or electric-buffing** begins though or the buffing won't do much (except buff any smooth parts that are on the topmost areas).  Sanding usually starts with 400 grit then goes up to 600 grit before the buffing, but if there are especially rough or uneven areas it's good to start down at 320.
**for a gloss shine the buffing has to be electric... for just a light to heavy sheen hand-buffing is fine

If you wanted your robe to stay a matte color/finish though as you have it now, you could just sand and then very lightly hand-buff or then just put the item back in the oven for a few minutes (with or without Diluent, etc) and it should kind of "melt" to smoothness on the surface (can buff a bit then too depending on effect desired). 
The 3 main Sculpeys (orig. Sculpey, SuperSculpey-flesh, and Sculpey III) are the most matte after baking of all the brands and lines of polymer clay so keep that in mind too.

(Of course, you could always give the clay a glossy look if you wanted that by applying a clear polymer-safe liquid finish but if there is roughness or fingerprints, etc., those will likely also be magnified.  A clear carnauba type wax or even Vaseline, etc, can be rubbed in then hand-buffed to give a bit of sheen, or a satin or even matte liquid finish might fill in the rough areas some.)

If you were talking about before baking, the raw clay can be "brushed down" with acetone or other things but other techniques for getting the clay smooth (avoiding fingerprints, etc) can work better, and some of them start before the clay is modeled.  For example, always starting with a smooth ball, rope or sheet of clay, the particular brand/line of clay used, the ambient temperature where you're working, and your hand temperature (some people have really hot hands and definitely need to use the firmer clays), as well as how heavily you manipulate the clay when shaping can all matter a lot, any any techniques you're using to keep the clay cool while working with it.

There's lots more info and details on all the topics above at my "encyclopedia" polymer site, if you're interested:

raw clay:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpture.htm (...click esp. on Fingerprints, Smoothing)

baked clay:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sanding_tumbling.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/buffing.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/finishes.htm

(and there's more just on sculpting with polymer clay on these pages too:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/heads_masks.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/miniatures.htm
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/armatures-perm.htm )


Love this pic at your Flickr acct!  Grin Grin ... will add a link to it on my site since it's a great illustration of using polyester fiberfill as a baking surface, once I get access to my software again anyway  Cry:
http://www.flickr.com/photos/tapestrymlp/3637999629/in/set-72157607854278514


Diane B.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2010 09:31:18 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
tapestrymlp
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« Reply #3 on: January 15, 2010 11:40:55 AM »

Springgingal,
Thanks! He is tiny, approximately 3 inches tall. I wanted to see if I could make a decent miniature figure as my others have all been fairly big.

Diane B,
I love your site. I have visited it many times over the past months Cheesy I tend to have major info overload though and I go for one piece of info and then run off on some tangent because there's just so much great info on there!

Thanks for the tips about buffing. With this little figure I was try to remove some fingerprints and little flaws I hadn't noticed until after Dumbledore was baked. It did not go well as you can see. I have a dremmel with a little wheel style buffer pad on it and I think I'm more of a menace with that thing than anything else. I will definitely try the links you posted. THANKS for taking the time to give detailed info, I really appreciate it.

As for the fiberfill pic - it worked and it didn't. Poor Ron's head fell off while he was baking despite a nice padding of fiberfill under him. I've decided if I use that method again I'm going to try packing it a bit more tightly. It was also fun brushing the loose fiberfill off him afterwards, lol, but at least he wasn't flattened and it didn't add any unwanted texture to the piece. Please do feel free to link to or use that image.

Jenn
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GardensOfUtopia
« Reply #4 on: January 15, 2010 11:57:54 AM »

Hi buff you mean smoothing sanding? You can use a hard grit sandpaper and gradually move to the tinier grits until he gets his buff shine and smoothness. I use acetone to rid sanding lines in my work.

He is adorable Gj and keep it up!
« Last Edit: January 15, 2010 11:58:14 AM by GardensOfUtopia » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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Diane B.
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« Reply #5 on: January 16, 2010 08:54:46 AM »

Quote
I was try to remove some fingerprints and little flaws I hadn't noticed until after Dumbledore was baked. . . . I have a dremmel with a little wheel style buffer pad on it . . .

If your Dremel wheel bit is a bunch of layers of muslin that are loose on the edges, held together toward the center by a row or two of stitching (we usually remove the outer row of stitching to make them even fluffier for clay), like this:
http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/PROD/dremel-cloth-buffing-wheel/BBB06
http://www.widgetsupply.com/page/WS/PROD/dremel-cloth-buffing-wheel/BBE31 
that bit should work for buffing (giving a sheen or shine to) baked polymer clay, but only if the clay is really smooth first (either from sufficient prep before baking or from a more severe "buffing" if you want to call it that with sandpaper or other rough-ish textures).  If the clay isn't really smooth first, buffing with a loose muslin wheel isn't rough enough to actually remove clay and might only begin to shine up the upper areas of the uneven surface a bit .... not what you want, I'm sure.

If your Dremel bit is a tightly-compact shape of light-colored felt though like these:
http://blueroofdesigns.files.wordpress.com/2009/07/felt-polishers.jpg ,
then baked polymer clay is soft enough for that kind of bit to be used as "sandpaper" on it.  However, those small firm felt bits are really hard to control on polymer clay when they're "sanding" an area any larger than the felt itself, etc, though can work for some things.
(The basic idea of "smoothing" anything hard is just to use finer and finer "roughnesses" of things to rub it with, and when those things are actually sandpaper the process is just called sanding instead of "rough-buffing," etc.)

Quote
As for the fiberfill pic - it worked and it didn't. Poor Ron's head fell off while he was baking despite a nice padding of fiberfill under him.


I'm surprised that happened(!) even if you didn't have an armature in that neck.  The neck doesn't look thin enough to have softened (enough) for the head to even slump, and your cloud of fiberfill looks like sufficient support. Was the head just not fully and well joined to the neck, clay-wise, so that there was an area of weakness? 

Quote
I've decided if I use that method again I'm going to try packing it a bit more tightly. It was also fun brushing the loose fiberfill off him afterwards, lol, but at least he wasn't flattened and it didn't add any unwanted texture to the piece.

You can certainly try that, but you can also use things like a pile of baking soda (underneath or completely coverering) or other powders, or diatomaceous earth, or nests of cotton fabric, or all kinds of other things for support too.  If you want to check out some of those other ways, check out my Baking page under Support During Baking:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/baking.htm
And especially when baking larger figures or ones with limbs extended, etc., there's more info on the one of the sculpting pages too:
http://www.glassattic.com/polymer/sculpting_body_and_tools.htm
 ...click on Support Stands (under Tools For Sculpting)


Diane B.
« Last Edit: January 16, 2010 09:12:33 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
tapestrymlp
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« Reply #6 on: January 17, 2010 01:25:41 AM »

I can see that this board is going to be dangerous for me, lol. I added the awesome large sculpting/baking stand to my wishlist. It looks like it would be great for working with. Thanks again for the links. I was using a hard felt pad - I will go look for a soft muslin one. The hobby tools site you linked to looks really cool.

Jenn
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Diane B.
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« Reply #7 on: January 17, 2010 08:35:55 AM »

Quote
I was using a hard felt pad - I will go look for a soft muslin one.

You can buy one (don't forget to take out the outer stitching) or you can even make your own from various materials.  There are instructions and links for doing that in various ways on the "Buffing" page at my site (see link in my first reply).

Depending on the size of baked items you want to sand and buff btw, and assuming it's not just one or two, many polymer clayers outfit their garage bench grinders with one (or two) large muslin wheels for buffing (or buy a med or lg jeweler's buffer or bench grinder, etc) to use since they'll work a lot better for all but the smallest pieces (more info on those machines too if you're interested on that Buffing page).

Quote
The hobby tools site you linked to looks really cool.

Watch out!. . . there are a lot of those Shocked Grin Wink Grin

Diane B.
« Last Edit: January 17, 2010 08:37:26 AM by Diane B. » THIS ROCKS   Logged

POLYMER CLAY "ENCYCLOPEDIA" 
http://glassattic.com/polymer/contents.htm
few of my photos
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l163/DianeBB
(had to move them from YahooPhotos, so many now without captions)
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