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Special Report: An Introduction to Customizing
by: Joris DeSmet

Sculpey and Sandpaper

So there you are. You found a couple of arms that have the correct shoulder pads, but the wrist bracelets are just not right. Or that head looks quite okay, if the nose would just be a little bigger. And that head has exactly General Dodonna's expression, but not the required tousle of hair and the beard...

Luckily there are answers to all of these problems and they're called ... sculpey and sandpaper!

In the customizer's world, sculpey is used as a collective noun for a number of products, mostly resins, that dry out to solid pieces when exposed to the air.

The one that is most popular and easily available in my parts of the world (Europe), is a two-component resin called Milliput. When using Milliput, first knit together equal portions of both components until you have a homogeneous substance. You can then model any kind of object out of this resin and let it dry out.

You can use sculpey to fill holes or just to sculpt entire new body parts yourself. The more courageous among you can even try to customize heads, but you'll find that you'll need a lot of practice to get good in this area. Facial features are not exactly easy to sculpt...

When using sculpey to fill holes or make the connection between limbs and parts, you preferably make sure again that the stance of the limbs is correct. Don't worry immediately about superfluous sculpey clinging to your figure parts when you're in the process of applying it; just make sure it's positioned right and let it dry out. It doesn't need to look perfect and finished off from the start. As soon as the resin dried out, you can start sanding and carving away the superfluous parts until it has the looks that you like.

Sanding away sculpey or plastic parts you do best with sandpaper with a big grain if you'd need to sand away big parts; smoothing out the final result and sanding away small parts you do with paper with a fine grain, of course.

A last tip in this area is not to get too heavy on the very small details with sculpey. Some people will be inclined to use sculpey to add very small details such as shirt buttons. They'll find out that the result looks rather awkward in the end as it is very difficult to ‘sculpt’ such tiny details in the right proportions; painting them on afterwards is usually a better idea. So there you are, you have put your character together, corrected the missing and wrong parts with sculpey, so all that you still need to do now is paint your figure.

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