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 Post subject: Putties and Clays
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:09 am 
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The Red Terror
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Kneadatite Blue/Yellow ("Green Stuff" in the miniatures community)
  • Two-part epoxy, ribbon
  • Produced by Ploymeric System, Inc.
  • Uses: sculpting, skins.
  • Detail work at 28mm scale: good.
  • Cured texture: Somehwat rubbery, not sandable/machinable
  • Cure: 4-5 h set, 20-24 h complete*
  • Finish: can achieve smooth finish
  • Approximate cost: US$12 per 100 grams

* - can be accelerated to minutes with application of heat

This is the most commonly used material for sculpting miniatures. It is often used in concert with putties that cure to a harder consistency to achieve sharp edges, e.g. weapon edges, and/or greater structural integrity, e.g. a skinny region that experiences large forces. It is not cheap, so some sculptors will use a cheaper material to build up their piece and then lay green stuff over it.

Kneadatite Blue/White
This putty is a cousin of Kneadatite Blue/Yellow; it tends to be better at gap-filling, but not as good for sculpting.

Kneadatite Brown/Aluminum ("Brown Stuff")
  • Two-part epoxy, ribbon
  • Produced by Polymeric Systems, Inc.
  • Uses: fine details, thin pieces
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: excellent
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: 1 to 2 h
  • Cure: 4-5 h set, 20-24 h complete*
  • Finish: can achieve glass-like finish
  • Approximate cost: US$100 per 100 grams


* - can be accelerated to minutes with application of heat

This putty is good for fine details and cures hard, so it also good for pieces that are thin or under great stress, which might deform if made from Kneadatite Blue/Yellow (however, both putties have the same mechanical strength). It can be used to increase the hardness of Kneadatite Blue/Yellow by directly mixing the two putties. However, it is more expensive than Blue/Yellow.

Milliputt Standard Yellow/Gray
  • Two-part epoxy, separate sticks of material
  • Produced by The Milliput Company
  • Uses: sculpting, fine details, thin pieces
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: OK
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: 1.5 to 2 h
  • Cure: 3-4 h set*, 3-4 h complete cure*
  • Finish: can achieve glass-like finish
  • Approximate cost: US$8 per 100 grams

* - can be accelerated to minutes with application of heat

This inexpensive putty is not as good as Kneadatite Blue/Yellow for fine details, but cures hard, so it is good for pieces require rigidity, which might deform if made from Kneadatite Blue/Yellow. However, it is somewhat brittle, so razor thin protruding features might chip/crack. It can be used to increase the hardness of Kneadatite Blue/Yellow by directly mixing the two putties. This is great stuff for making bases. It does not hold detail as well as Kneadatite Blue/Yellow, but if you are working at a scale larger than 28 mm, the ability to hold detail is probably fine. Milliputt is slightly water soluble until cured.

Tips & Tricks
  • For a smoother finish, paint/swab the putty with water before it cures; you can achieve a glass-like finish with this putty using this approach.

Mixing Epoxy Putties
Let's say you want the detail-sculpting capacity of one putty, but the rigidity of another. Well, you can't eat your cake and have it too; believe me I've tried, many times. However, you can often find a happy medium by simply mixing the putties to accomplish your desired median property. The greater the portion of a putty, the more prominently it will factor into the final properties of your hybrid. Here are some examples that have been used to good effect.

  • Kneadatite Blue/Yellow & Kneadatite Brown/Aluminum: a balance between the sculptability of B/Y and the ability to hold an edge with B/A, for example.
  • Kneadatite Blue/Yellow & Milliputt: more or less, a cheaper alternative to the above.

Apoxie Sculpt
  • Two-part synthetic clay
  • Produced by Aves Studio
  • Uses: general sculpting and detail work
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: OK/good*
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: 1 to 3 h
  • Cure: "overnight" set*, 24 h complete cure
  • Finish: can achieve glass-like finish
  • Approximate cost: US$2.4 per 100 grams

* - good detail takes practice and you should wait an hour so after mixing to let it set up slightly.

This very inexpensive putty has a finer grain than Milliputt and is almost as good as Kneadatite Blue/Yellow for fine details, but cures hard, so it is good for pieces require rigidity, which might deform if made from Kneadatite Blue/Yellow. However, it is somewhat brittle, so razor thin protruding features might chip/crack. This is great stuff for making bases. It does not hold detail as well as Kneadatite Blue/Yellow, but if you are working at a scale larger than 28 mm, the ability to hold detail is probably fine. Apoxie Sculpt is slightly water soluble until cured.

Tips & Tricks
  • For a smoother finish, paint/swab the putty with water before it cures; you can achieve a glass-like finish with this putty using this approach.

Sculpey
  • Polymer clay
  • Produced by Sculpey
  • Uses: sculpting, fine details, thin pieces
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: not good
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: indefinite, requires oven cure
  • Cure: bake at 130ºC (275ºF) for 15 minutes per 6mm (1/4") of thickness
  • Finish: can achieve smooth finish
  • Approximate cost: US$1.1 per 100 grams

This putty is one of the cheapest you can find that is still somewhat usable. It's also readily available. It's best used for bulk jobs or simple terrain/base work, where mass is more important than detail, e.g. building up a body, then layering it with a skin of putty to achieve better outer detail. You might consider using Super Sculpey instead.

Note: manufacturer suggests "bulking out pieces thicker than 12 mm (1/2")

Super Sculpey
  • Polymer clay
  • Produced by Sculpey
  • Uses: sculpting, fine details, thin pieces
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: OK
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: indefinite, requires oven cure
  • Cure: requires baking
  • Finish: can achieve smooth finish
  • Approximate cost: US$2.2 per 100 grams

Like Sculpey, this putty is one of the cheapest you can find. It can take on details better than Sculpey and provide a smoother end finish than Sculpey. This is still better suited for bulk work, terrain, and bases.

Note: manufacturer suggests "bulking out pieces thicker than 12 mm (1/2")

Squadron Putty ("Green Stuff" in the plastic kits community)
  • Solvent-based putty
  • Produced by Squadron Company
  • Uses: sculpting, fine details, thin pieces
  • Detail work @ 28 mm scale: OK
  • Cured texture: hard, it is sandable/machinable
  • Work time: minutes or less
  • Cure: 30 minutes
  • Finish: can achieve smooth finish
  • Approximate cost: US$4.2 per 100 grams

This putty is not generally used for minis. It is usually used as a gap-filler by plastic kit enthusiasts; not surprising, since the company that makes it calls it a filler. It's included here mostly to educate folks that "green stuff" can have a very different meaning, depending upon your audience. Since it is solvent-based and a single component, you can squirt it out of a tube and use it directly. It's only really good for tiny gap/seam filling, because it shrinks too much for large gap filling. There is a Green version and a White version; the white is supposed to have a finer grit.

Tips & Tricks
  • For hard to reach areas, thin with acetone, 60:40 putty:acetone, and paint into desired location.
  • For a smoother finish, paint/swab the putty with acetone-based nailpolish remover immediately after application


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 Post subject: Re: Putties and Clays
PostPosted: Sat May 29, 2010 3:11 am 
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The Red Terror
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Joined: Mon Mar 06, 2006 9:07 pm
Posts: 2146
Location: Fort McMurray, Alberta, Canada
This is a word-for-word copy of the old putties and clays article that was in the hobby section on the old warpshadow front page.

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