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Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Favorite: Supplies & Tools (Part 1)


Since I currently can't make any new miniatures (sad, I know :[ ) I thought I would write about some of my favorite supplies and tools I use.  If you have any further questions about where I buy my supplies or how I use them, leave them in the comments!  So without further adieu, let's get started.

1. Acrylic Paints--Acrylic paints are not necessary, but they can help add a nice effect after baking you piece.  This set by Artist's Loft was pretty cheap ($5) for an assortment of colors, so it didn't hurt to try it out.  It's great for adding extra dimension to your miniature.  Sometimes I thin out the paint with water to make a light wash of color.  Adding a light wash of a dark color can usually help bring out the detail, I did that for Mickey's face on my mickey waffle.  I wouldn't recommend putting this in the oven, as I'm not sure what type of toxic fumes it may give off (maybe breathing it will make me grow a third arm, that would actually be really helpful!)

2. Molding Putty--Amazing Mold Putty is a two-part silicone mold that holds details pretty well and cures in 20 minutes (with a 2-3 minute working time).  It's quite expensive so I suggest using a coupon if you are buying at Michael's.  But it does last a long time since the things I mold are so tiny.  I suggest using a small round cookie cutter (or something similar) and placing your item in it, then press the putty over your object.  

3. Soft Pastels--This is also by Artist's Loft and was under $5.  Soft pastels are also called chalk pastels and are different from oil pastels.  These have pretty good pigmentation and a good assortment of colors.  I usually use a blade to scrape some color off and then use a paintbrush to make that "baked" effect.  If you want a more intense color, add the tiniest bit of water to it and mix.  It's also good for mixing with TLS or Fimo deco gel to create sauces or even colored frostings.

4. Mini Grater--You technically can use any grater you find, but I highly suggest using one with small graters (is that what it's called? lol) to get a finer texture, but it depends on what you want to use it for.  I use this to create anything from tiny sprinkles, to chocolate shavings, coconut shavings, or even finely chopped herbs.  The only problem I have with it is, if you are grating baked clay, the shaved bits tend to be much lighter in color than the color of clay you are shaving it from.  It's unfortunately the same effect that happens when you cute baked clay with a blade.  I'm not sure how to explain it, but try it and you'll see.

5. Embossing Powder--This is from the brand Recollections, but any embossing powder will do.  This is used for the sugar effect because they are such fine particles.  You could also use white sand for sugar, it will do much better in the oven too.  Do not stick embossing powder in the oven! It will melt the particles together giving you a smooth effect, unless that's what you want.

6. Petroleum Jelly--Since polymer clay (at least Sculpey) is oil based, mixing petroleum jelly with clay will help soften it and give you almost the same effect as adding TLS to it.  It would be be on the thicker side though.  I like to add it to clay to soften it up so I can pipe it onto things.  It also uses the same baking times as any other Sculpey clay.

7. Fimo Liquid Gel--I heard they stopped producing this.  So sad... But that's ok because there are a couple other solutions out there to get around this.  This has a much thinner consistency than TLS and bakes much more clear and flexible.  It's great for sauces that are more on the translucent side, you can even add soft pastels or clay to color it and make it thicker.

8. Sculpey Translucent Liquid Sculpey--Aka TLS.  It has a much thicker consistency than Fimo liquid gel and bakes more opaque than it too.  But this is also a great solution to frostings, sauces, and whatever else you may want to make.  As mentioned above, I can also mix this with some solid clay to make a super soft clay that I can pipe.

9. Glue--Last but not least on my favorites list are Aleene's Quick Dry & Fast Grab Tacky Glue.  At first I couldn't tell the difference between quick dry and fast grab, but after using them for a while, boy is there a major difference.  There are times when one of them come in more handy than the other, but the good thing is they both dry clear and matte.  Like quick dry states, it is a quick drying glue that is thin in consistency but still gives you a couple of seconds to readjust whatever you put down.  Fast grab on the other hand is much thicker and tackier and there really isn't too much adjustment time with this glue.  They both have their uses so test them out before you start gluing your actual miniatures.

Thanks for hanging in there! I will have a part 2 coming up soon, possibly next week, about my favorite tools :)  So watch out for that.

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