Oil Based Clay: Unlike the rest of the clays, oil based clay cannot be hardened by any process and always remains in a practical state. One of the greatest benefits is that this material never shrinks or cracks and can be reused over and over.
One of the most popular tools to condition the clay are of the wooden variety with varying tips to create infinite shapes and silicone molds for arts crafts soap. These can be purchased individually or in sets.
In the metal variety there are additional types that contain cutting edges which are much better than the tools with cheap line hoops to dig out holes. Thinner slices can be more accurately designed out of the clay-based with these better quality trimming tools.
As clay models are malleable and versatile when working you need to support models with larger ratios or features such as arms or legs of a figurine. You can use just about anything to support your model from paddle pop sticks to toothpicks but the most reliable and popular material to use is extruded aluminum rod. This is certainly known as armature wire and can form the rough basic frame of the last model in which the clay can be added to and developed.
A very useful tool which was developed in the US is called a clay-based gun or clay extruder. This is a tiny tool with a barrel in which you load with soft clay. After this you add an attachment to the end of the barrel or clip which can come in a multitude of styles and allows the clay-based to be pushed through it to for a long clay extrusion. The tool is similar in design to a syringe. These extrusions then can be cut into pieces and pressed onto models.
Textured surfaces in clay-based models can be created manually but this process can take quite a while and takes a lot of practice to get the desired effect. The use of special silicone or plastic texture pads can make the process a lot quicker and more realistic.
These types of pads have usually already been created by taking impressions of actual life surfaces such as rock and contain a lot of detail which may be transferred to the clay model by simply pressing the pad on the soft clay surface.
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