Questions about working with Magic Sculp
Home Gallery FAQ's Testimonials Contact WESCO
Here are a few common answers to questions most people ask about Magic Sculp.
Air cures no baking.
Working time depends on the temperature of the room you are working in while using magic sculp. Most often you should have a couple of hours or more working time. I have worked with it longer in the winter and shorter in the summer. So there is really no real set time period.
Shelf life- NEW IMPROVED FORMULA, Non Crystallizing Resin. Stays Soft and ready to use. Should last a life time.
There is only one way to mix Magic Sculp properly. Please double click mixing instructions.
Q Does magic sculp stick to plastics like
styrene or others?
A Yes, but without proper bonding, it will break off. Prior to applying MS to any plastic, I recommend that you prepare the plastic with a thin coat of an appropriate glue, i.e. plastic cement for model kits, PVC glue for PVC, acrylic glue for acrylic plastic.
his has the effect of breaking up the molecules of plastic and allowing the MS to bond at the molecular level. It's really quite effective. You may also drill some "capture" holes for the MS to grab onto.
Q HI need to sculpt 6 foot sculptures that will be kept outdoors in Connecticut all year long for decades (church site). The environment would include snow and rain and temperatures as low as 10 degrees and as high as 100 degrees. Is Magic Sculp suitable for these types of conditions?
A Protect it from UV light by painting it. Cold will make all things brittle so make it thick. If it will be touch by people.
QPlease verify that this is an air dry product.
A No, it is not. It is a chemical cure that occurs under water, dirt, in a vacuum...wherever.
Q For example, if I scuplt the head first and let it dry and return to it a month later to add the neck and shoulders, will the two sections bond? Can I let the head dry and a month later return to build up cheek bones, eyebrows, etc. without concerns over bonding with the old and new pieces?
A But, you can add successive layers by preparing the first layer with a set of capture holes....gives subsequent layers something to grab onto. Cured layers are insoluble.
Q Hi just got a coldcast porcelain statue of Satan and Satanika and she has some cracking right over her right hip. Wanted to know best way to repair. Just wet sand it down and paint or should I use magicsculpt and then just paint that?
A Use MS! That's what I do
a sculptor from Kentucky and have used Magic Sculpt for many
pieces-- I love it. I was wondering what the outdoor life of this
material is and if it can withstand direct weather for many years? I'm
starting a large scale commissioned piece and am wondering if this is
the material to use. The client was wanting a stone or bronze work but
they are working with a smaller budget and I would like to recommend a
more cost effective material as long as they won't be sacrificing its
A Epoxy is a polymer and will brake down by UV Light.
Otherwise, painted, the stuff should outlast you, barring any unforeseen circumstances
got my 5 lb. order of magic sculpt 2 weeks ago. I'm having a bit
of trouble with mixing. . Any suggestions?
Thank you for your attention.
A Please read the mixing instructions. Your hands will warm it and it will become more pliable Mix by volume not wt. Mix well. Water will smooth it but it will not thin it. Magic Sculp will harden under water.
Q Hi I was wondering if Magic sculp would be safe to use in a fish tank, does
it leach out any chemicals into water. Thanks
A Yes, perfectly safe. I would give it a few days to harden just to be on the safe side.
have some epoxy resin pigments...would I be able to use these to with magic
sculp? If so how much should be used?
A Should work ok depending on compatibility. You will have to experiment with ratios, however, to find the best mix. There are no formulas that I am aware of.
main question is, How durable is MS?
The project I am considering is rather odd and as far as I am aware it
hasn't been tried, not with MS anyway..
To begin, I participate in a fantasy/medieval live action role playing game
(LARPG) called Amtgard ( www.amtgard.com). We create a persona with a class
(warrior, barbarian, assassin, bard, etc). There is also a Monster class,
where the persona is something other than a human or elf (like a dragon or
vampire). One of the Monster classes is unicorn, and I am considering taking
on this role. However, I have seen some people play as unicorns, and they
are lacking a very important role aside from the horn: hooves. I have always
had the idea of making hooves from a shoe or somesuch, but I never knew
quite how i could do it. I searched around on the web, and came across a
site that had procedures for making hooves for HANDS but not feet. This
procedure included using a wire armature and 15 lbs of a rather expensive
epoxy putty (about $5 per 2 pounds) per hoof.
Seeing as I could not use this kind of epoxy putty, i searched again for an
alternative, and discovered MS. I'm not quite sure how I am going to do
this, but I am thinking about having a wire armature, gel pads on the inside
of the hoof-shoes for shock-absorbing, and the sole of the hoof-shoes
thicker for more durability. To keep it on my leg, somehow attach leather so
that it appears as a boot. OR, I have thought of making a wire armature
around a shoe or boot and then molding the MS around it.
Before I go any further, let me describe the situation for these hoof-shoes.
Amtgard is played on a field, and I won't be treading at all on any kind of
pavement. Because montser class may only be played once a month, I will wear
them only during games and take them off after. Basically, I won't be
wearing them often, and they will not be under an excessive amount of
Another question I have is this: About how much MS do you think i would need
to order? Obviously ordering a bit extra is a good idea, should I make a
mistake or somesuch. I would also like some suggestions, if you have any.
Thank you for your time,
PS: Here is the link for the site describing the procedure for hooves for
hands, if you'd like to see what kind of armature I might be using:
A It's like rock. You will have a hard time destroying your creation
I make candle molds out of magic sculpt?
You can make any kind of mold you choose from MS. If it is a two part mold, use talc as a release agent
to ensure proper separation during the fabrication of the mold!
there any way to make it thin enough to use in a pastry bag? I'm
trying to replicate a 'Wedding Cake' effect, but am running into some serious problems on getting any clay thin enough to use like
this but still thick enough to set well.... something approximately the consistency of biscuit dough....
A There was a time when I wanted to wet sand uncured MS. I used 80 grit wet to sand gobs of MS that I was
using to fill the gaps in some large resin castings.
It worked well and the MS cured properly.
My point is that you may be able to thin MS to a consistency that may pass through a cookie press.
Your second option is to "scree" the MS into the desired shape.
Screeing is an Old World technique used to shape plaster. Cut a section of thin metal (plexiglass works well,
too) plate to a size that will fit comfortably in your hand. Cut or file the desired profile into the scree ensuring
that the cutting edge is very sharp and smooth.
Lay in an over-sized rope of MS. Press it into place following the outline you wish to represent.
Then, wet the MS and the scree. Start pulling the scree over the MS, carefully at first, then with more bite as the MS
assumes the shape you want.
If you gouge the MS, put a repair patch in place and re-scree.
Clean-up the area once you are satisfied with your work. The MS will cure and, voila! You will have
your Wedding Cake effect. Chuck
Jinx- Sounds like the wet
might work well to my hoping, the scree may not I'm afraid since I'm working on 1/12th or doll scale and the lacework is very very
tiny. Up till this point I've been using puff paint through a size 18 steel decorating dip . trying to get it down to a size
20 (These being wire sizes). As you can imagine, it's very tedious work, but when it does work it makes some fantastic lace
work and then I puff it to give it some consistency and peel it from the work sheet.... with clay I could get it even thinner and
shape it into a more substantial form... here's hoping! Will let you know how it turns out! thanks for the suggestion!
Chuck-I have another technique that might work now that I know you are working in wire sizes. Peel, and remove the eyes, and dice a potato. Boil it till the potato is soft. Puree the living bejezzus out of the potato until it is the consistency of soft putty, then puree it some more adding just a bit of undiluted liquid starch. You are mixing a slurry that will go through a hypodermic needle so adjust the amount of starch for the needed consistency, which requires some testing to get right. There is a point at which the potato will feed (with some force) through a hypodermic needle. I grind the sharp tip off with a grinding wheel. The potato forms a lovely bead as it exits the needle. You can form any shape you desire. The potato will hold its shape. I form beads (actually, I have used the technique on monster models to simulate maggots) under the light of a 100watt bulb to facilitate quick drying. Once set, the potato beads are there until you remove them! Seal with your favorite sealer.I think you will love the technique! Chuck
it adhere to a smooth, painted, plastic surface? Or will I have to roughen the surface with sand paper first?
A The answer to your question is that it adheres poorly unless you prep the plastic. I wet the surface with Ambroid's Safe-Weld which softens the surface so that the MS will bond at the molecular level. Chuck
Q I'm an auto modeler, and am scratchbuilding much of a Ferrari 250 GTO.
I'd like to use MS to do the dash. What I was thinking was: make the master
out of styrene, then press it into the MS to create a negative. Once cured,
then use that negative with MS to create a positive.
Will I have problems with the MS sticking to the MS? Would the talcum work in a case like this?
I am always encouraging modelers to use and purchase MS. But, in this case, I am wondering why you want
to create an "internegative." If you are producing multiple dashes, I can understand your intentions, but if it's
a one-of dash, why go through the trouble?
In either event, talc will work as the release agent.
You will need to exercise caution as you press your master into the MS. MS wants to stick to the plastic.
I would suggest that you wet your master and make successive presses, a little at a time, until you achieve your full depth.
Additionally, you will need to pack the master with a firm material such as a block of balsa to prevent the
master from flexing as you press it into the MS.
You are aware, aren't you, that MS will not mold undercuts. Chuck
Q What do you recommend to strip a pre-painted resin kit?
A I use Aircraft Paint Remover brand or, recently, Dad's Easy Spray paint and varnish remover. I purchased
the latter in the hardware/paint section at WalMart for a few bucks. It comes with a squeeze sprayer and works like a champ.
This is not one of those ill-working "earth-friendly" types. This stuff is acid. You must wear rubber gloves
and work in a well-ventilated area.
Use an old toothbrush to work the paint out of the crevices.
Q Is Magic Sculp toxic
say compared to other A&B epoxy putties? I wear gloves when I work with such putty but do I need to wear my respirator?
Is it toxic to the touch, fume smells, or both? Thanks, Pete
AI understand some people are more sensitive than others. If you are using those protective devices with
A&B, I would recommend you continue with MS.
For myself, I moisten my fingers with my own saliva to smooth MS, but I don't recommend it. I handle the stuff unreservedly. Chuck
Q I am a One-of-a-kind doll artist and use polymer clays. I sculpted a huge snail
about the size of a basketball over a tinfoil armature. I will have a Mermaid sitting on a section of the snail that I
allowed to house a "guilded" throne. I want to use magic sculpt to make the throne. After I lay the wire
form for the throne can I apply magic sculpt without drilling into the cured polymer clay for a
foundation? Another words, can I apply the magic sculpt directly to the polymer clay ? and will it adhere
to the clay without seperation? Also, if by chance I want to add some more clay to this particular sculpt, once the MS has
dried, can it go back into the oven at 265 degrees?
Thanks for your help. I have never used MS before but want to start incorporating it
into my sculpts using polymer clays.
A I don't use polymer clays all that much. But, I do know that in order to ensure proper adhesion, you need to add some "tooth" to the material to give something for the MS to bite into. Actually, this is also true for the polymer clays. Uncured p-clay does not actually bond at the molecular level to cured clay. It sticks really well and so will MS. But, I always rough my cured surfaces or drill little capture holes to give the MS something to grab onto. No problem heating the MS. It's like rock except that it won't explode....ASSUMING that there are no air pockets in the material. Chuck
QI was wondering if you are aware of a source for talcum powder which does
not include a fragrance. I have checked drug stores, but was only able to
find baby powder with some type of fragrance in it. Would a hardware store
sell just pure talcum powder? If so, in what department (paint, plumbing
etc) might it be found?
I'm sorry if this question feels a bit off topic, but I of course need the
talc to work with the Magic Sculp, but the baby powder I am using is a bit
Thanks very much for your help. By the way in reading the FAQ I noticed
someone asking about molding Magic Sculp. Although I am very new to this
product, I did try a very modest experiment and pressed some MS into 2
molds. The mold made with silicone rubber did not stick, in the other mold
(a uerathane mold, and I used a silacone release agent), there were some
problems with sticking. The cast in both cases was of course a bit on the
rough side, but could be used as a sort of advanced armature.
A You have me on the talcum powder. You probably should try using pure talc, which can be ordered from a pharmacy.
Q I go to a clay-sculpture class where we work with a
live model for about 12 hours
over a month's time (3 hours per week); then there is another 12 hours
or so (over a month) of finish work, and then there's several weeks of
drying time, to yield a somewhat fragile white clay figure which MIGHT
survive being fired. And if it survives firing, it MIGHT be durable. As
an alternative to firing the clay, would it be possible to coat the clay
with MS to produce the final sculpture? Use the grosser portions of the
clay figure, then attach MS-constructed hands and face? At home, I
prefer to use Plastilene (aka Plasticene). Can MS we worked over
Plastilene? Thanks. Richard Sweeton
A I would definitely not recommend firing MS since I have never tried subjecting it to 1200 degree temperatures.
I know it survives an oven though. It is air cured, so no need to heat.
You will find MS bonds well to the clay and Plasticene. Make no attempt to smooth either the clay or Plas.
MS needs something to grip.
Now, if you put MS over the unfired white clay, you may have a problem keeping the clay stable. MS is not
as pliable as clay. You may distort the clay.
Why not just us MS instead of clay? That's what I do. Instead of clay, you can also use Super
Sculpey. The only reason clay is being used is because it is a "traditional" material that has the advantage of
being incredibly cheap. But any serious sculptor is using advanced materials.
You have the advantage of current technological information. Why not use it?
Q Does MS adhere to porcelain - without drilling holes? Once thouroughly cured, can it withstand temperatures of 325 degrees? Does it have a reaction/interaction with thermohardening pigments?
A I'm not certain about the temperature ( not recommended for over 300 by Dean)., but I have put magic sculp in a domestic oven at 120Centigrade. I usually mix the product with titanium dioxide, as most repairs need that colour as a base, although now I find I am mixing all colours of artists powder pigment to get the final colour. It may need some touching up with a coloured glaze: here in the UK we use Rustins Plastic Coating, which can be baked at 120centrigrade, or with the use of a catylist, can be cold set. That can cause problems in the airbrush, if its not cleaned thoroughly!
We use a primer, called stoving primer filler, an industrial product for the car . It produces a white matt finish, which can be rubbed down if needed. It can also be layered, and either baked at 120Centrigrade of set with the catylist for Rustins Plastic Coating. I sometimes use an infra red lamp to speed up the process.
Recently, have been experimenting, and mixing powder pigment with the primer, and then glazing. The sculp seems to work better with the primer before the paint, although I have sometimes painted directly over the sculp, but only where I have already coloured it. Margaret
Q Do you think I'd be able to add white acrylic paint to MS before sculpting? Is there another medium I should use? I'm not sure what you mean by the term "artist's pigments" in your FAQ section but I would like to lighten the color in order to make it easier to see the detail while sculpting my figures.Thanks! Iris
A Don't add paint! Pigment is the particle that gives paint its color and you can buy these particles in a whole range of colors at an art supply store. Pigment looks like colored dust because it ground so fine. I have lamp black, titanium white, gold, aluminum. Be careful adding this to MS. Too much and it will adversely affect its bonding ability. I have found a little dab'l do ya. Try a couple of pinches to an amount of MS that would fit in a film canister for starters and build from there. Chuck
the FAQ, I saw the question: '"And will Armor All work as a release agent as it does for polymer clay (talc doesn't work well
for this process) or will my curing MS fuse to my specimen and its metal backing?"' Tim Reamer, San Diego
A I got curious, and the next time that I was working with the MagicSculp on a project, I mixed a bit more than I needed, just to experiment on using Armor All.
Short form: Does Armor All work as a release agent? NO!!!!
I had a (disposable, in case of bad results) master. The master was a
small plastic bowl, made of styrene plastic. I sprayed Armor All into
the bowl, and swirled it around to get all the sides evenly. I then
pressed in a thin layer of MagicSculp, which had already been rolled out
to 1/8" thickness.
After 12 hours, I came back to see what happened. It had cured
completely, but in an odd, almost crumbly fashion. I was unable to
extract the MagicSculp from the bowl, until I used a scribing tool. The
MagicSculp reacted badly with the Armor All while setting up, and it
crumbled where I applied light pressure.
For comparison, the rest of that batch of MagicSculp worked beautifully;
and I have had great success using the talcum powder/baby powder method
for easy, clean releases from molds, and with normal MagicSculp
Release agent: Armor All - does NOT work.
Release agent: talcum powder/baby powder - works great!
Just thought you'd like to know! Joe Brownot
A It is only slightly less easy to manipulate than Playdough once the two parts have been kneaded together much as you would two different colors of Playdough.
Q Can Magic Sculp be used as a grout for mosaic art? If so, what would be best method for application? I'm not sure as yet what the space dimension between the stones and glass will be as I haven't started the project yet. I wanted to know first if this product would be suitable. I like the idea that it is water proof, doesn't shrink and can be smoothed easily. Would haze or residue clean off the surface of the stones easily after hardening and what would be used to clean it? Would it harm wood if it is used as a grout for stone mosaic inlays in fine wooden products such as boxes? The boxes would be finished with something like Danish oil. Would it be better to use the product before or after oiling? Anything else I should know about it's possible use/properties for my project Thanks, Jan
A Janice, I have never used MS for the application you have described simply because I do not do mosaics. Sounds really nice! I know Dean would love to have a picture of the finished piece for the web page.
Q I am working on a large layered sculpture combining magic sculp and rigid foam. I am trying to tint the magic sculp toward a whiter version of it's grey-green color, and have so far gotten only a marbled effect with universal tinting pastes by Mixol....can you tell me what artist pigment brand you would recommend for a more blended color? Thank you,Juliene
A I have Grumbacher pigments, but have never tried going to a lighter color. You would have to use pure white to do that. You have to be careful about how much pigment you mix in because you can adversely affect the structural integrity of the final bond. Don't ask me what the limit is because, frankly, I do not know. Mostly, I paint my MS.
ps have also found that beeswax and encaustic processes see to adhere well to the MS surface; so far no separation of the wax from the surface. Have you any other accounts of people working with hot wax applications over MS? Thank you again
A. You have me on this one. I have never tried it or heard of it.
8 days after I have sculpted them. Is
it possible that my Magic Sculpt has aged or are there other factors that could cause it to take so long to harden? Jason
happened to me only recently. I believe I inadvertently failed to
knead the material properly to ensure an even mix. It never happened again
once I began paying attention..
Coincidentally, it occurred when I mixed a large amount. Chuck
Q My name is Kay and I have just been reading about your product on your site. I am interested in sculpting although I have never attempted to do anything in clay. only in sand on the beach!)
A Dear Kay, it is so refreshing to see women entering the hobby. I have some specific recommendations regarding your entry into the hobby.
Q I need to know if your product is waterproof after drying as I intend to use it in waterfalls. Barbara Eldredge
only is it waterproof, but a chunk of it will cure under water. Go
would like to use your product to seal small gaps between some bronze sculptures and stones
that the sculptures are mounted into. It would be used as caulking to seal up the seams. I've experimented a bit and by mixing the
gray and black together, I get the exact same color and texture as the rock. But these sculptures will be outdoors in Duluth,
Minnesota and the temperature gets as low as -20 F. and is located by Lake Superior- with lots of wind and ice. Will there be a
problem withstanding extreme temperature differences? Also, I'm wondering if anyone else has used it to join metal to stone and
how well it does with that. Thanks, Carla Stetson
have never subjected it to the abuse you have suggested, nor have I ever
used it as a bonding agent as it is not really designed for that use.
I can tell you that MS is stable over a wide range of temperatures that
include the extremes you have described. Under those conditions, its
shrinkage, if any, should be negligible.
If you wish to use MS between stone and metal as a bonding agent, I would
recommend that capture holes be drilled, which will give the MS something to
grab. In addition, a steel pin inserted into the holes will give the MS
greater shear strength. Hope this helps. Chuck
Q What techniques are you using to paint the MAGIC SCULPT additions to the body forms so that they are not so obviously different from the rest of the body. I am concerned that I will not be able to imitate the surface texture of the plastic. As a result, the added musculature does not blend with the rest of the body. That is distracting and ugly. I am customizing VOLKS bodies which are ghastly pale and have a matte finish. My question is:
How can I treat the MAGIC SCULPT pieces so they accept paint to appear as
a polished plastic surface.
Painting the entire figure seems ineffective. There are too many parts that rub together. I would have to use at least 3 coats of matte varnish to seal the paint. I appreciate any assistance you could offer me., Nairobi Morganm
A The technique
involves proper blending of the two dissimilar surfaces. I use a flat sanding pad with successively smaller grits of
While the MS is un-cured, wet the pad with water
and "sand" the two surfaces. The solid resin piece will act as a guide for the MS. I have never had a seam problem
and I have done some large seam areas.
The trick is to ensure the MS doesn't pull away from the resin while you are working it. Two techniques:
1. Drill capture holes in the resin, which
gives the MS something to hold on to. Don't work the MS too hard. Let the sandpaper do the work for you.
2. Use successively small grits to "sand" the MS. In matching resin to MS, I have actually sanded it wet with heavy grit sandpaper. Once cured, prime the figure and back fill any blemishes with polyester putty (auto body putty). Sand smooth using your favorite technique. Reprime and paint the figure. Chuck
Q How soon after applying magic sculpt can I prime it? From: sorc
have usually waited a "day" just be sure that it is fully cured. On the
other hand, I had a rush job one time and had primer on it after 3 hours.
Just to qualify this, I accelerated the cure by placing the piece in a 120
degree oven for those three hours. Chuck
Hi, I have to cover about a 15 x 13 in. are of foam board, I
heard you say
in the FAQ's that to cover an area do a small section at a time, how small? and
if I have to do it a section at a time how can I mend the "seams" or sections
can roll MS to very thin sections, 1/16" or less. I like to work with
4"x8" sections when rolling the material thin. It makes it easier to
handle. this is difficult to explain, but you need about 1 and 1/2 the
volume of MS that would fill a film container to roll a section the size I
have described to a thickness of 1/16". You don't want to mix up too much
at any one time because of exothermic curing. A big blob of the stuff sets
up rather quickly.
For the size you described, just but the edges of one sheet up against the
other and knead them with your fingers to bond the edges. Smooth and
eliminate the seam with water. Use your finger, a wet cloth, or a wet
rolling pin. Chuck
What pintable primer do you recommend? Michelle
Miniature Porcelain Doll Artistry
like lacquer-based primers such as The Armory, Plastikote's NASCAR primer. I have never tried acrylic primers. You can get
the NASCAR primer at any
auto supply store very inexpensively. Chuck
Q I am trying to smooth out already hardened ms. I takes many hours for me to do one of these and inside the time restrictions I only do a section at a time...and then later I see a spot where I have to remove or grind down sections....and then smooth it out....With polymer clay this is not a problem...also, part of the problem is I started with a Styrofoam base and the ms doesn't stick well. I've been adding it to stick to itself over the Styrofoam....Help!!!!! John P. Kuehn, Gemologist
A Here's the solution. On the Styrofoam, punch holes with an awl or nail to give the MS something to grab onto.
On the cured MS, rough the cured surface with a motor tool grinding bit to give the MS a toothy surface to hold onto. Finally, to blend the MS, treat the uncured MS as if it were cured polyester putty. Spread some about, then wet sand it with 100 grit sandpaper. It will smooth right out and fill all your seams and low points.
Judging from the photo, I would wait until the foam is completely covered to do the wet sanding. I am not sure of how much water the foam will soak up.
Best to be careful. Chuck
A What kind of primer do you want to use? You can go to any hardware store and find acrylic or enamel brush-on primers. Check Lowe's/Home Depot. That's where I get mine. Chuck
Q Can you just work small amounts at a
time and keep adding to a sculpture? I guess I mean. If I am trying to complete a large piece, can I mix small amounts..use
that and have a day before I add more.. and so on........
A Yes. It would be helpful to punch some capture holes in the uncured MS so
subsequent layers have something substantial to grip. It's not a real
requirement, just something I do to give the MS a little extra grip.
question is this - can I drill magicsculp, put in various rods and springs (attached to wood) for
moving mouths and eyes? My puppets are all hand puppet sized, with articulations. In one website, the author states
that magicsculp can be brittle when thin, so he recommends using fiberglass. Do you agree? Michael
A How thin is thin? Ceramic is brittle also
in thin sections. If the wall
thickness of your puppets is in the vicinty of .150" to .200" you should
experience no problems. As for the rods, etc, use whatever you please. I
use rods as armatures in my build-ups.
Q I would like to use this material for casting into molds. Can this be done by applying mold release and letting it harden in the mold? June Barrow
A Yes, you can, but you are somewhat limited by the viscosity of the material, which means that it does not flow at all. Your ability to pick up deeply recessed details and undercuts may be limited. Try working the MS into the small details first. Definitely use the mold release! Chuck
Q Is there any way to extend the working time of Magic Sculp? Some chemical you can add to it perhaps?
A None that I am aware of.
Q I want to do life sized busts and 3 hours is stretching it for me. How about chilling the stuff in the refrigerator before mixing it, would that help?
A Not even in the least. Your best bet is to increase the proportion of resin to hardener about 20% at the maximum. In other words, mix 70% resin to 30% hardener. That should do it. I wouldn't go much beyond that ratio as you may adversely affect the strength of the cure. Hope this helps. Chuck
Q My big question is if I'm using an airbrush with thin layer strokes on a resin
model, will discoloration EVER (I mean now or in 10 years) appear on the MS patches? The resin kit is taking well to the airbrush artist's paint, and I'd just like to make sure. I'm ordering some anyway, thanks in
A How's about eight years? That's as far as my experience with MS goes, which includes resin models. I build resin figure models. Keep in mind, though the real issue is the primer. Once primed, the paint does not care what is underneath. If you are not priming your model, you are making a serious error. Chuck
Q Does it work well with a mold? If so, what is the best kind of mold to make, and what's the best procedure to use it?
A You need a solid mold. RTV is not very good because it gives too much.
MS is a pliable putty when mixed. To ensure it conforms to all facets of
the mold, you need to press it in place with around 5-10 pounds of force. A
sealed plaster mold will do it.
Q What kind of paint is the best to use with it (the sculpture will have to endure the elements)?
A Whatever paint will hold up to the elements. Once a surface is primed, paint doesn't care what's underneath. I like Plastikote NASCAR brand primer for my models. But, for an outdoor application, I would be tempted to try Dupont URO primer, available at automotive paint supply stores.
Q Are there any other tips you could offer
to use Magic Sculp as a medium for an outdoor sculpture? Thank you very much for your help. Jasmine
A Work in small sections. With large amounts of the material, you get an
exothermic reaction that causes the material to set up very quickly. Chuck
MS take a fine fingerprint impression? And will Armor All work as a release
agent as it does for polymer clay (talc doesn't work well for this process) or
will my curing MS fuse to my specimen and its metal backing? Tim Reamer, San Diego Zoo- Graphics
A Boy, does it ever. In my line of modeling, its ability to take fingerprint impressions can be a real problem. I have never tried Armor All. Try a test piece and let me know! We always use talc, but in your application, I am not sure that talc will not obscure some of the detail. Again, best to test the application. Chuck
Q How long do you have to work with it after mixing the equal parts?
A About three hours. In large lumps, exothermic reaction will shorten this time. I always work in small amounts. You can always add more MS as the product cures.
Q Is the consistency of the material smooth?
A Like a baby's behind!
Q I ask this because the A-B plumbers epoxy putty had an almost grainy consistency that made fine detail difficult to achieve and it set up really fast.
A From a modeler's perspective, that stuff belongs where it was intended.
Hope this helps!
Q Hi- at present we are using sculpey for our work. One of the problems I am running into is that for some of the poses I have done no matter how well designed the armature I get cracking during the firing process and the sculpey does not seem to handle certain stresses well. However it is fairly cost effective. I am presently casting some of my originals in resin that way when sold I do not have to worry about the stresses in the poses. One of my concerns about using magic sculp is weather it is sticky, I use stone clay for joining limbs on pieces and would sculpt with it except for that stickiness factor. Any further information you can give me would be greatly appreciated. Abigail Dowling
A MS is not sticky. Once it cures, it will not crack or shrink, though I have never kiln fired the stuff. You would have to try a test piece. By the way, the reason your Sculpey is cracking is because the metal armature is expanding during the firing process. Depending on the type of metal and temperature, that expansion (and subsequent contraction) can be as much as 10%! I can think of no clay-based product that can withstand those stresses. The good news is that MS does not need an armature to maintain its structural integrity and shape during the curing process unless you are trying to mold long, thin, unsupported pieces. Chuck
Will Magic Sculp adhere well to PVC pipe?, 2.
Should the surface be sanded to rough it up first? 3.
How strong is Magic Sculp? Is it possible to make a 4 ' cardboard cone form that
tapers from 1 1/4" - 4" in diameter and apply Magic Sculp on it in a
layer that is 3/8" - 1/2" thick. Would the end result be strong enough
to be handled or does it need something else to give it strength. it would need
to be handled? Craig
A 1. Yes, 2. Not necessary, apply a very thin layer of PVC cement which will break down the PVC at the surface. Work in small areas and apply the MS. It will bond to the "melted" PVC. The PVC cement does not require air to cure. It's a chemical process. 3.MS is incredibly strong. With the application you have described, I can
imagine that it will hold up quite well. I do not know the tensile strength of MS when cured in various thickness. I suppose if you put several hundred pounds on the cone, it will break. But, under normal handling circumstances
it will easily survive. BTW, it will bond quite readily to cardboard. Work it into the surface a little. Chuck
have not yet tried to polish after grinding and cutting new grooves in the
already-set MS, up to now have always been able to do all I need before setting.
Question is, how do I polish it? Appreciate your advice on this.
Bill VanMarter, Calgary
A I am a bit confused. I routinely smooth uncured MS with a moist finger or fine sable brush. The trick is to use plenty of water and only slight pressure. The water under slight pressure actually does the smoothing for you.
If that does not work for you, use wet sandpaper. 3M makes a wet or dry carborundum paper used in the automotive repair industry. Successive grits starting at 180 and proceeding down to 1000 will give you a very smooth, semi-polished finish. Begin sanding at 180 grit and work your way down to 1000 grit.
To polish the MS to a high gloss, which I believe is your intention, you need a polishing kit which starts at 2400 grit and goes to 12000 (yes, 3 zeroes) grit. 3M also makes a polishing paste in a couple of grits all of
which are available at the automotive supply house. You can acquire these products by calling PPG or Dupont automotive paint stores. These products are used by professionals to attain the glossy finishes on repair and custom jobs. They should work fine on MS.
To recap, I am suggesting a two-step process to polish your work. The first is to get the MS ultra smooth with either water or by successive sanding with 180 to 1000 grit sandpaper.
The second step is to polish the work with successive grits starting at 2400 to 12000, finishing with polishing liquid. Properly accomplished, you can shave in the reflection. Good Luck! Chuck
Painting -Can I use enamel paints, such as Testor's, on MS so it can have a
glossy look to it?
A Once properly primed (I prefer Plastikote's NASCAR brand gray or white primer which is sold in automotive supply stores), you can paint MS with anything including house paint. The degree of gloss you achieve is dependant on your skill in applying and polishing the finish, and preparation. Chuck
Q Can I press the material into (onto) a silicone mold and letit set. Will it release w/o talcum? Thanks
A It depends on how stable/strong the
silicone mold is. Can you press Super Sculpey in without deforming the
mold? If so, you are in business with MS! To say unequivocally no to
talcum might be premature since there are so many RTV formulations. 9.9999999
times out of ten, you should not need talcum in an RTV mold. But, it would
be just my luck that the stuff would stick in your mold. Just give it a test with
a very small amount of MS on the lands (shoulder) of the mold as opposed to the
cavity. You'll have your answer in three hours (or less if you heat it in the
oven). Let us all know the results and specify the RTV you are using for
reference purposes. Chuck
Q I plan to build a 10 foot Tiki statue, and MS sounds perfect. I saw you mention paper mache as an armature choice. I am comfortable with paper mache and feel that I can get the best form with it, but obviously it won't do for outdoors. can i apply the ms directly onto paper mache (over chicken wire?) 2.How about a life size man. How strong of an armature would be necessary for a standing life sized man? 3. l so, I am considering a citronella flame on the Tiki's head. Is the ms flammable when cured?
A 1.Yes, 2. That depends on what stress loads you expect the figure to support. Will it be subjected to side loads (from wind). How much weight do you expect the figure to support? You may wish to add some rebar to the interior of the figure which would tie into the base through the bottoms of the feet. 3. No, Chuck
I am an amateur considering buying Magic Sculpt for hobby work. However I like
to make small pieces in fine detail (the smallest I've managed so far are roses
about 5mm in diameter). Is Magic Sculpt suitable for these purposes? I'd
probably need only a very small amount to work with at any one time.
Approximately how fast will it dry if I mix, say, two marble-sized globs? I live
at the equator but usually like to turn on the air conditioner.
Also, I've noticed that Magic Sculpt seems to be gray even when dried. I would like to paint it using water color (or something called "poster color" which doesn't seem to be mentioned much in America). Is this possible? Will
the gray background mean that I have to use very thick layers of paints?
A final question: how does Magic Sculpt compare to clays and paper clays (the air-dry types)? This is the first time I've considered working with materials other than clay. When dried, what kind of surface texture does
Magic Sculpt have? Thanks in advance. Sue Ann
A Sue Ann, you are going to LOVE Magic Sculp. The smallest piece I have worked with measured around 2mm diameter (detail items). I have rolled it (with a rolling pin) to almost paper thickness.
At room temperature, it will set in about three hours, less if you want to stick it in the oven at around 120 degrees. Humidity has no effect on its curing characteristics. MS will harden under water.
It will hold whatever shape you desire and painting is a breeze. Prime it with your favorite primer. In the States, I like to use Plastikote Nascar brand primer which goes on very fine. The primer comes in gray and white.
After that, you can paint the roses in whatever medium you choose. You actually do not have to prime MS, but paint adhesion is improved with a primer. I use an airbrush almost exclusively. For your work, you will be
able to use the most subtle brush strokes with minimal paint and still achieve complete coverage.
This stuff is truly "magic." Don't forget to send some images to Dean Tormey. He wants to put them on the MS web site. I can only imagine the beauty of your roses! Chuck
was wondering if Magic sculp has an odor when using it and if it toxic in any
way. I was also wondering if I will
need to wear gloves or a barrier cream when mixing or working with this product. Thanks and I look forward to
hearing from you. Jen
A MS has a smell to it, but I would not characterize it as an offensive odor, and I have never received any related complaints. You do not require any special ventilation to use the product, but, as with anything
chemically-based, one should not use it within the confines of a broom closet.
As for using gloves, there is just the possibility that your skin may be very sensitive to the chemical composition. Mine is not; I can knead the stuff all day. My suggestion is that you use regular dishwashing gloves at
first. Allow very limited exposure to a small area of your skin as a test. If after eight hours (this is an old test I learned in the military) your skin has evinced no reaction, try handling MS for a longer period of time,
always checking after approximately eight hours for any sign of a reaction. If you can find no evidence, treat the stuff like Play Dough and have a ball! I hope this helps, Cheers! Chuck
Q Can I press
the material into (onto) a silicone mold and let it set. Will it release w/o
A It depends on how stable/strong the silicone mold is. Can you press Super Sculpey in without deforming the mold? If so, you are in business with MS! Chuck
Q Hello Chuck, Looking to roll some Magic Sculpt out into thin layers that I can use as a skirt for a figure....How would you go about this? Tried it a few times with no luck!? I've tried it between wax paper, Mylar...this stuff sticks to everything?? Any ideas how I can achieve this? Looking for a thin sheet I can peel up and shape onto a figure. Neal R. DeConte
A But it doesn't stick to talcum powder! I recently finished a project that required an 3 x 8 inch sheet of MS. I have lost my pasta roller which would be ideal for the task. Instead, I used wax paper and talc. Use a rolling pin and two parallels. Roll the MS to a rough thickness as if it were pizza crust. You should be able to do this between sheets of wax paper without two much difficulty. If not, add some resin to the mix to stiffen the MS up. The only result is that cure time will increase slightly.
After you have it at this "rough" stage, use the parallels to do the fine rolling. The rolling pin rides the parallels with the MS in between. The parallels can be made of any material. Their only purpose is to impart a uniform thickness to the MS. Therefore, the thickness of the parallel should match the thickness to which you want to roll the MS. I used some heavy cardboard (the kind that backs a notepad) as my parallels. If you are interested, the aforementioned project was the interior of the lid to the sarcophagus on Polar Lights' "The Mummy" kit. That effort appears in the latest issue of Hobby Outlook, the official publication of the Hobbytown USA franchise hobby shop chain.
Let me know if you need further guidance. Chuck
Q A friend of mine has been making jewelry
of an oven-hardened sculpting material. I came across a reference to Magic
Sculp, and I think it might be something she could use without making the entire
kitchen smell of baking plastic. However, all of her work is matte black, and it
looks like Magic Sculp is only available in natural gray color. I know
she wouldn't want to paint her pieces; that would just be too much work.
In a previous question, you said, "MS can be tinted prior to molding but the resultant color is less intense. Addition of too much color may affect the bonding strength." What are your recommendations for dyeing Magic Sculp, especially to a really dark color like black, without ruining its physical properties?
A Very good question. Anything you do
to color MS will have to be experimental in nature because the original design
considerations for the product did not really include its current use by the
mass market. Offering the product outside of its original industrial use
(which cares not about the color) came as somewhat of an after thought.
That being said, I have used a number of other putties (inferior for the purposes we are discussing) that come in a variety of colors. There is one that patches brick, cement, tar, etc, and each comes in the appropriate color. How this is accomplished I do not know.
Artist's pigments mix very well with MS. Based on a similar question, I tried this route with good success. I obtained the desired color saturation. Whether this meets your requirements, I cannot say. I suggest you try this route and let us know how the test went.
You can use a small amount of MS as a test case and the pigment can be purchased in any art supply house, a 1/2 oz bottle costing around $1-2 depending on the color.
I hope this helps, Michael. Let us know if the technique meets your
Q Hi Chuck! How long does Magic Sculp usually take to cure at room temperature? I usually work at 80 F. Thank you very much.
A Curious stuff this MS. In three hours it is really hard, hard enough to carve. After one week, it's like rock! I have found that large aggregations cure faster than small bits due to exotherming. Basically, the heat generated by the chemical reaction of the two parts helps speed the curing process if there is enough mass. Chuck
Q Do you know of a releasing agent for Magic Sculp. I plan on turning a hardwood mold for a space ship (creating a negative) on a lathe and pressing Magic Sculp into the mold to create a finished piece. Assuming I don't have any undercuts, can I coat the wood mold with car wax or candle wax (or something?) without Magic Sculp sticking to the mold upon removal? Steve.
A You're not going to believe this. Talcum powder. Unfinished wood will hold talcum powder quite well, too. Chuck
Q I work for an exhibit company. I am interested in ordering Magic Sculp for a watershed model I am about to sculpt and was wondering how well MS holds up under constant water exposure.
A It will hold up just fine. Magic Sculp is sold by one of our distributors under a different name to the marina industry (boat repair) .
Q Also If I sculpt a foam base and apply a
1/4"- 1/2" top coat of MS will this
be durable and what can I paint it with?
A Yes, Magic Sculp is very durable, and will take all paints. You might want to use a marina paint for your project.
Q I am not a professional sculptor or artist. Although I have had
experience with clay and found it was simple to use. Is magic sculp as
A Actually, it's Chuck. But, I've been called much worse! One mixes MS. It's a two part epoxy putty, quite malleable. Very easy and predictable to use.
Q I want to construct a terrarium for my pet iguana, and I want to make life like artificial rocks. How much would I need to cover 80 square feet?
A Depends on the concentration. Are you making individual rocks or a rock-like surface? Either case, that's a lot of MS! Plan on 25 pounds for 80 square feet.
What would I use as a sort of base to build up, Styrofoam?
I have done exactly this. A cheaper alternative is paper-maiche. An
even cheaper and easy alternative is clumps of newspaper covered with
plaster cloth (same stuff doctors use for body casts).
Q Can it hold up in near 90% humidity for 24 hours a day? Is it toxic after it is cured?
A It cures rock solid UNDER water. It is definitely not toxic after curing. If you want to texture your MS, procure a series of randomly shaped rocks. I actually like to use broken pumice because of its texture. As you lay the MS in place, press the stone into the uncured MS. Chuck
Q Hi Chuck, Can you tell me how Magic Sculp compares to polymer clays? Can
it be used in the same way? Can it be colored prior to molding? Is it as
toxic? Thanks! Maude
A If I am guessing correctly, you are
referring to Super Sculpey (or some
other similar product) as the polymer clay. MS can be tinted prior to
molding but the resultant color is less intense. Addition of too much color
may affect the bonding strength.
MS is superior to SS in a number of significant ways that include its
ability to be drilled, cut, chiseled, etc without cracking or chipping. MS
can be painted with any commercially available paint, acrylic, lacquer, or
Q Is there a way to make your product cure so that it doesn't soften up at 100 degrees? I'd like to do an outdoor piece, but as it often gets above 100 here in the summer I'm wondering if this is the right product. ABC, A. Boyd Campbell, II
the product is cured it can withstand up to 300 degrees F. In
our gallery, you will see that a dragon done with Magic Sculp was for an
outside piece. The 100 degrees F-- is for before you mix the product together
and your hardener is dry or stiff and needs to soften up before you can mix the
two parts together. Once you start to mix the
two parts together they begin to cure and that curing will harden the product.
The outside heat might make the curing time shorter, but you should be able to
learn what you can do in the time frame before it cures. You might also want to
wait after mixing to let it stiffen up a little. This is because the heat
might make it to soft to work with in the beginning. It is one of those
things that has to be played with. If you want to tinker--- Less volume of
Hardener to Resin slower the curing time ---more volume of Hardener to
Resin faster curing time.
Please start off small and let us know if it is working for you.
Q Hi there - I collect Art Deco pottery (British) and since most of the pieces are 60 to 75 years old, there are often small chips, etc. For my own collection, I'd like to acquire some damaged pieces that are usually very expensive when whole, fix them, and enjoy them. Would Magic Sculpt do the job? Usually the damage is 1/4 to 1/2" "flake" type chips, or sometimes a corner has been knocked off.
A You have the right product! MS bonds like a dream to earthenware of any sort. Once cured, MS is waterproof...even though you can work the uncured product with water...go figure. Chuck
Q My name is
George and I want to "enhance" an articulated "female military
action figure". Since I was not happy with the original job done by
the manufacturer, I wanted to add slightly more musculature, enhance the figures
femaleness, and then airbrush her with a more "realistic" flesh tone.
What I need to know is will Magic Sculp adhere to the existing
plastic of the figure without destroying the "Jane".
A Without question. MS will adhere to any modeling material you can think
of. You can further improve adhesion by roughing the surface to be modified. For featureless, flat surfaces, I drill capture holes in the substrate. And once added, can the figured then be finished and painted without problems?
I like lacquer-based primer. Assuming you do a good job of blending, the transition from MS to plastic is invisible after priming. There is no difference in tack either. Primer will hold as well to MS as it does any
other material. Hope this increases your confidence with the product! Chuck
I were to use a mold that was intended for making the wax positives for bronze
castings, How thick can the product be before it starts to crack while
curing? Alexa King
A It does not crack no matter how thick it is.
Home Gallery FAQ's Testimonials