Oct 27, 2009

Milliput

One day I needed to make very organic shapes on a scratch-build model. I put together all the basic parts knowing that I would have to fill all sharp corners and round-off all hard edges using the only putty I knew at the time, Tamya Putty.

Stop laughing

I won a prize for that model. First place in the SciFi Vehicle category. Of course, after I explained my methods to the other guys, I could have also won first place in the Idiot's Method category. That's when I learned about Super Sculpey, Milliput and other sculpting medium that everybody was using, except me of course.
If you didn't get the joke: Tamya Putty is to fill small cracks only. To use it the way I did, it's like trying to extend a wall using wall putty.
One of the modeler, whose work I admired, was working with Milliput. That was all I needed to select it as my future medium. Ha Milliput! I could finally make any shapes I wanted. I started making figures sculpted entirely by hand. Nothing could stop me now... except Milliput!


The thing is, it's a two parts epoxy paste that, out of the box, as the consistency of a dried bubble gum. Here are the steps for using it:

1: Make sure you have at least one hour to invest in this. Milliput takes time to mix and stays soft for only forty five minutes. After that, it's as malleable as depleted uranium.
2: Keep a small bowl of water and a rag near you on the table.
3: Guesstimate as best as you can the exact volume of Milliput you will need and add 20%. This stuff is expensive and once it's mixed you have to use it or it will be lost. My best advice is to always have a rough area to fill-in where you can put the small excess you will have. Don't under estimate because it sucks to remix a small batch.
4: Cut equal amounts of material A and B using a strong blade. (Remember, this is really hard stuff)
5: Try mixing the two parts into a perfectly even material by pressing, bashing, slicing & stacking and mushing the batch with your thumbs. It must be even or you will have holes in your surface. This takes about five minutes but it feels like thirty. At the end your thumbs normally feel as if you've cut your nails way to short and it's sensitive every time you push on their tips.
6: Start using it! You only have forty five minutes and it will get harder every minute. If the Milliput start sticking to your fingers, keep them wet by dipping them in the bowl of water next to you. When it gets to messy use the rag.
7: The next morning, once it's dry, you can use any kind of carving methods to continue shaping your surface.
8: To complete the sculpture, repeat those steps about fifty times.

This is not a joke. I used this stuff for years (from 1996 to 2007) and I had to do that every time. Needless to say that it was an adventure.

By the way, I'm now using Castilene for the last two years.