I want to make a unicorn or pegasus pony
from a 3rd generation pony. What do you use to sculpt the wings/horn
Until Hasbro makes 3rd gen unicorns, we'll have to make our own. I
think the best way is to use a horn donor. Most people who add extra
parts use polymer clay. The brand/type used is largely personal
preference. I'm not an expert in this field, so I'll refer you to a
really great polymer clay site that has a lot of tips: http://www.polymerclaycentral.com/
Recently, a lot of people have been using 2 part epoxy as well.
This is nice because it doesn't require baking (and magnet removal for 3rd
Also note: working with polymer clay is
very easy, but getting good results is extremely difficult.
Sculpting takes a long time. Usually, the longer you spend on a
project, the better it will look. I've heard professional sculptors
say that they spent hours every day for WEEKS working on a particular
sculpture. If you want a nice looking sculpted pony, it will take a
lot of patience. ^_^
What about using a 2 part epoxy?
How does that compare to using polymer clay?
Some very talented customizers are touting 2-part epoxies. Are they
right for you or for your application? Fortunately, Aikarin has
tested both types. ^_^ See the comparison table below.
I also added air-dry formulations. Please take a look at the
EfaPlast review on the Product
||2 Part Epoxy
||Air Dry Clay
||Widely available - every
craft store has some type
||Hard-to-find; usually have
to order on-line from a specialty store
||Easy to find. You
can usually find at least one brand at the local craft store.
||Dirt cheap. A basic
2 ounce block costs $2 or even less when on sale. I've seen
this for $1 a block for clearance colors.
||More expensive if
purchased in small quantities, especially when
you add in shipping costs. (About $12 for 4 ounces) It's
actually cost effective if you buy in bulk. (About $20 for 16
expensive. About $5 for a few ounces.
||Hundreds of different colors
and textures. I like the flexible type for unicorn horns,
||Very few consistencies
available. Only a handful of colors are available at this time.
However, you could always paint over it.
||Lots of different brands
are available. I only tested one. They are also
available in several basic colors, but you can paint over it.
||Requires kneading to
soften clay. Amount of time depends on the formulation.
Approx 1-3 minutes.
||Requires mixing two
putty-like compounds together thoroughly. Approximately 1-2
||None. It's soft and
ready to use right out of the package.
||Can either sculpt directly
on the pony or glue on afterward.
Magnet and magnet cover must be
removed before baking. Click
here for the magnet removal tutorial.
|Can sculpt directly on the
pony or sculpt and then stick on the pony before it hardens.
||Can sculpt on the pony,
however, will require extra glue after it's dry to keep it in place.
|Ease of use
||Very easy. Place in
the freezer (away from food) for a minute to decrease stickiness.
beginners. Sticks to everything when first mixed.
It's best to wait a few minutes and work with small pieces.
Use a tiny bit of water on your tools to cut down on sticking.
||Probably the easiest to
use. The texture is great - soft, silky smooth, and not very
sticky. If it seems too sticky, set it aside for a few minutes
||Almost unlimited. It
does dry out if you leave it uncovered for weeks. ^_^
||15 minutes to a few hours,
depending on temperature. Warmer temperatures will speed
polymerization. It's usually better to work on small
areas and add pieces to them.
||An hour or two, depending
on temperature and humidity. Spritz some water over it and
knead it in to extend working time.
||Very fine detailing is
possible with "harder" formulations.
||Amazing details can be
||You can get a fair amount
of detail too. Can be shaped with molds.
||Just a little after
||A little bit. I
think it shrinks more than the other two clays.
|Needs baking, which varies
depending on brand/thickness of project. Newbies may
their pieces. Baking can cause a pony to become flimsy and the
piece can be misaligned. It may also change tinsel. Also, pony's color may
change or the glue
inside may melt.
||Sets on its own.
Should be completely set after a 24 hour period. Gravity can
distort delicate structures.
||Sets on its own when the
water evaporates from it. Just leave it alone for about 24
hours before handling.
||Usually pretty durable
when baked/cooled properly. Use caution with thin/delicate
||Very strong, but thin
parts are known to snap. If you don't mix well during the prep
period, your parts
will end up brittle. Water-resistant.
especially thinner pieces. Not recommended for parts which
will be under stress or will get wet. Consider sealing it with a clear coat
||Plasticky, almost like that of an
eraser, but not as soft as a pony.
||Papery, sort of like an
extra-fine papier maché.
advertised as "non-toxic", but you can still be lethally
allergic to them. Polymer clay releases toxic fumes when
burnt. Use a respirator when sanding either one. Don't
cross-contaminate with kitchen tools/dishes for food. Uncured
clay will harm some furniture finishes/plastics.
If you think you may be allergic,
wear gloves. ^_^
|Also advertised as
non-toxic. However, you should use a respirator if you need to
sand it...small particles are not good to inhale.
||Easy - soap & water.
||Easy, before it's set -
soap & water. I like to wash my hands thoroughly after the
initial mixing, then go back to sculpting.
||Very easy. Just use
soap & water before it dries.
||Place in airtight
container. Don't place on furniture - uncured clay has a
plasticizer that can eat through finishes. Old clays can dry
out and become crumbly.
||Comes with sealed
containers. I heard you can freeze them for longer life.
May change colors over time.
container. I spritz mine with a little water, then double-bag
it in zip-lock storage bags.
Now that you have listed all that, I
want to know what Aikarin uses! Which one is "better"?
Aikarin uses all of them, but not at the same time, LOL! Each one has it's
pros and cons; you should use the one that works for YOU and for your
project. Don't be
afraid to experiment.
But Famous Pony Customizer "X"
uses ___________ brand epoxy sculpting medium!
Yes, and she is also highly talented and gets a lot of practice in...just
look at her gallery! Most people who make those thousand-dollar
super detailed art dolls use polymer clay...they're also highly talented
and sculpt a LOT. So, if you want to get "good", practice
more and quit worrying about the type of clay you're using!
Famous Pony Customizer "X"
makes these elaborate ponies with highly detailed feathered wings that
look just like a real bird's. How the #@$% does she do that!?!?
LOL, if I had a dollar for every time someone asked ME that
question! (I wonder how many people have asked HER that
question). I also marveled at Famous Pony Customizer "X"s
lovely bird-winged ponies. All I can say is that they probably took
heaps of time & patience to sculpt. Each tiny feather looks
individually detailed. If I were to make a pony like that, I'd embed
a wire base into the pony. Then, I'd cover it with a layer of clay
and attach each feather one at a time.
Can you write a tutorial detailing how
to make those elaborate feather wings out of clay?
Famous Pony Customizer "X" said she was going to do it, but
she changed her mind. Which is quite understandable, since creating
a tutorial can spawn a legion of copycats. Well...there are already
lots of people trying to mimic her style, but no one even comes close
right now. I think most of it has to do with skill, rather than
technique. And out of respect for Famous Pony Customizer
"X", I'm not going to write a feather wing tutorial.
If I make sculpt polymer clay onto the
pony, how long do I have to bake it?
This depends on a variety of factors: how thick your clay is, your oven's
temperature, even the altitude at which you live. I'd probably stick
to the manufacturer's instructions and bake just a little less than
necessary, then check on it. You can always stick it back in the
oven if it's not ready. However, burnt clay smells awful and
releases toxic fumes. Ewwww
Hot polymer clay is a little floppy. You can tell when it's done when it's firm, but still a little flexible when COOL.
Or should I bake the items first, then
glue/wire them to the pony?
I usually sculpt directly onto the pony, then bake the whole thing.
Looks more natural that way. However, there are issues with
this. My baby merpony's tail was too thin and it cracked after
baking. So, I reinforced the whole thing with 2 part epoxy
clay. Also, thin parts will droop in the oven unless they are
supported in some way. You can even bake the support, sculpt over
it, then place the whole thing back in the oven again.
How do I patch a hole in a pony's body
or fix chewed ears/hooves?
It's almost impossible to patch a large hole & have it look
"natural". You could use some polymer clay & smooth
over the area. Bake the pony, then carefully paint over it.
Or, you could use the area as part of your design. Cover it with
gemstones or a 3 dimensional symbol!
What kind of glue do you use to attach
the extra parts?
All sorts of stuff! Usually what I have on hand...tacky glue is good
for almost anything. This kind of glue is flexible and it won't harm
the reflective backing on rhinestones either.
Feathered wings are usually NOT glued onto the pony's body, but I like to
build them on a wire base & have them wired in. Same goes for
horns, etc. Takes a very long time to do, but they are VERY securely
I've heard people using special glues designed especially for plastics,
but I have yet to try them.
What about sculpting an entire pony from
scratch? Or making a mold of an existing pony?
I've seen people make miniature ponies that resemble the regular
ones. It's possible, but why? It would be tough to try and
sell them; I would also be concerned about legal issues. It's true
that "fakies" in real MLP molds exist, but they are NOT marketed
as "My Little Pony". They have different symbols,
hair/body colors, eye paint, etc.
Also, it's not worth the effort to make a near-perfect reproduction, since
custom bait ponies are available for $2 or less.
There was a discussion about making plastic G1 ponies out of molds, but
many people thought they would be viewed as "fakies" and no one
would buy them. G1 fakies in the reverse Sundance pose (Crumpet's
pose) are still available at certain stores for $2.50 each. I've
seen them at the end of 2005 at a local drug store. People also
bought many "Dollar store fakies" which looked like they were
cast from the same molds Hasbro used for newborn MLPs.