Mini Sculpture

Miniature Sculpting => Sculpting Discussion and Resources => Tools and Materials => Topic started by: Vermis on February 07, 2011, 04:12:10 PM GMT GMT

Title: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on February 07, 2011, 04:12:10 PM GMT GMT
A couple of days ago I stumbled across blocks of Uro clay in a little department shop, tucked away behind the Fimo display.  I'd never heard of it, so naturally I had to give it a go.  The shop only had white and black (first photo), so I bought both to mix to a more sculptable shade.  The rest of the pics show a 1:1 mix, but in hindsight at least 2:1 white:black would've been much easier to see and photograph.

A couple of quick googles suggests a lot of people have never heard of it either, aside from some webstores and a couple of forum references.  It's manufactured by Newclay Products, whose air-dry clay may be familiar in UK art and craft shops - see their Uro page here (http://www.newclay.co.uk/Uro.htm).  As far as I know it makes uro the only british polymer clay.  If that interests you. :)  It's also 65g per small block, compared to the usual 56g for polyclays.

The freshly-opened blocks were fairly hard to break chunks off, compared to other clays.  They were easily kneaded into condition, though, so I don't think it was down to age.  After that, I'd say the clay had a fair-to-good firmness.  Not as firm as Cernit (which may be an advantage or disadvantage, depending on your point of view), though it's difficult to say what it's similar to, because it's also quite sticky and elastic - more so than any other clay I've tried, except for the elasticity of Sculpey Studio.  This also makes it more like the elastic epoxy putties (Greenstuff, Procreate) than other clays, which I liked.  It might be a good choice for putty sculptors trying out polymer clay, but we'll see.
The second photo shows two balls of Uro, both about 9mm in diameter.  One's left intact; the other's been pulled to show how far and fine the clay can stretch before it breaks.

Sculpting with Uro was quite easy.  It doesn't have much of the jellylike wobble that other clays have; although at the beginning it did seem to have a little more 'spring' - showing some small amount of deformation and bending around blunt pressure.  A little different to the sharper, 'carving' effect of some other clays.  I thought it might be a problem, but no.  It wasn't a hindrance or even noticeable as I went on (probably because it was another putty-like effect).  In fact, it maybe made smoothing out sharp marks easier.  Uro was easy to smooth in general; and despite my use of 'deformation' in reference to single tool marks, that wasn't much of a problem at larger scales.  I.e. pushing and shaping one feature didn't shift adjacent features completely out of whack.
The third photo shows the sculpting example, a face about 13mm long.  I had to dodge and burn a few bits of the photo to make the details show up. (re: dark colour mix)

Lastly, the strength test.  The fourth photo shows a ~2mm rod and ~1mm strip.  After a long, low bake, these were pretty flexible, which is the hallmark of the sturdier, non-brittle polymer clays as far as I know.  They bent into curved C-shapes before they snapped - the rod with both ends parallel, the strip a little further.
Also, see the larger piece of the strip.  It stood up well to blunt damage, springing back from most of the dents I managed to inflict.  Cuts are visible, but these mostly closed over - a bit like a self-healing cutting mat, I imagine.  The worst damage was from pointed objects - knife and tool tips.

In summary: this is good stuff!  A hidden gem, almost.  In my view the relatively putty-like consistency, firmness and stickiness would make it useful for wargaming-scale sculptures.

As mentioned, there aren't a lot of webshops selling it. (Edit: the better webshop selling it has since closed down. A google search might be in order)

I can't find any webshop selling the 300g packs, except one that instructs you to phone for it.  The multipack discounts in the previous shop add up pretty well, though.

Lastly, is it pronounced 'ooro' or 'euro'?  Who wants to email Newclay P. to find out?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: hivetrygon on February 07, 2011, 04:28:25 PM GMT GMT
Interesting. It looks like it's almost sticky or elastic by that stretch test. I might see if I can find some out there.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Justin on February 07, 2011, 04:57:56 PM GMT GMT
Hmm, half tempted to give that a try. The elasticity factor appeals!

Just
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Borak on February 07, 2011, 06:13:49 PM GMT GMT
Just ordered a pack to try out, should be interesting. It'll be the first time i;ve tried polymer clay in over a decade
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on February 07, 2011, 08:11:08 PM GMT GMT
I might see if I can find some out there.

You might have to order from this side of the pond, according to google.  I'd guess it's a fairly small, local operation without Polyform & Staedtler's marketing machines.  Bit like an indy miniatures shop compared to GW or PP, maybe. ;)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Relic on February 08, 2011, 09:28:05 AM GMT GMT
I found some of this in a little model/craft shop a while back filling out an old fimo stand. from what I have used seems very nice
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Hasslefriesian on February 08, 2011, 01:27:03 PM GMT GMT
Good review. I'm going to order some now. :)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Justin on February 08, 2011, 03:08:19 PM GMT GMT
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 08, 2011, 05:18:25 PM GMT GMT
Hmmmm... Might have to pick some up. ;D
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on February 10, 2011, 12:17:22 AM GMT GMT
You should ask them for sales commission Warren!

Just

Personally I'll wait to see if all the people ordering it don't come back to say "What are you wittering about?  This is rubbish!". ;D
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Borak on February 11, 2011, 08:02:47 PM GMT GMT
Mine arrived today, I've only had time for a little play about with it but i do like the texture, quite a bit like GS but obviosly i can work it as long as i need to. it also sticks very well to cured GS (amongst other things) which will be handy
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Justin on February 12, 2011, 07:43:06 PM GMT GMT
Got mine through, like it so far - knocked out a little gobo bust. Not quite as elastic and dense as I'd hoped but it does remind me of just mixed fresh GS.

Just
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Borak on February 13, 2011, 07:02:20 PM GMT GMT
After further experimentation i can say i really quite like Uro, it sticks well to things (something plymer clays not ussually known for and as metioned the texture is quite like fresh mixed GS so it's not been a massive jump from my usual techniques. maybe not quite as elastic but it bakes nicely (fan assisted oven at 110 degrees for bout 25 minutes) and has a nice hardness with a reasonable amout of flexability. thanks for pointing me at it vermis, you've got another polymer clay convert.

Given it's sticky nature i'm going to do a test at double baking it to see how well fresh uro sticks to baked uro (if it's anything like the way it stuck to cured GS..) and see if the pre-baked uro burns too fast

it also seems to have speeded me up as i'm not having to stop and mix more putty or wate for something to cure. not to mention it solves the proble m of mixing more putty than i need (sometime i'm just not paying attention to what i'm doing)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Justin on February 14, 2011, 09:11:07 AM GMT GMT
Got a chance to sit and have a proper poke at the URo last night.
I still struggle with polymers but that's me not the clay. It's by far the friendliest to an experienced epoxy user that I've come across, but still has some of the poly characteristics that annoy me!

I've started work on my big mutant giant, just the foundations of a lower leg so far. I find it works very quickly and as Borak said sticks like poo to a blanket. I do find however that it does flake slightly whilst working - not dissimilar to fimo classic, and doesn't quite have enough elasticity to be forgiving to my heavy handed style. I'm also struggling to get a nice finish on the clay, I notice that in Warrens opener the little face had a nice sheen and smooth finish - is this achieved through specific lube?

I'm also massively paranoid abut the baking bit, how thick is too thick for a single bake? How may bakes will it take if I bake in layers? It's keeping me up at night!!!
I'm sure answers will be forthcoming, tonight is test bale night!

Just
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Caerban on February 14, 2011, 12:46:41 PM GMT GMT
I don't know what if anything anyone else uses but I've found vaseline an invaluable tool when working with poly clays of all types. It helps smoothing, blending and, weirdly, adhesion of fresh poly clay to baked. You only need a tiny amount, smear it on and wipe most of it off with a tissue.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on February 14, 2011, 02:04:08 PM GMT GMT
Happy it seems to be living up to my hype - for the most part. :)

I've started work on my big mutant giant

Wah-hey!

Quote
I do find however that it does flake slightly whilst working - not dissimilar to fimo classic

I haven't noticed that myself.  Yet.

Quote
I notice that in Warrens opener the little face had a nice sheen and smooth finish - is this achieved through specific lube?

Water. :)  I can understand why it'd be a good lube, being repelled by the oil in polymer clay, but I'm not entirely sure why it makes the surface so slick and shiny.  Not that it keeps me up at night.

Quote
I'm also massively paranoid abut the baking bit, how thick is too thick for a single bake? How may bakes will it take if I bake in layers? It's keeping me up at night!!!
I'm sure answers will be forthcoming, tonight is test bale night!

Just

I don't have the greatest experience in the world, but baking at lower temps seems to do okay for me.  But I'm waiting to hear about your results.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: chris on February 17, 2011, 01:08:47 PM GMT GMT
Thinking of giving this a go, what colour would people recommend?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Justin on February 17, 2011, 01:14:16 PM GMT GMT
I went with magnolia, it's a nice off white - very easy on my eyes. But I also grabbed a pack of black to mix in just in case!

Just.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 18, 2011, 03:35:31 PM GMT GMT
I'd personally go for a similar colour to what ever epoxie that you prefer, I just find it easier on the eye if you need to use any after the initial bake(s).

Better order some soon......
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 22, 2011, 03:09:40 PM GMT GMT
Just ordered some, I'll report back when I've used it  ;)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on March 11, 2011, 04:07:47 PM GMT GMT
Well as you have seen from the cyclops I've posted on the finished sculpts section, I've now used Uro.

Personally I found it a lovely medium to work in. It's a little firmer than fimo, about the same as super sculpy firm although with out the slightly grainy/crystaline texture of the aforementioned putties it's actually slightly 'waxy' in feel. As Warren said it's quite tough straight out of the pack but is conditioned easily by kneading, in fact you have to not knead it too much as it becomes very sticky and elastic (which may be usefull to some degree) I actually tried mixing a tiny bit of fimo soft into it yesterday....don't! it became almost like glue!! As for how it feels to work with, I have found that when it's freshly conditioned it's very similar to fresh(ish) green stuff. It actually takes quite a while to firm up again, somthing like an hour or more. Once it's firmed up it's similar to half cured GS owing to it's elastic nature. I havn't tried a double bake piece but I can confirm that it is pretty sticky, again about the same as half cured GS in either state (conditoned or firmed).

I can't think of anything else to add that hasn't been said by others but if I think of anything I'll edit it in. ;)

Edit: The colour i chose seems to darken a LOT when it's baked!
Unbaked
(http://img263.imageshack.us/img263/1918/backlye.jpg)
Baked
 (http://img718.imageshack.us/img718/504/firedn.jpg) (http://img718.imageshack.us/i/firedn.jpg/)

I'm sure I didn't burn it! 0_0
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: hivetrygon on April 10, 2011, 05:03:38 AM BST GMT
I tried this tonight, very little be it but I like it. Seems stiffer than the cernit but I'm thinking of mixing the 2 half and half and see what I get.  ;) I love the cernit because it's a bit stiffer than most polymer and this one is nice as well. Seems to take a long time to soften enough to apply over an armature of green stuff?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on April 19, 2011, 11:34:45 PM BST GMT
Missed your post Ed, it does take a while to condition but it does get very sof and sticky eventually.
Might be quicker for me.....I have weirdly hot hands!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on May 09, 2011, 01:52:25 PM BST GMT
Quote from: Andrew May
I actually tried mixing a tiny bit of fimo soft into it yesterday....don't! it became almost like glue!!

Quote from: hivetrygon
Seems stiffer than the cernit but I'm thinking of mixing the 2 half and half and see what I get.

I mixed it with cernit myself, recently.  Pretty good mix and trade-off between the different properties.  Next I'm going to try putting a bit of fimo soft in it, just for giggles. ;)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on May 09, 2011, 06:42:02 PM BST GMT
I might have been exagerating or it might be my freakishly hot hands at play!
With the fimo soft mixed in it was like sculpting with window putty but YMMV.  ;)

edit: Also I found that using Vaseline to smooth it seemed to disolve the top layer, anyone else want to try it to confirm?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Ikothel on June 30, 2011, 01:00:21 PM BST GMT
This seems intriguing, just wondered how well it sticks to wire armatures/cork bases and the like?

I like the idea of sculpting in polymer, as you can sculpt, then after looking back at it/getting feedback, fix it more easily. However, Cernit (the only one I've tried so far) won't stick to anything. Which, when being used to greenstuff, is quite frustrating  :P
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on July 01, 2011, 01:01:39 AM BST GMT
I wouldn't try sticking polyclay to bare wire anyway, not unless it was a thick, twisted piece, so I can't say much about that. :)  The wire necessary for likkle wargaming minis would act too much like a cheese... wire, in my view.  More on armatures for polyclay here (http://www.minisculpture.co.uk/index.php?topic=291.0).

On Uro specifically: like I say, it's pretty sticky for a polymer clay, and acts more like GS than the others I've tried.  Not just like GS, but more like. ;)  If you try it, I'd like to know your opinions on it.  'Potential ideal first polyclay for GS sculptors' and all that.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Ikothel on July 04, 2011, 09:45:21 PM BST GMT
Ah, i'd tried to use Cernit over a thin wrapping of GS, but still had a few problems. It might have been my impatience though, should you wait for the GS to cure before trying to sculpt the polymer?  :oops:

Either way, I think I'll pick some of this up, just to test it and see how I like it. I'd post my opinions here, of course  ;)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on July 05, 2011, 11:26:23 AM BST GMT
should you wait for the GS to cure before trying to sculpt the polymer?  :oops:

Not necessary.  Some get a good bond by sticking a layer of polyclay to the uncured putty.  Then bulking up the polyclay after that's cured, as far as I know.

Quote
I'd post my opinions here, of course  ;)

Ta. :)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on July 05, 2011, 12:18:24 PM BST GMT
should you wait for the GS to cure before trying to sculpt the polymer?  :oops:

Not necessary.  Some get a good bond by sticking a layer of polyclay to the uncured putty.  Then bulking up the polyclay after that's cured, as far as I know.

I've realised that sticking the clay on with GS isn't needed with Uro as it's 'natural' adhesion is enough to get it to stay put. I do bulk the armature up a bit first though as nothing really likes to stick to thin wire alone.  ;)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Stephus on December 29, 2011, 12:27:38 PM GMT GMT
Hey, I've recently just bought a bundle of this clay, thanks for the great review. 
I'm a lil chuffed off I bought 15 individually rather than have a look and come across the bulk offers they have on this website so for anyone reading this, if you want more than a couple they have some good deals. 10 for £15 :) Thanks again for posting this info up VERY helpful.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on January 03, 2012, 12:08:50 PM GMT GMT
You're welcome. :)  You're also welcome to the forum.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Bork on January 04, 2012, 07:33:40 PM GMT GMT
I just ordered it. Another clay for my collection ;)

I'll post again later when I've tried it out.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: jeff_lamarche on January 05, 2012, 11:36:53 PM GMT GMT
Great review. I've been building up to trying a mini in polymer clay. I've done work at larger scale in polymer clay, but for 32mm and 54mm, I've always used putty. I'm such a klutz and am so prone to putting thumbprints in my work, polymer clay honestly scares me a little for such a small scale.

But, with low-temperature vulcanizing rubbers, I know a lot of sculptors have moved to (or started with) Fimo, so I've decided to give it a try, just hard to break the putty habit. :)

Unfortunately, I don't think I've ever seen Uro here in the states. Fimo, Super Sculpey, ProSculpt, Cernit, Kato… doll making is popular enough here in the states, that most hobby stores have several brands available, but alas, no Uro.

Anyone have a recommendation for the best place to order from if you're in the states?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on January 21, 2012, 02:36:20 AM GMT GMT
Picked some URO up yesterday, from PollyMcClayCreations, as its only about 5 miles from me and got 5 packs for £8.

I've not tried it before, but after reading this review, I thought I would get some and experiment with it.

So far I have tried to cure it in a lamp oven used for speeding up curing of GS, I left it for 20 mins and at the end it was hard'ish? but could still put a nail dent in it, next time I will leave it for 35-40 mins.

Another way to cure it I will try, is to use a pan of boiling water to dip it in for 30 seconds or so, I saw this on youtube... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ApneIdLScrk

Interesting I thought, I know its using super sculpy, but its still a polymer clay after all?

When I've tried it, I'll report back.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on January 21, 2012, 09:38:53 AM GMT GMT
Why would you not just put it in the oven?
Interesting to see the boiling water trick though.....

EDIT: someone on the comments seems to think that the boiling method doesn't properly cure, which does make sense. Always wondered about a "heat gun" too but that'd be hard to consistently control and risk burning not to mention the fumes issue.
Best to stick to oven baking I recon.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Badsmile on January 21, 2012, 09:53:57 AM GMT GMT
EDIT: someone on the comments seems to think that the boiling method doesn't properly cure, which does make sense. Always wondered about a "heat gun" too but that'd be hard to consistently control and risk burning not to mention the fumes issue.
Best to stick to oven baking I recon.

Done that, been there. Not good imo. Only cures the surface well and stays squishy beneath + if it cures good on the inside, the outside is pretty much burned. Too hot I suppose. Even tried it with a lighter once, same result. Crispy outside and soft on the inside. Before you ask, it was NOT a finished sculpt and yes I was bored.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Caerban on January 21, 2012, 12:34:19 PM GMT GMT
I spend a lot of time on polymer clay sculpting sites, trying to find the easy way to do things and none of them recommend (most of them don't even mention) boiling or baking with a heat gun. A lot of these people are pros so I'd stick to that advice. As an addendum however I have seen people mention "setting" with a heat gun. A quick blast to firm up the surface you're happy with to prevent you obliterating details with your fat thumb by accident. This is just a surface set though and a full bake needs to be carried out later.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on January 21, 2012, 01:12:00 PM GMT GMT
Why would you not just put it in the oven?

I have seen or heard somewhere that polymer clay leaves a toxic? residue and smell in the oven, can anyone give me info on this? (confirm or disprove?) as my wife is fussy about what goes in HER oven... LOL.

Thanks for the info so far...


Dave.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Badsmile on January 21, 2012, 02:48:13 PM GMT GMT
I spend a lot of time on polymer clay sculpting sites, trying to find the easy way to do things and none of them recommend (most of them don't even mention) boiling or baking with a heat gun. A lot of these people are pros so I'd stick to that advice. As an addendum however I have seen people mention "setting" with a heat gun. A quick blast to firm up the surface you're happy with to prevent you obliterating details with your fat thumb by accident. This is just a surface set though and a full bake needs to be carried out later.

There is the possibility to firm certain areas up temporarily for some special detail you'd want to sculpt on top of it. Ice spray does the trick pretty good. After a few minutes the clay is soft again. I actually don't use ice spray but have witnessed another sculptor doing it. The putty was rock hard and could even be carved, later on it was soft as usual.

Boiling Poly clays is a frenchmens thing. Some of them harden their minis with boiling water. Nevertheless I prefer the oven and haven't heard of anybody excpt the few frenchies that do set their clay like that. They used Fimo in this particular case I know of.

Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: jeff_lamarche on January 21, 2012, 05:19:03 PM GMT GMT
If you're worried about "contaminating" your oven, buy a small halogen oven, problem solved. The plasticizers in polymer clays are toxic, even the newer phthalate-free ones, but I don't think there's much of an issue with cross-contamination of food from using the same oven, as long as you're not using utensils and bakeware for both (ne'er the two shall meet is best bet).

Heat guns are great for firming up parts to keep from destroying them, but they don't transfer heat effectively enough for the inside of the sculpture to reach sufficiently high temperature without running the risk of scorching the outside.

I've never head of the boiling technique. In theory, it seems like it should work, but boiling water is only 100° (212°F), so it seems like you'd have to boil it for considerably longer than the baking instructions say.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on January 21, 2012, 10:36:35 PM GMT GMT
as long as you're not using utensils and bakeware for both (ne'er the two shall meet is best bet).

This.  I've seen polymer clay discussions and guides that say never use utensils, trays and dishes, pasta machines etc. for food, once you've used polyclay with them.  The warning I've seen for ovens is not to overbake or overheat the clay, to avoid a buildup of toxic gasses.  I've used the normal oven for my own few attempts, kept it low, and let it air out afterwards.

I've seen the boiling technique mentioned a few times too (including on other topics here - do a search), and the biggest problem there is that it doesn't tend to work well with fimo and it';s absorbent kaolin filler.  And don't use the same pan/crock for food etc. etc. :)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on January 21, 2012, 10:46:02 PM GMT GMT
Just ordered a small halogen oven for £27 off Amazon, problem solved, thanks Jeff... ;-)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: jeff_lamarche on January 22, 2012, 01:24:21 AM GMT GMT
Just ordered a small halogen oven for £27 off Amazon, problem solved, thanks Jeff... ;-)

Ah, can't take credit for the idea. The first I'd heard of the darn things was the Aragorn Marks video for Miniature Mentor, and I'm just passing along the info. I don't have one myself because I keep giving Fimo a go and then reverting right back to putty. I find Fimo really hard at this scale and am way too prone to squishing my thumb into random parts of the miniature. I do it with putty at times, too, but the short working time usually saves me. Also, they're not as common here in the states, and seem to be more expensive.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Burano on January 22, 2012, 04:16:25 PM GMT GMT
I have received my order of Uro. I have only played a bit, but the feelings are good.

In the manufacturer's website says that the baking time is 20 or 30 minutes at 130º. Time for Super Sculpey Firm is 15 minutes at the same temperature.

My plan is to use a combination of the two putties to sculpt. Any idea how to bake a miniature made with these two putties? Noticed that if you keep the figure in the oven more than 15 minutes the Super Sculpey firm burns.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: jeff_lamarche on January 22, 2012, 05:58:12 PM GMT GMT
In the manufacturer's website says that the baking time is 20 or 30 minutes at 130º. Time for Super Sculpey Firm is 15 minutes at the same temperature.
[snip]
Noticed that if you keep the figure in the oven more than 15 minutes the Super Sculpey firm burns.

Although I haven't done much work at this scale, I've done a fair bit with polymer clay at larger sizes, and "how to bake" polymer clays is a bet of a contested topics. There seems to be two schools of thought that I categorize in my head as the "Steak" and "Barbecue" schools. The "Steak" school of thought basically says that you use a high temperature and shorter time - as high as you can go without releasing dangerous gases.  This is the school of thought that is used for the instructions on most polymer clays. It's usually given as 130°C or 270°F, which is about as high as you can safely go in a conventional oven, which often has a variance of up to 10°C / 50°F.

The other school of thought is the "barbecue" school, which uses a lower temperature, just enough over the boiling point of water to account for heat variance - about 110°C / 230°F. This is the actual temperature needed to harden the clay, but the kicker is, you have to get the clay in the center up to that temperature. That's why they recommend the higher temperature, not because you need the higher temperature to achieve fusion. What that means is that with the lower temperature, have to bake for at least 3-4 times the recommended time to make sure the center gets up to temperature (less for thinner or smaller pieces, more for larger ones). What I do for larger pieces (6" - 10" tall) is bake for 4 or even 5 times the recommended duration, then turn off the oven and leave the piece in the oven until the oven has returned to room temperature (I often bake at the end of the day and leave it in the oven overnight). In my experience, the slower cool down significantly reduces the likelihood of cracks. An abrupt change of temperature, such as from taking the piece out of the oven into room temperature is one of the greatest contributing factors to cracks and other problems.

The benefit of the "barbecue" approach is that the piece is unlikely to scorch or overcook (which can turn the piece brittle and in extreme cases can cause the release of dangerous chlorine gas). There's almost no danger or downside from over baking with barbecue. The downside of the "barbecue" method is that you have to be much more patient.
For minis, I primarily work in putty, not in polymer clay, so I can't tell you how this information applies to this scale exactly, but I thought it was worth sharing.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on January 22, 2012, 11:56:53 PM GMT GMT
Well.........
What I do with Uro and other clays is put the sculpt in and bring the oven (household, electric, fan-assisted) up to 125c from cold then hold that temp for only 5mins and then turn off the heat (leaving the fan on) and leave the door ajar until it's pretty much cool again. There's only usually a few mm to bake in a mini sculpt and I find that the gradual heating and cooling prevents cracking esp as I use an epoxy core.
I hope that makes sense!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on January 23, 2012, 01:14:51 AM GMT GMT
Well.........
What I do with Uro and other clays is put the sculpt in and bring the oven (household, electric, fan-assisted) up to 125c from cold then hold that temp for only 5mins and then turn off the heat (leaving the fan on) and leave the door ajar until it's pretty much cool again. There's only usually a few mm to bake in a mini sculpt and I find that the gradual heating and cooling prevents cracking esp as I use an epoxy core.
I hope that makes sense!

Andrew, is that what you did with the Protoceratops?
exellent sculpt bye the way!


Dave.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on January 23, 2012, 08:48:44 AM GMT GMT
Yes, sculpted in Uro and same baking procedure, I think that one was baked 3 or 4 times in total with no problems. The trick is to time how long your oven takes to reach the desired temp (mine takes just shy of 10mins) and the set your timer fir that plus 5min that way you're not staring at the oven all day! While the oven is cooling the fan is getting rid of any vapour and you can get on with another job.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Burano on January 23, 2012, 04:00:22 PM GMT GMT
Thank you very much for all the info! It is very useful =)

I'll do a test, more time at lower temperature and publish the results.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on January 31, 2012, 12:43:48 PM GMT GMT
Ok, I finaly started a sculpt with URO and I find its wonderful stuff to work with, also you can take your time, not having limited working time as with air drying putty.

I also like the way that, the more you condition it, the softer and stickier it becomes.

There is definately a big similarity to Greenstuff when sculpting it, much more than I thought?

To bake it, I have been removing the sculpt from the cork, Now I have what might seem a stupid Question?....

Can you bake the sculpt on the cork, or does the cork burn at that temperature?


Dave.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 02, 2012, 08:00:30 AM GMT GMT
Natural cork will be fine at that temp, I do it most days!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on February 03, 2012, 12:57:02 AM GMT GMT
Quote
Natural cork will be fine at that temp, I do it most days!

Thanks Andrew...
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on February 07, 2012, 10:45:04 AM GMT GMT
Have been giving this a go over the weekend - it has pros and cons - the first con is the amount of effort it takes to get the stuff pliable! Blimey, not sure how one would go about doing a giant or similar in this, the working is a killer!

The main pro is that you can, once you're got the clay softened, do huge areas of musculature etc very quickly indeed. Great for that, love it. Have also done a 4x size skull. However, I've had no luck with faces yet - the putty seems to be too soft for my ham-fisted epoxy techniques, but will keep trying and see how I get on.

Which leaves me my biggest problem with it so far - fragility! Basically, this stuff seems to crumble and flake with the slightest provocation - am I not baking it hard enough? Does it get tougher with a hotter bake? I swear I gave the skull a harsh look and the jaw snapped away.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 07, 2012, 12:29:33 PM GMT GMT
Quote
Well.........
What I do with Uro and other clays is put the sculpt in and bring the oven (household, electric, fan-assisted) up to 125c from cold then hold that temp for only 5mins and then turn off the heat (leaving the fan on) and leave the door ajar until it's pretty much cool again. There's only usually a few mm to bake in a mini sculpt and I find that the gradual heating and cooling prevents cracking esp as I use an epoxy core.

What are you doing re baking Andy? I've never had problems with fragility, except when I tried to do fine fingers without a wire inside.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: ink the troll on February 07, 2012, 03:41:12 PM GMT GMT
(...) The main pro is that you can, once you're got the clay softened, do huge areas of musculature etc very quickly indeed. Great for that, love it. Have also done a 4x size skull. However, I've had no luck with faces yet - the putty seems to be too soft for my ham-fisted epoxy techniques, but will keep trying and see how I get on. (...)
Try letting it 'set' a bit. After applying the clay in roughly the form you want, go make some tea and drink that. Then go back to add the details (works for fimo, so I guess it should pretty much be true for most brands of clay).

Kneading:
Only ever tried that with Fimo, but here's what I use if I really need to knead large amounts of that stuff: http://minisculpture.co.uk/index.php?topic=218.0
Clay gets a little warm, and thus too soft to work with it immediately though.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 07, 2012, 03:54:57 PM GMT GMT
Also I should point out that I have freakishly hot hands.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on February 08, 2012, 09:59:55 AM GMT GMT
Well, in all honesty I'm currently baking it using my desklamps as I can't be bothered with the whole oven thing at home, it takes ages to warm up and costs a bomb- the lamps get hot enough to melt sturdy plastic things, so seem to be hot enough to solidify the clay enough to work on it further without leaving fingerprints etc. I've no idea what temp they achieve, but it's certainly hot enough to burn your finger if you pick up some metal that's been under them.

If you're saying the clay gets real tough from an oven bake, I guess I'll have to go with that after all!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: ink the troll on February 08, 2012, 12:26:55 PM GMT GMT
Well, in all honesty I'm currently baking it using my desklamps as I can't be bothered with the whole oven thing at home, it takes ages to warm up and costs a bomb- the lamps get hot enough to melt sturdy plastic things, so seem to be hot enough to solidify the clay enough to work on it further without leaving fingerprints etc. I've no idea what temp they achieve, but it's certainly hot enough to burn your finger if you pick up some metal that's been under them.

If you're saying the clay gets real tough from an oven bake, I guess I'll have to go with that after all!
Definitely try oven baking your sculpts. There's also toaster ovens (http://minisculpture.co.uk/index.php?topic=829.0), consider buying a cheap one, if and when funds allow. They use less energy than a normal oven and are thus more cost efficent- makes only sense buying one for minis though if you're planning to sculpt a lot in polymer clay (or of course if you also want a small oven for pizza and such).
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on February 08, 2012, 12:34:56 PM GMT GMT
Got one at work, we use it to warm the moulds prior to casting.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Caerban on February 08, 2012, 12:55:51 PM GMT GMT
Definitely bake properly. If you don't bake fully and evenly you'll end up with patches of partially or unbaked clay underneath and a thin crust of hard stuff on top which will just crack and flake off. You can "set" the surface to prevent finger printing whilst you sculpt but you have to bake it fully at the end.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on February 09, 2012, 03:32:35 PM GMT GMT
Well, in all honesty I'm currently baking it using my desklamps as I can't be bothered with the whole oven thing at home, it takes ages to warm up and costs a bomb- the lamps get hot enough to melt sturdy plastic things, so seem to be hot enough to solidify the clay enough to work on it further without leaving fingerprints etc. I've no idea what temp they achieve, but it's certainly hot enough to burn your finger if you pick up some metal that's been under them.

If you're saying the clay gets real tough from an oven bake, I guess I'll have to go with that after all!

Yep.....
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Viper1959 on February 12, 2012, 05:34:12 PM GMT GMT
Well, in all honesty I'm currently baking it using my desklamps as I can't be bothered with the whole oven thing at home, it takes ages to warm up and costs a bomb- the lamps get hot enough to melt sturdy plastic things, so seem to be hot enough to solidify the clay enough to work on it further without leaving fingerprints etc. I've no idea what temp they achieve, but it's certainly hot enough to burn your finger if you pick up some metal that's been under them.

If you're saying the clay gets real tough from an oven bake, I guess I'll have to go with that after all!

I tried the desklamp approach, and as you found out, it was very fragile.

I purchased a 12 litre halogen oven, a cheap one and a good quality oven thermometer, Im glad I did, because I found using just the temperature setting on the oven, It was only getting to 80 degrees C when set to 125 degrees C, so Im glad I purchased a seperate oven thermometer, It is well worth a few quid.

To help keep the clay useable quicker, try keeping some wrapped in cling-film in your pocket to help keep it warm until you need it, thats what I do.

hope this helps...


Dave.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: rocketmonkey on February 25, 2012, 11:34:55 PM GMT GMT
Hmmm... Lots of interesting reviews and advice. May give it a go in the (not too) distant future!

Cheers for bringing this polymer clay's existence to my attention :)

Peace
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: chris on March 07, 2012, 12:25:54 PM GMT GMT
I found another retailer for Uro with reasonable postage prices for the UK - if you just want a couple of packs to try.
http://www.mbfg.co.uk (http://www.mbfg.co.uk)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on March 11, 2012, 09:54:57 PM GMT GMT
Yep, they're good.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Burano on March 31, 2012, 10:43:27 PM BST GMT
 Seems that (http://pollymcclaycreations.co.uk) no longer has Uro putty through its website. Any other online store to buy Uro from outside the UK?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: ink the troll on April 01, 2012, 08:37:25 AM BST GMT
Seems that (http://pollymcclaycreations.co.uk) no longer has Uro putty through its website. Any other online store to buy Uro from outside the UK?
Haven't done any business with those shops, so can't comment on reliability/...:
http://www.chunungatree.com/contents/en-ca/d93_Polymer_Clay.html (Only worth it if you're ordering a few packages, as they only seem to offer shipping stuff signed for. Also they don't seem to accept paypal. )
http://www.animationsupplies.net/uro.php (As above shipping's fairly high: did place a package of uro in the cart- shipping costs would be £12.00, they'd be the same for 10 packages as well. But they do seem to accept paypal.)

Might be a good idea to contact newclay products (http://www.newclay.co.uk/Index.htm) directly, they might be able to at least list distributors in Europe.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on April 02, 2012, 10:50:57 AM BST GMT
I've emailed them to ask about trade terms. Will let you know.

Meanwhile, I can say that muscles etc = good with Uro. hard edges, fur etc = not good. Blobby, softened, etc. Doesn't carve well, either, tendency to crumble/flake. Where I've used Uro over gs/bs mix, the Uro shrank away from the putty during moulding, so that there is a visible edge to the layer after the master was cooled. However this was not transferred to the cavity on the mould. My future projects will probably use Uro to build an underlying body, then other putties for any detailing etc.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Burano on April 02, 2012, 11:49:05 AM BST GMT

 Thanks for the info guys! =)

I wanted to buy a couple packs of white, but all the shops that find they have Uro, or only sell to UK or shipping charges are very high.



In my experience, so far, I have found that the Uro works best with Procreate than with GS.

To prevent crumble / scales, to me it has worked well to bake for longer at lower temperatures.

Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on April 02, 2012, 11:27:37 PM BST GMT
I'd only partially agree with Andy. I find Uro to be not so great for hard edges but fine (sometimes great) for fur. Also I find that it carves/files/drills/sands well too. Saying this I gave been using it every day for ages!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on April 03, 2012, 08:02:35 AM BST GMT
Which colour are you using, Andrew? One of my problems was I couldn't see the bloody stuff after it had been baked, as it went slightly translucent instead of matt. (Flesh colour, which went yellow and waxy looking)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on April 03, 2012, 10:14:16 AM BST GMT
Yes, there's a lot of variation in translucency between the colours! I usually use the (mid) green mixed with a little grey/white/yellow to cut out the translucency (you'll have to experiment) the green by itself is translucent, the bright green isn't but it's sooooo bright! The forest green is nice but is too dark to take a decent pic of.
The best straight out of the pack is the grey, it's a tiny bit darker than I'd like so I usually mix a touch of white in but if you wanted to sell it you'll not go far wrong with the grey.
Also Andy, how was the consistency of your colour? it's fairly consistent across the range but my magnolia pack is much softer than the others and the black....well, it's like paste!
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on April 17, 2012, 05:30:46 PM BST GMT
Seems that (http://pollymcclaycreations.co.uk) no longer has Uro putty through its website.

Bugger. :(

I've emailed them to ask about trade terms. Will let you know.

Thanks Andy.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Heresy Miniatures on April 18, 2012, 09:11:38 AM BST GMT
They never got back to me...
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Andrew May on April 18, 2012, 10:07:54 AM BST GMT
That's a bit off. :S
A little update Andy, as I said before I've found Grey to be the best (although you'll be seeing plenty in green from me as I've got shed-loads) but white is the firmest of the lot if that appeals, the grey will stand quite a bit mixed in before it gets too light.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Burano on May 30, 2012, 11:35:07 PM BST GMT
I found this site:

- http://www.chunungatree.com/contents/en-uk/d93_Polymer_Clay.html

I'll place an order for next week. I will update when I receive the package.
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: aly.r on February 27, 2013, 11:36:05 PM GMT GMT
Warren i think you may have created a monster.. :-)

http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/old-memories-part-1.html (http://massivevoodoo.blogspot.co.uk/2013/02/old-memories-part-1.html)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Vermis on March 06, 2013, 08:00:53 PM GMT GMT
Heh.  Nice! :)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Oddity on February 25, 2015, 10:18:41 PM GMT GMT
Know it's been a while but when I start using my URO/Super Sculpey mix and it's a bit sturdy I pop it into the microwave for a few seconds! :)
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Badsmile on February 26, 2015, 07:02:12 AM GMT GMT
how many are a few seconds? more like 10 or more like 40?
Title: Re: Uro polymer clay review
Post by: Oddity on February 26, 2015, 10:57:01 AM GMT GMT
Depends a bit on how much it is at the time. Small ball only about 5/10 seconds. A larger ball I do it in runs of 5/10 seconds until it feels right. :)