Author Topic: Some questions regarding FIMO Professional  (Read 2336 times)

Offline Jona

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Some questions regarding FIMO Professional
« on: July 31, 2014, 07:50:33 AM BST GMT »
As can be seen in the Finished Sculpts section, I recently sculpted two models for the Frothers sculpting competition. It was my first attempt at working with a polymer clay (FIMO Professional), and there's a few things I'd like to know. I made the mistake to use water to keep my tools from sticking, as I do for epoxies. I've since read that's not a good idea on polymers, and I should use oils. Is there any specific kind of oil that works best, or can you basically use whatever you have (as in: olive oil, or something like that). I'm also wondering whether fresh material will stick to old (unbaked or baked), if this is greasy. An issue I had now was the surface of the clay becoming a little grainy when working on it. I assume that's the water?
And a final question for now: even when not baking, the clay hardens a little. You can still work on it, but because it's not as soft as when you kneaded it after taking it from the package, it sometimes ripped, or behaved more elastically (not taking shape as well). Is there any way around this, or is it characteristic for FIMO (and is there another clay which does not suffer from this)?


Offline PBartholdy

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Re: Some questions regarding FIMO Professional
« Reply #1 on: July 31, 2014, 10:13:57 AM BST GMT »
Hi Jona,

first and foremost, I would never use water as a lubricant. Not for polymer clays and not for epoxies (green stuff). You need a regular lubricant which will work for both types of clay/putty. You can use food oil, or vaseline. I use vaseline.

A lot of polymers tend to set - become slightly harder - when you don't work them for a while. I haven't used FIMO but I know it is the case for that. The same goes for most other polymers. I see it as an advantage though, as it makes it better to make fine details, as the putty is more resistant to the tools.

For the time being I use a combination of two parts Beesputty plastic, two parts sculpey firm, and one part URO. This gives a very soft putty when you've worked it for a while, but when it sets, it sets rather tough. This provides a good base for working on details. When it is baked it becomes very durable too and can be sanded and carved. The beesputty gives flexibility and is sticky enough that you don't have to use green stuff to stick the putty to the armature. The URO becomes very hard when baked and provides durability, and the sculpey firm makes it good for sharp details.

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Offline Vermis

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Re: Some questions regarding FIMO Professional
« Reply #2 on: October 01, 2014, 10:21:17 AM BST GMT »
Whereas I always use water for lubrication. ;) I use it for polymer clay too, though it needs a little more care with fimo brand clays, I think. They (or some of them) contain kaolin clay as a filler, I understand, which can absorb water and fluff up the surface a little.

Though I have to say my experience with polyclay is hardly extensive, and I'd like to know if I'm doing something drastically wrong too. When you say that you've read that water lube isn't a good idea, what were the reasons?

Offline Venger

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Re: Some questions regarding FIMO Professional
« Reply #3 on: January 25, 2015, 02:06:12 PM GMT GMT »
Just a quick thread resurrection :)

If you want your fimo to retain more elasticity when cold add some mixquick to the original mix (loosely 10%, sometimes more, play around.)
When sculpting with any putty (epoxy or polymer) there's a timing to when you can do things.
Use the 'cold/set' fimo for more hard edge stuff.

If you're having trouble getting new fimo to stick over old, give a very thin coating of mineral oil (that's what I use) over the older or fired fimo.
Let it soak in before you apply the new stuff or it will go mushy, if in doubt give a wipe - don't flood it.
Just make sure you've warmed up the putty enough (manipulation or warm hands) it releases the oil in the putty and make it much easier to work with.

I've never use any lubricant with fimo, you can shape the clay smooth without any.

If you're having problems with it sticking to your tools - 1 make sure the tools are clean, 2 make a detail tool out of greenstuff (never had a problem with it sticking)