Author Topic: Uro polymer clay review  (Read 26167 times)

Offline Vermis

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Uro polymer clay review
« 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.  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?
« Last Edit: March 05, 2014, 01:33:16 PM GMT GMT by Vermis »

Offline hivetrygon

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #1 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.

Offline Justin

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #2 on: February 07, 2011, 04:57:56 PM GMT GMT »
Hmm, half tempted to give that a try. The elasticity factor appeals!

Just

Offline Borak

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #3 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

Offline Vermis

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #4 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. ;)

Offline Relic

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #5 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

Offline Hasslefriesian

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #6 on: February 08, 2011, 01:27:03 PM GMT GMT »
Good review. I'm going to order some now. :)

Offline Justin

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #7 on: February 08, 2011, 03:08:19 PM GMT GMT »
« Last Edit: February 08, 2011, 03:36:39 PM GMT GMT by Justin »

Offline Andrew May

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #8 on: February 08, 2011, 05:18:25 PM GMT GMT »
Hmmmm... Might have to pick some up. ;D

Offline Vermis

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #9 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

Offline Borak

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #10 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

Offline Justin

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #11 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

Offline Borak

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #12 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)

Offline Justin

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #13 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

Offline Caerban

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Re: Uro polymer clay review
« Reply #14 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.