View spoilerHide spoilerThis is realy nice, and after i read the whole thing twice i realy think you should do more of those Blog´s
Interesting is that you dont use any support structures like wire or tinfoil underneath the Clay.
Thank you for the comment. Also, please feel free to express what you think and we can discuss it; that's the whole purpose for me to do blogs about my work in the first place.
Regarding the preform step, it is only the beginning of the process actually. It is true that paper clay by itself is not able to produce a smooth surface. At much, after sanding with the finest grades you'll get a kinda fuzzy surface; however, that doesn't end there. In the very last picture of the Rias figure, that's actually not finished yet, and you may notice it looks grayish instead of the natural white color of the paper clay seen in the other preforms.
To smooth the surface, first I use a jewelry file level evenly all the marks from adding material and molding with my hands. Then, I use different grades of sand paper from #320 all the way to #1000 to smooth as much as possible. As said before, you'll get as fuzzy surface at much, and so little remaining micro-cavities here and there.
To smooth even further, I start with Tamiya modeller putty; they sell it gray or white color, I prefer gray most of the time because it contrast with clay color. I use paint thinner to dilute the putty to the point that I can brush it to the surface as if I was painting the part. After drying I proceed to pass the sand papers again to smooth. I do this a number of times, each time the surface becomes smoother and smoother.
After all this, I use surfacer as the ones used to prepare Garage Kit; this I airbrush or use spray cans to put the surfacer onto the pieces as if I was painting again. The result is a very smooth surface which is the final goal.
This process is maybe for me the most difficult to document, cause the sanding and adding surfacer is a kind of messy process, my hands get very busy and stained and I don't feel like using my phone or camera to document this, so I don't have much on that for the moment. I'll see what I can do in the near future.
As for the kantai thing, I was drawing that Rias because I'm currently into Azur Lane (cause KanKore won't release the dem game outside Japan) and because there was a recent collaboration with the Neptune series I thought "I want a collaboration with High School DxD", but then I reflex on that and said "Nah, I'll do it myself". I still have to finish that drawing (I'm still not very good drawing mechanical parts) and I want to make a figure of that. XD
And for sculpey, it was actually one of the first materials (besides school clay) that I used when I was a kid long long time ago. The fact that I work by adding and adding material makes it a little troublesome for me, since I have to bake everytime I make a progress. It can get smooth, yes, but I would still prepare the surface as described above to get it even smoother. I have used sculpey thoroughly in the past, but I prefer paper clay better as of now. I should also maybe explain in a next tutorial about the little "oven" I made to make the paper clay dry faster.
Paper clay is used widely among Japanese Garage Kit makers; it is a basic technique, because sculpey is ver expensive in Japan. That doesn't mean people don't use sculpey, and there are also other materials. What I consider a more advanced technique from Japan is to use Epoxy putty. Since it hardens way faster, it lets you work faster too. I have tried it, but since it is a more carving-sanding technique, with a lot less molding, I have struggled and left it for the moment until I can get a more grasp on the paper clay technique.