[Archive] Wax sculpting, anyone tried it?


I’ve been looking for a sculpting material that will not air dry in any detrimental way, and is quickly reworkable with minimal effort.

This seems to be the best material.

I’ll be using it to sculpt large things (say over 4" tall).

For those who’ve never heard of this you basically cut chunks of wax off a lump, warm it up until it goes soft, stick it on the model and then work it until it cools.

Then you warm up tools and/or use a hair dryer etc to work it more.  Also carving chunks off cool parts.

Has anyone else tried this?

You then need to have it cast because it’s never properly cured/hard (so unsuitable for painting)

Kera foehunter:

sounds cool … but i never heard of this grim But i only have one piece i made over 4" So is this wax from an artist shop ?


I bought it from a hobby supplier.

I’ve got 2 kinds, a softer and a harder and I’m mixing the two together.

For anyone curious the malleability of my blend when warmed is similar to sculpey and probably has about 2 mins of time to work with before it cools.  Obviously if you heat it too much it turns to liquid.

When cooled it’s hard enough to hold detail well, tough enough to take some carving, but if you jab your nail in it will leave a dent.  If I’d just used the harder kind it would be very hard but it’s not easy to work with.

What I’m planning for most things I will make is to:

Make a wire skeleton
Pad it out with baking foil
Cover this in a layer of cheap air drying clay (depending on the size of the object)
Cover it in wax and detail.

Then cut it up as appropriate and take a cast of this in resin and add anything else that’s needed onto the cast; chains, plasticard and any greenstuff work etc

Then only if I intend it for sale send this cast off to be recast.

Finally, once I have a successful cast, melt all the wax off and use it for the next project!

Kera foehunter:

sound like a cool medium to work with . thanks grim


I think it sounds like a cost effective way to experiment with all sorts of shapes, textures, and forms.

The process you describe sounds pretty sophisticated. If you would be so kind and post a stage-by-stage of this process in action.

It doesn’t even have to be once you have mastered it. I am interested in doing some molds/casts/resins of some bits and I would really like to see an experiences person chalk about their process.

Ishkur Cinderhat:

So the main criterion for you is that the material won’t start drying out / curing at the air? Why not use fimo - until you bake it in the oven, it remains soft and malleable. And the good thing is you won’t have to cast it afterwards. You can also sculpt all the detail stuff in GS or something similar after baking.


Here’s a link for anyone curious
Another one (ignore the annoying clicking sound) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MhanrTzDU9A


The problem with fimo and sculpey is that I take so long to get things finished (or even remotely close to finished) that the material becomes unworkable.

I have used fimo in the past (many years ago), and I presume it would be the same as sculpey, material that should remain workable but will eventually dried hard even if not baked.  So the bull model that I’ve been working on has fallen into this category, have to strip off all the sculpey and start again somehow. :(  To be honest though I wasn’t happy with the design, his body was too round.


Sure, this is a leap into the unknown for me as well, so I’ll be sure to keep a record.

I know something already that would make my job a lot easier, it’s called a Wax carver or wax carving pen.  You can get a decent one for about £150, but that’s a lot more than I intend to spend.  At this point anyway.  That is like a soldering iron but with an adjustable temperature control.  You basically use it as a sculpting tool to melt and pour small amounts of wax onto the model and carve it (see links above).

I’ll have to settle for the ‘heat it over a candle and use my regular metal tools’ approach…

Hashut’s Blessing:

I know that the Warhammer Forge monsters sculptor uses wax to flesh out a shape just to see how it will look/get the positioning right and to feel right - basically, a 3D concept piece, before she then begins to sculpt the actual version, referring to the wax one…

Have to be careful with trying to cast it though - any kind of exothermic reaction (if strong enough) in the mold could mean you lose detail or if it’s a hot liquid to begin with when pouring the mold…


That is a very good point HB, I’ll have to investigate the temperatures thing for the rubber.

For the model itself I was planning to keep it in the fridge for an hour or two before moulding. Which might help to compensate for any exothermic reactions. Or perhaps just slow down the curing??

Kera foehunter:

good luck I don’t think i’m ready for this yet thank for the video Grims

Hashut’s Blessing:

I mean, chances are, it wouldn’t affect it (or at least not much), but you need to be aware that it’s a possibility :wink:

Keeping it in the fridge could make it crack (maybe. actually, I doubt it in a fridge, but probably in a freezer, so no putting it in there!). I’d say, have a test piece and see what happens - rather than risking it with someone you’ve put LOTS of effort into.