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Monday, October 5, 2009

Making bits of rubble using Sculpey

It's been a while since my last Super Sculpey project, but the gears have been turning and I needed a warmup project. This project shows a simple way to make masonry rubble that can be used as pieces for a figure base or as scatter for small pieces of terrain (or large pieces if you're ambitious enough to use this technique for large amounts of rubble.)

Step 1: Knead a ball of Sculpey and then roll it flat; I tried to roll it about 1/16 of an inch thick.

Step 2: Take a sharp knife or other sharp straight edge and cut parallel lines into your flattened Sculpey (Try to cut as deep as possible without cutting all the way through so that your set of bricks stays together for ease of cutting the rest of the lines). Again, cut them to about 1/16 to 1/8 of an inch wide. These don't have to be the exact same size as one another since they will be used as rubble (unless you plan on actually building structures with these pieces!)

Step 3: Cut lines across your first set of lines, Now you can see your bricks! Put it in the oven and watch an episode of Family Guy.

Step 4: Take your bricks out of the oven and let them cool off (putting them in the freezer will cause a bit of contraction; this contraction is not noticeable AND actually strengthens the baked Sculpey.) Start breaking up your piece into separate bricks. I used some clippers to snap each brick off (my cuts weren't deep enough to be able to finger-snap each piece off.)

Step 5: Pile of rubble! Get a container for your rubble and use it as needed. This project took me 45 minutes, and I have bricks for a year (unless I start to make a bunch of urban terrain.)
Sculpey takes superglue and acrylic paint very well. If you hate painting, don't forget that Sculpey also comes in a bunch of different colors.


  1. Great idea. I need to try this brick maker out.

    What about rock-like rubble? Use a stone or brick to give the Sculpty a naturally rocky texture. I've used rock textures with green stuff and with Clay as a mold for plaster/resin.

  2. For round, rock rubble, I currently use aquarium rocks, but I'm working on figuring out how to make nice rocks using Sculpey, especially multifaceted hard rocks such as granite.
    I'm gonna check out Chicago Terrain Factory for their ideas as well as around the internet for other techniques. If I find a method I like, I'll post it.
    If anyone else has more ideas, feel free to comment.
    Thanks for the ideas, Chicago!

  3. Here's a tip: if you put a 0.5mm - 1.0mm shim (a piece of thin card or plasticard will do, but brass is better) on either side of the rolled-out sculpy, and use a straight-bladed knife to cut the grooves, the shims will ensure a perfectly regular, thin film remains to hold it all together.

  4. A cheap plastic rock tumbler and a handful of sand will turn those bricks into cobblestones.