Recommend a Sculpting Medium

I’ve been looking to get back in to doing some personal art projects, and I think I want to tackle some 3D work. I think I have some scultping talent, but haven’t dabbled in years.

My aim is to make come cartoony pop-culture figurines, designed somewhat in the style of the PVC maquettes or bobbleheads that are ever so popular nowadays.

I need to medium to work with, but know almost nothing about modeling materials. There probably isn’t a perfect medium for me, but if there WAS it would have these characteristics:

  1. Either slow air dry or bakeable in a home oven. Non-hardening isn’t an option unless there’s an easy way to make a permanent mold.

  2. Relatively easy to put a smooth, solid finish on.

  3. Can take acrylic craft paint or can be sealed to do so.

  4. The cheaper, the better. Since I’m just starting, this is pretty much priority #1, but cheap ain’t worth it if I genuinely can’t do what I want.

Sculpey or Fimo? Should be available at Michael’s, Hobby Lobby, etc. I’ve used it. It’s easy to work with, although you have to knead it some to get it soft. It dries in the oven. You can get it in a neutral color also, IIRC.

Just a vague bump: Sculpey and Fimo are nice to work with, but they’re too pricey for the size I want to work with.

I’m leaning at this point towards plasticine. It’s cheapish and exceedingly easy to work with and I have some experience worth it. The obvious downside is that you can’t fire it at all (it melts), but I think it’ll be good to practice with and it’s possible to make castings for permanence.

Air-drying clay, like Crayola brand, which comes in 25lb value packs or 2.5lb tubs