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Durable clays

The clays described here are all polymer clays. I've categorized them here because of their durability, which means they're quite strong after baking and you can sand and buff them. Fimo and Premo Sculpey fall into this category.

One complaint I hear a lot about these clays is that they are not easy to condition. This is true, but it also means the clay stays pretty consistent and will not 'melt into your hand'.
Fimo is a German brand of polymer clay and I think it's the oldest brand of polymer clay in Europe (like Sculpey is in the USA). It's hard to condition, but really great to work with after you've done that. It's a very fine polymer clay which allows you to add very small details in your sculptures.

Almost all my models so far are made with FIMO.

Strong points Weak points
Good for small details Hard to condition
Doesn't melt Tends to crumble a bit
  Long, small details may break off

I haven't had too much experience with Premo because it's not available in the Netherlands. But, after hearing lots of great stuff about it on the newgroups I ordered it from the US. And they were right! It really is great polymer clay! It sticks even better to metal wire and tinfoil as Fimo, it doesn't crumble so you can create even smaller details, and it's stronger after baking.

Although I have used Fimo for a few years now, Premo's rapidly becoming my most favorite clay. The only problem I encountered was creating hard edges, which is easier with Fimo.

Strong points Weak points
Great for small details Hard to condition
Doesn't melt Difficult to create hard edges
Doesn't crumble  
Sticks to metal wire and tinfoil  
Strong clay after baking