I'm in a bit of a muddle just now. I've made 4 fun frog sculptures in the last 2 days using Premo. The plan was to use Pearl-Ex and mica powders on one and then bake, while the other I would bake and then paint. The Pearl-Ex one looked fantastic as it was put in the oven with the unpainted one, and I was soooo excited!
Then disaster struck! Part way through baking, the unpainted one toppled over, knocking the other one down as well. The unpainted one was a little off balance due to positioning of the frog, so I know it was my own fault. The Pearl-Ex one fell to bits (the unpainted one got a dent but was otherwise ok). I'd used wire as a core for the bases and the frogs, but now realise the base wasn't wide enough to keep them upright. The unpainted one is now painted using acrylics, and that is another story! (It looks like a 3 year old has gone mad with the felt tip pens! Not sure if I'm just not an acrylic painter or if the paints are very poor quality. Anyhoo, I'm liking the Pearl-Ex results better, so probably gonna stick with that). The Pearl-Ex one wasn't salvageable so sadly got put in the bin.
Round 2: I decided to do them in stages and pre-bake in between each stage. Now, I know some people don't see the point in pre-baking, especially for something like these frogs, which aren't particularly detailed or complex. But I thought perhaps doing the pre-baking stages might help keep each section in the right shape/position. It has except
that the new unpainted one has a crack down the belly (the thickest part, though the base doesn't have a crack, which is about as thick). The new Pearl-Ex one doesn't (that I can see). I have done pre-baking on other projects and not had this problem. From doing a search on here, it seems that the temp was a little high. I do follow the guide of 130* for Premo, but wonder if I ought to drop it to 120*? Or do you think the pre-baking part is the issue, seeing as the centre of that thicker part won't have baked really during the pre-bake, and will then start expanding properly during the final bake? I really don't want any more disasters
so any advice would be great