My Claptrap Clay Miniature: The Why And The How

Polymer clay Claptrap from Borderlands figurine // PIKUBYTES

So I’ve got this absorbing hobby – sculpting miniature food and game or cartoon characters from polymer clay. I picked it up a few years ago when I got frustrated with the limited choice of jewellery I actually wanted to wear. I loved the idea of Mario shrooms or South Park characters dangling from my ears, so I started making my own bling instead. The inspiration to craft something comes and goes, but often it’s triggered so spontaneously that you just have to sculpt your idea in the flash of that inspiration. This time, the trigger was one of the most annoying and adorable robots ever – Claptrap.

Polymer clay Claptrap from Borderlands figurine // PIKUBYTES

What I love most about the Borderlands franchise is its sense of humour and its quirky characters. Yup, I’m guilty of sometimes carrying a crappier gun just because of its hilarious name. Still, I always wished for more lore and personal stories of the characters, and luckily that’s where Telltale stepped in. The episodic gameplay is great and Loader Bot is a sidekick worth a fist bump. So, why Claptrap? It’s because of that billboard in Ep 2 which really got me nostalgic as I realised that my miniature collection still needs a CL4P-TP!

claptrap-borderlands-screenshot-pikubytes

So, if you’re on a mission to make your own robot token, here are a few pointers. What I used was FIMO polymer clay, acrylic paint and some jewellery pins.

  1. First, I mixed some of the metallic clays with basic colours to give Claptrap a more robotic look. The smallest parts were mostly made from silver or copper clay. Improvise with the amount of detail you can handle, some of them might be too tiny for this scale.
  2. For Claptrap’s arms, I used two metal pins for support and covered them with a thin layer of clay. You don’t want the arms to droop while baking, so remember to add the support! You can also use pieces of tin foil for that. Either way, don’t risk ruining your otherwise perfect miniature. Trust me, I’ve been there.
  3. I added one more pin for the antenna and to attach Claptrap to whatever it would eventually become: a keychain, a necklace, a charm, etc.
  4. Pop CL4P-TP into a 100 °C preheated oven and let him stay there for 25-30 min.
  5. Once the little guy is baked (tee-hee), use acrylic paint to add the white stripe and some dirt at the bottom. This step is not recommended if you’ve got shaky hands!

Polymer clay Claptrap from Borderlands figurine // PIKUBYTES

Now it’s up to you to decide what role your Claptrap will assume. Mine will be the guardian of the mailbox key, his fate officially sealed by the keychain hook attached to him. Well, not sealed per se… you can always repurpose it for a night out!

Finally, here are two more pics of Claptrap round the house. He also had a chance to meet my cat and some of my older clay gang – Moonkin from WoW and Heavy from TF2.

Polymer clay Claptrap from Borderlands figurine // PIKUBYTES

Polymer clay Claptrap from Borderlands figurine // PIKUBYTES

Stay tuned for more geeky crafts coming soon!

5 thoughts on “My Claptrap Clay Miniature: The Why And The How

  1. Cindy says:

    Do you do any commissioned work? I’m super duper desperate to find someone skilled enough with clay to make a pair of earrings lol

    Take my money! 😉

    Like

  2. gamesthatiplay says:

    Its adorable! I really hope you do more. I see you’ve got a talent for this. I’ve never really seen any sort of clay minis. Having it on a keychain is cool too. Hopefully nothing happens to the arms in your pocket. OMG and the Heavy too! And then the cat. Sorry I lose all motor skills when I see cats. So fuzzy. I wish I could give this ten likes!

    Like

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