Clay, Application to Refinement


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Fishing Line


You may well be asking yourself, why are we using fishing line in clay modeling. Are we going to be re-lining our spools for a weekend fishing trip and a well deserved break? 


The simple answer is no, it is the easiest way of holding a feature line on a clay surface.


There are many brands of fishing line available on the market such as McCoy, Maxima and Stren and for our use and purpose no one brand is better than the other. The main concern for our application is the thickness of the line. You will probably find that the cheaper the line, the thicker it is, which in our case is ideal for our application.


Maxima fishing line

20lb fishing line measures approximately 0.5mm in thickness.



What we are looking for is a line thickness of approximately 0.5mm and 1.0mm. With the cheaper fishing lines these thicknesses usually come at about 20lb breaking strain and 50-60lb breaking strain. Obviously this is just a guide and the thickness doesn't have to be perfect match. Slightly thinner in size will work just as well..

As you can see from the image above, the line thickness measures approximately 0.020" or 0.5mm with the Vernier calipers which is ideal for the thinner line. This line was purchased from Sports Chalet but I'm sure the same type of line is available from places such as Kmart, Wal-Mart and Target.


With the 0.020" or 0.5mm line you will be able to capture features such as grille openings on scale models, window graphics, body, hood and trunk opening lines.


50lb line measures approximately 0.75mm in thickness


With the thicker line, in this case it measures 0.030" or 0.75mm, slightly under the 1.0mm size but good enough to hold major feature lines on full-size clay models.


I have found by introducing gut lines to the main feature lines on the clay model that it will show through the dinoc film enabling the designer to easily apply their tape lines prior to a design review.

The easiest way to add the fishing line is by taping up the feature line first and then knifing in a cut for the gut to sit into. This will prevent the line from wandering as you apply it. Before introducing the gut make sure to stretch it first to remove the memory of it being wound around the spool.


To do this it is a simple case of securing one end of the fishing line to a fixed object and stretching the line until it is reasonably free from kinks. Then you can proceed to apply the gut. Finish up by steeling the surface to remove any clay that has puckered up from the fishing line being introduced.


Even though the line may now be flush with the surface, once dinoced and the dinoc has been allowed to dry the line will be visible through the dinoc film. A simple but effective way of keeping crisp lines when you need them.


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