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I was in town last week and did my regular 'junk collection' at a couple of antique stores, where I found small white wooden boxes. I have no idea why, but I just decided they would look great with some beetles on display!

I've generally always been a fan of these insects, especially their awesome exoskeletons, making them look like armoured warriors. And I am, after all, in the insect control business so bugs happen to be kind of my forte!

I chose some of the most recognizable beetle species: Rainbow Stag, Goliath Beetle, and the Hercules Beetle (all super masculine names, by the way).

I don't ordinarily do this type of craft and it's my first Instructable so I hope everyone's expectations are as lowered as mine were from the start. I'd love some feedback from you guys :)

Step 1: Inventory

Materials you need:

1xFimo Soft In Black 9 56G (1.97oz)

1x Sculpey III Clay In White 230G (8oz)

Wire Armature (2mm in diameter)

Extras:

White Wooden Boxes

Acrylic Paint for decoration

Step 2: Bending & Shaping the Armature Body

Even a beginner DIYer like me knows that every potential moulding figure needs a solid foundation for the clay to 'get a good grip' on.

All you need for this step is the wire armature itself and some flat pliers. The wire is pretty easy to bend, especially once you get a feel for it.

If you've never worked with armature before (don't worry, I'm a newby too - I can't stress this enough), you can watch this video. It's in French but the point still gets across.

I made six limbs for each beetle and made the 'horns' according to the species.

I wouldn't be afraid to go a little nuts with the shapes, though :)

Step 3: Shaping the Bodies With Sculpey III

It's time to get our hands dirty! I used white Sculpey III for the bodies of the beetles. I first put it only on the core and the horns came after.

It's quite simple, I just used the instructions taken from the website:

Bake at 275 °F (130 °C) for 15 minutes per 1/4 in (6 mm) thickness. DO NOT MICROWAVE. Baking should be completed by an adult. DO NOT EXCEED THE ABOVE TEMPERATURE OR RECOMMENDED BAKING TIME.

Step 4: Shaping the Legs With Black Fimo Soft

I've found Fimo Soft to be the easiest to use out of all Fimo products, and it gets convincingly tough after baking.

And here are the official baking instructions again:

Once shaped, Fimo is baked in a standard or toaster oven for about 30 minutes at 110 °C (230 °F) to harden it. Once baked, it can be cut, drilled, painted, sanded, and sliced thinly.

Step 5: Shape the Horns With Sculpey III and Then Put Your Masterpiece in the Oven

I did the body and the horns of the beetles in two steps to achieve the authentic look that these insects' exoskeleton has - it is a two-part skeleton after all.

I then baked the sculptures for 17 minutes - I really like that number.

Step 6: Turn the Sculptures Into Decoration, If You Want!

You can do anything you please with them. I chose to paint them, because I just can't get enough colours at my place but I also think they look pretty dope in the original minimalistic white version.

I hope you enjoyed my debut as a clay artist :)

Inspiration: Lady Joy Celey

<p>Cute beetles! I really like how you wrote the instruction.</p>
<p>The little picture frame for displaying them is a pretty sweet idea. I remember playing with this stuff as a kid, but I may have to revisit it, thanks to you!</p>
Love the Goliath Beetle!
Cool
<p>Nice beetle replica.</p>

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Bio: Sally - not an easy person to get. I still don't have any idea which 'type' of people I belong to. Maybe it's because ... More »
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