Clay BMW M3 model

Hey everyone,
This is a BMW M3 model I’ve been working on. It’s my first one ever, so it’s not the greatest. Its about 7.5" X 3.5" X 2.5." Pretty small. Any suggestions?
I’m not sure if I put this in the right thread… correct me if it’s not.


For being so tiny, it’s not bad. I wish I had more feedback for you, but I have no experience with modeling clay. I did pots and sculpting in high school, but I don’t think it’s applicable.

Give us an some context:
Where are you at in terms of age/schooling/training?
what is this for, fun/school project/etc?

My quick thoughts are that it is pretty decent, but you should consider a bigger scale to get more detail/resolution. The right tools, could help you clean this up a little further too.

If you don’t get much response here, I would consider posting on the forum at car design news:

if you dig through the forum you can find some good tips and techniques buried in there.

you also might want to check out:

I’m 18, currently going to uconn for mechanical engineering, but I want to switch over to wonderful ID. :slight_smile: Never had any class with clay or sculpture, this was just pure experimentation. I was told some 3D work would work well for my portfolio, so I made this.


Is that Chavant clay (industrial modeling clay)? By the color, it looks like it. But, as mentioned above, you need tools (racks, flexible sheet metal, etc.). Not bad at all. Good symmetry.

Here is a low budget modeling (school project). I had no money to buy the real tools but was able to find some regular modeling tools from hobby stores to make this car. Obviously, depending what school you will attend, they will show you the right way. In my case, I learned by myself, reading books and then learned more from my internships at BRP. My school had no courses for that.

Given your experience or lack there of :slight_smile: I think this is pretty good.

After seeing your other portfolio day post that gives me a little better perspective of what you’re after. You could work hard at refining this model and/or or you could take your newly acquired skills and apply them to some original form studies which it sounds like would satisfy some of the portfolio feedback you’re receiving regarding original material.

It appears from your work your interests may be mostly in transportation design (cars etc) ? If that is really what you want to be doing/designing, you may want to look at other schools than the ones you have already interviewed with.

my 2 cents

Trong: what are the books you would recommend? Were the tools you used for sculpting, or were they from other domains. I notice, for example, the square you have is for metal working.

Books: Car styling has a great book:

Tools can be found at Chavant:

I used whatever tools I had to make it work.


here’s some feedback you probably didn’t expect… your model is too detailed right now.

for your age and for your background, the model looks great, a very nice first attempt at clay car modeling.

keep that one, and create another model to place next to the original once you’re finished to see the improvement you’ve made. I’m sure it will be dramatic

ok- back to the ‘less detail’ part…

car designers create these clay models in order to see relationships between the shapes and curves of exterior surfaces in real time, real life 3D. details like the side mirrors, lights, even door lines, may be too much. these can all be worked out in high detail via sketching, orthos, and 3D CAD modeling. leave them as just that, details. try to see the car as a solid form, moving through space, concentrate on the whole.

(advice from a former car deisgner / professor of mine)

I agree with Taylor, it looks like you created all the details as you sculpted the car. Work the overall form without all these details(windows, lights, wheel openings, doors line, etc), one smooth continuous surface. Then use thin vinyl tape to “draw” these details on the surface if you want. You can find this stuff in different colors/widths at most hobby shops, it is mostly marketed as detail masking/pinstriping tape. Like this guy:

When everything is just right, then carefully carve in the details.

A great tip is to remember that the temperature of the clay makes a big difference. Cool it down to make it hard and to work with precision, warm it up for more drastic sculpting.

Otherwise, good job! I give you credit for pursuing your dream and teaching yourself new skills. Chavant clay is a great medium for sculpting form. I learned it in school but have used it very little since.

Thanks everybody for such helpful responses!

Blaak: The clay I used is just plasticine… I know it’s wrong, but it’s all I could find. What am I supposed to be using? And where can I get it?

IDiot: I’m not too sure what I want to go into. I’ve loved cars ever since I was little, but I think product design might be more useful. I’m hoping that trying different things in school will help me decide.

Taylor: Thanks! My next clay model will be less detailed and a more drastic car design over all.

I just need to figure out what clay to use. How do you harden this (the clay I’m supposed to be using, not my plasticine) clay?