The following is a blog post by Rinkujutsu documenting the differences they found between Worbla’s Finest and the new Worbla’s Black Art.
Worbla’s Finest Art Vs. Worbla’s Black Art by Rinkujutsu
Project example: Edward Elric’s northern automail from Fullmetal Alchemist
Today I’ll be comparing Worbla’s Finest Art to the new Worbla’s Black Art! This isn’t a tutorial, but is
just an overview of the differences and pros/cons of the two materials. I will abbreviate Worbla’s
Finest Art and Worbla’s Black Art as WFA and WBA throughout this comparison.
As you can see in the photo, the first noticable difference is the color! WFA is beige/yellow, and WBA
is a spooky black. Overall, the materials work almost identically.
It appears that the two materials heat up at roughly the same rate. However, WBA seems to stay softer
longer, so it has a lengthier working time than WFA. WBA is slightly more difficult and more
temperamental to work with than WFA. The difference is so slight that it does not affect the ease of use
that both WBA and WFA have.
WBA is not as sticky as WFA. It does stick to itself quite well, but it takes a little more effort and
coaxing to make it stick as well as WFA. On the one hand, this is nice because it is harder to have an
accidental fusing of pieces out of place. On the other hand, the bond of two pieces of WBA seems a bit
weaker than that of WFA. However, it is plenty strong enough, and there is not any concern for
Also, WBA does not readily stick to craft foam like WFA, making the “folding over the edges” method
a little trickier. I noticed that, since it does not stick to the craft foam, it was better to emboss any
detailing before folding the edges to the back. This does not affect the “sandwich” method.
WBA sculpts excellently and takes fine detail better than WFA because WBA is smoother. The lack of
stickiness in WBA does not affect its ability to blend and sculpt together.
WBA takes complex curves as well as WFA does. However, I noticed that WBA lacks a bit of the
elasticity and stretchiness of WFA, causing the structure of the material to pull apart more easily when
stretched too far.
The variation in durability is very slight. WBA seems just a shade more flexible and weak than WFA,
but there is not enough of a difference to cause concern.
WBA also has a trait that WFA lacks; WBA has a slight spring back or “memory” when it is reheated
after shaping small sections for the first time. This is not a large problem by any means, but it can be a
bit annoying when sculpting and reheating small details.
WBA also works well when used alongside WFA. Each material can stick to the other as well as it can
stick to itself. Details sculpted with WFA can be applied on top of WBA, and vice versa. Scraps of
both WBA and WFA can even be blended together successfully, though in general I would prefer to
keep the two separate.
WBA is definitely smoother than WFA. The biggest thing that people should know, however, is that
WBA is not perfectly smooth. WBA is roughly twice as smooth as WFA. If I could draw a
comparison, I would say that WFA is like 120 grit sandpaper, whereas WBA is more like 220 grit
sandpaper. WBA still needs primers and preparation to yield a smooth finish. However, this
preparation time is cut in half at least, and WBA requires only about half as many coats of primer or
wood glue than WFA.
Note: The round domed pieces of Worbla in the paint samples picture were stretched as far as they
could go without breaking, so that they were as rough as the material could possibly be. In most
circumstances, you would probably need less coats than what I used. WFA needs up to 15 coats of
gesso to get perfectly smooth (I didn’t have the time to do a sample of this), but I think that WBA
would only need maybe a coat or two more of gesso than what I did for the photo. The gesso samples
look rougher in the photo than they do in real life.
I hope this comparison was helpful! Go out and try the materials and see what you think of them! Feel
free to ask any question. Expect to see more Worbla tutorials from me in the future! For now, here are
some progress photos of what I was working on for this: