The best material I found so far for creating sculptures is Super Sculpey, a professional pink-beige polymer clay which is easy to handle and mold. It is more expensive than other materials (about 15 EUR per package), but it's definitively worth the price.

Different to air-drying modelling clays, Super Sculpey won't get dry or hard until you bake it in the oven (see instructions on the package). This is nice so you can continue working on a sculpture later without it's getting dry.

Creating a sculpture

I am no professional in making figurines, however I would like to show the basic steps how I made a cake topper with Super Sculpey and acrylic colors.

1. Skeleton

I created a wire construction to give the sculpture a solid skeleton (and to define the pose). It is made of 1 single piece of wire (that makes it more solid than combining several pieces of wire).
2. Aluminum foil body

Then I added aluminum foil to build the basic body form, using more foil on bigger parts like the belly, chest or tail. This will save you lots of Sculpey (and baking time).
3. Adding Sculpey

Next step is adding Super Sculpey around the aluminum foil, starting with a little (very rough shape) and adding more and more.

With the solid skeleton inside, it's much easier to build the Sculpey around it without destroying the pose or breaking fragile parts like the thin legs.

I have been using modelling tools for it (wooden or metal). You can also use things like a tooth pick or knife.
4. Working out details

Then I added more shape to the body (mane around neck, shoulder blades, muscles, cheeks...) and worked out details (hair, mouth, paws...).

When finished - bake the figurines in the oven (see instructions on box).
5. Basic coloring

After the baking (and letting it cool down for a while), you can still (carefully) grind the surface if you like (e.g. sandpaper).

I painted the figurines with (regular) white acrylic colors as priming paint (2 times).
6. Coloring and details

Using different colors (again regular acrylic colors), I painted the basic fur colors and markings on them, waiting until the color dried and then added more details. Using fine brushes I added tiny details like teeth, paw pads, claws, highlights in the eyes, etc.
7. Varnish and accessories

After everything dried properly, I added a layer of transparent varnish (spray) to protect the colors. If unsure which varnish to use, please ask at a professional store.

At the end, I glued the figurines to the wooden plate and added accessories I bought at a shop (chain with heart, paper flowers). For glueing, I simply used hot glue.

Selfmade sculptures

"Fox Sleigh"

A gift for my husband I did Christmas 2013. It was based on a funny idea / sketch from last year - his fox character pulling a sleigh while my character sitting on it (and probably being way too heavy).

Done in December 2013.
"Wedding Cake Topper"

Cake topper for our wedding cake. Made with Super Sculpey and painted with acrylic colors. Accessories like the chain or flowers were bought at a shop.

Done in February 2012.
"As beautiful as you"

Very old figurine. Made with air-drying modelling mass (I did not know Super Sculpey yet). Two foxes in love.

Done in August 2005.