A four-week online programme with practical masterclasses, weekly tasks, and online community covering everything you need to know about the core principles of model making with Aardman's senior model maker Jim Parkyn. 

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Course Outline

Each week Aardman's senior model maker Jim Parkyn will lead you through two filmed masterclasses that help you get model making, with key instructions for everything you’ve ever wanted to know about modelmaking and its core techniques and skills. You will be given a weekly task to respond to the lessons you have learnt that you can upload and share with the Aardman Academy through a dedicated online community. 

Meet Your Tutor

Hi, I'm Jim! I’ve been a freelance sculptor and model maker for Aardman Animations for over 20 years, leading teams on a range of exciting projects (including several series of Shaun the Sheep). You’ll see my work in Chicken Run, Wallace and Gromit and the Curse of the Wererabbit, The Pirates! In an Adventure with Scientists!, Shaun the Sheep Movie as well as Creature Comforts and many famous commercials.

Both as an independent and as an Aardman Ambassador, I get to share my passion for playing with clay and my history of working in animation with people around the world, speaking and leading workshops at schools, festivals and corporations of all sizes. Clients include Airbus, The Audit Commission, Comic Relief, Eden Project Orange, National Trust Sky, and many more. Festivals include BlueDot Festival, Kirsty Allsopp’s Handmade Fair, TakepArt, Urban Village Fete, Port Elliot and The Good Life Experience, to name just a few.

Who is this course for?

This course is ideal for those who have always wanted to explore model making but didn’t know where to start, or those with model making experience looking for insider knowledge and lessons from an industry-leading model making professional. 

Course Map & Structure

A breakdown of all topics, masterclasses and tasks each week on the course.

What happens after you enrol?

  • Your first 2 masterclasses and weekly task will appear 4 days after the date you join the course at 9am GMT.

  • Use this time to source any little bit of kit you might need, and try experimenting with some model making techniques before you get going. 

  • The remaining weeks will be delivered every 7 days until the end of the course. 


What happens when you complete the course?

  • You have access to the entire course for an extra 7 months.

  • Watch and re-watch everything as many times as you'd like.

  • You will have access to the community pages of the course for 7 months.

  • You are invited to a live-streamed Q&A (within 6 months of graduating) with a key animator/ modelmaker from Aardman.

What equipment do I need?

It is completely up to you what equipment you use or what you might have at home to take part in this course. Here are some suggestions of animation apps that might be useful for testing out your models and exploring how they move:




£ 4.99

FREE (Pro version available)

FREE (in-app purchases)

Materials used in this course

For the first week we will only be using clay, or any other material you would like to use which you can mould into a shape. Here is a list of all materials used on the course. It is not vital that you purchase any of these items to be able to take part, but we do suggest you have either plasticine™ or "clay" as it will improve your experience of model making.  During week three you will be creating an armature, so we suggest purchasing 'animation' wire or aluminium wire for this.  

  • Newplast Clay

  • 2 mm Animation/  Aluminium wire 

  • Foil

  • Wire Cutters / Old Scissors

  • Cocktail sticks/ toothpicks

  • Paintbrush

  • Pencil

  • Notebook


If you have any further questions then please sign up for our next Aardman Academy Open Day or get in touch at [email protected]

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