spikekid / David Fisher says in his flickr gallery that his polymer clay figures were made over the last 5-6 years. Most of these projects took from between 40 to 60 hours to complete. There are bits of steel and wood involved, more for physical support, than anything else; the bulk of material is Fimo, with a good measure of Sculpey added in.
Not polymer clay but a bit about Wood Carving, same techniques can be adapted to our material as well. Paul Roden and Valerie Lueth are the husband and wife team TUGBOAT PRINTSHOP - Aren't these carving amazing?
I found a couple of cool tutorials in the Russian community, they are very productive over there!
1st is an Almonds beads tutorial
and second one is for sweet cherries
You are welcome to browse some more and look for more goodies, language is not a problem when it comes to polymer clay!
Enjoy the coming weekend!