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My experience making molds. (Read 54 times)
darklestat79
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michagain, Michigan, USA
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My experience making molds.
12/10/18 at 5:51pm
 
I would like to start this post by thanking Nicodemus and Dan from Alumilite for their advice on making two part molds. With their help my
experience making molds went well.

Seeing how Nicodemus had posted awhile ago about making molds to copy the mini's from the Elf Quest Pack, I figured I would talk to him before I tried it. He told me he used a floating method to cast them. The floating method involves using a container that will hold enough silicone to give you a silicone layer above and below your mini's. First he put some silicone in the container (it's consistency is like syrup), then with the mini's on their side he pushed them into the silicone. Only pushing them as deep as needed to get to the desired seem line he chose. After letting that layer dry he then put mold release over it while leaving the pieces in the silicone and topping it with another layer of silicone. Once that was all dry he could then open the two halves and pull the originals  out. Then start casting with the resin. I was also told that when doing the floating process with heavy or metal mini's you would have to add supports when casting them.      

The mini's I wanted to cast were metal and after talking with Nicodemus I was worried about them sinking. So I watched several youtube videos and all of them showed embedding the  original items in clay to start the process. This is were Dan came in, he works at Alumilite. This is the company that Nicodemus suggested people use after he had tried other products to make his molds. while talking to Dan I had some reserves on putting the mini's in clay. After showing him some mini's online he agreed that putting them in clay would not be a good idea because of their size and detail. But he was helpful with trying to give me alternative ideas to get the job done.

Having talked two reliable source and adding some thoughts I had, here are the steps I decided to use:

Placing some Alumilite clay on some Plexiglas I had I made a rectangle. making sure it was thick enough that would not let my mini's go through it once I pushed them in to make a seem line. Then I put two layers of cooking plastic wrap over the clay. So when I laid and pressed the mini's into the plastic and clay they would not get any clay on them. Once I got them pushed in to the desired seem line depth. I used four other pieces of Plexiglas to build a box around the clay rectangle. Making sure that the plastic would climb upwards inside of the box. Gluing it together using a hot glue gun making sure all seems are sealed (if not the silicone will bleed out).

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With the box assembled I scotched taped the plastic to the inside of the Plexiglas box and shaped bits of clay around the mini's to make registration marks (they help the mold fit together when casting). Then while pouring the silicone in with a high pour I made sure i was not pouring it directly on the mini's.

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After the silicone drys and you break the box down it will look something like this.

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From here I removed the clay and plastic from the silicone not disturbing the mini's in the silicone. Setting the box back up around the silicone piece like before with the glue gun. I also placed pieces of clay into any gaps between the silicone and the box. I found this also helped me find the split edge between the two haves of silicone.

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Just a note while looking at this picture it is worth noting if you place your mini's like I did once your mold is done you will have to cut a pour channel to the mini base. Next time I will try to move the mini's base to lay against the box wall so no channel will be needed.

I painted on my mold release, though I wish I had gotten a spray kind. Then poured silicone over the mini's again to cove them in the box. Let silicone dry and your mold should look something like this.

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At this point take the time to trim your mold and cut wood pieces the size of the mold. One for the top and one for the bottom. Breaking the layers in half may take a little work but they will come apart. if the mini's have a silicone skin over them don't worry. just trim it off until you have clean edges around the mini.

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Then like an ice tray I poped the mini's out like they were ice from a tray and removed all clay. The molds will look a little crazy but the silicone picks up a lot of the detail.

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Note to lesson the risk of loosing parts of your mini that may be in a deeper crevice of the mold. Fill those crevices first then put the two parts of the mold together and pour the rest of the resin in to fill the mold.

As soon as I poured the resign in the mold, I put the top and bottom board on the mold. Then secure them with a bunch of rubber bands around the whole thing. Once dried I pulled the two parts of the mold apart gently. and behold.

Original mini painted white next to molded copy Frt

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Original mini painted white next to molded copy Back

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Where my mold didn't work like a hand here or there I used Indian men for parts to glue on new ones. Where I lost detail in my base I just used bit of flat plastic I had. Counting the two Original Duergar Dwarves I used for the mold I now have ten of them total. Once I get all of them painted I will post them.

I know this is a long post but if anyone has questions just ask.
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Nicodemus
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Saskatoon, Canada, canada, 179, 351, SK, Saskatchewan, Saskatchewan, Canada
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Re: My experience making molds.
Reply #1 - 12/22/18 at 10:30pm
 
Thanks for the updates on your adventures!!! We need better photos, especially if you start making improvements and continue the process!

Keep 'em coming! This is how you start!   HeroQuest Gargoyle
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Don't touch that please, your primitive intellect wouldn't understand alloys and compositions and things with... molecular structures.
-Ash, Army of Darkness
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darklestat79
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michagain, Michigan, USA
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Re: My experience making molds.
Reply #2 - 01/06/19 at 9:33am
 
Thank Nicodemus
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