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Note from the Moderators:
Do NOT use this in any attempt to duplicate copyrighted material, such as GW models/parts.
This is against the law, and something that GW actively persecute.
1. A 3-dimensional item to mold
2. A piece of 1/4" or 1/2" Foam Core Board depending on size of item
3. Masking tape
5. Small ruler
6. Permanent marker
7. X-ACTO or craft knife
8. Wood stirring or popsicle sticks
9. Rubber Bands
11. Paper Towels
12. Small, flexible, plastic cups you can throw away
13. Liquid Silicone Rubber (I use One-To-One/Rapid Mold Making Rubber from Micro-Mark). There are other products you can use but, this is what I use.
14. 2-Part Casting Resin (from Micro-Mark)
15. Rubber to rubber mold release (from Micro-Mark)
16. Floral Clay
17. Flat surface to work on
For this lesson, I`m showing you how to make a two-piece mold of a 3-dimensional object. The first thing you need is an item to mold. I usually work on a large piece of plywood cause your work surface can get messy and a flat surface is good for keeping your work flat and putting your finished molded object onto so it will dry flat. I also keep plenty of paper towels handy for spills
Next, make a box about 1" or so larger than your item on all sides with foam core board. Tape it securely. When the box is complete, take the floral clay and work with it until it is about 3/4" to 1" thick and will fit into the bottom of the box filling it right to the sides. Smooth it as flat as you can. Position your item with the bottom of your item touching one side of the box edge. This will make an entrance to pour the resin later. Next, put some talcum powder onto your item and press it into the clay so that it goes into the clay half of the way. You can put a mark on your item showing a halfway point. Be sure to remove the clay from the bottom of your item on the one side. Push the clay gently towards the item making sure it is tight against the item. This will be half of your 2-part mold. On all four sides of the clay around your item, make an impression into the clay with the end of a pencil. These will form locking keys to make sure both parts of your molds will align properly. You’ll see how it works later.
Next, measure out equal parts of rubber silicone - part A and part B. I use the small plastic cups marking an A on one and B on the other. I also mark a line on the cups showing how much I pour into each cup. Next, pour both A and B cups into another bigger cup and mix thoroughly until the mixture is one solid color. Part A is usually a white color and B is usually blue so, you can see when they are completely mixed. This can take up to 3 minutes depending on how much you have used. You can use a brush to paint a thin layer of the rubber onto your item to make sure it goes into all the cracks and spaces. This is to insure there are no air bubbles. Then pour the rest of the mixture over your item and the clay until it is completely covered and about another inch or so higher. It helps if you mark a line 1" over your item, then you will know when to stop pouring. The set up time for the mold is 4 hours so now you can rest after you throw away your 3 cups and mixing sticks!
After the 4 hours carefully cut two corners of the box and pull one side of your box down and pull away two other sides until you can pull the whole piece (clay and rubber) out. This way you won’t have to make another box. You can use the same box for making the second part of the mold, which will be in Lesson 2, Day 4.
After the 4 hours carefully cut two corners of the box and pull one side of your box down and pull away two other sides until you can pull the whole piece (clay and rubber) out. This way you won’t have to make another box. You can use the same box for the second part. Try and keep your item in the silicone rubber part and pull off the clay part. You will then have your item in the silicone rubber and 4 hole impressions will be visible. Next, put the silicone rubber and your item back into the box and tape up the torn edges. Brush mold release on the rubber surfaces only and into the locking keys all around your item (anything that is blue). This will prevent the two mold halves from sticking together and ruining your mold. Mix more equal parts of silicone Part A and Part B together and pour it into the box again making sure to go about 1" over the top of the item. Then, let this cure for another 4 hours.
When 4 hours are up, break your box away from your mold and gently pry open the two parts. You can then take out your original item. You now have your two-part mold
Before you can pour resin into your mold, you have to put the two parts together, matching locking pieces, and secure them tightly with rubber bands. Stand the mold up so you can pour the resin into the opening you created by putting your item right on one side of your box.
Next, using new plastic cups marked A and B, pour equal amounts of the two part resin in each cup up to your marked lines. Pour both A and B cups into another larger cup and mix thoroughly until the resin is clear – usually about one minute. This resin starts to cure fast in 3 minutes so I usually stir the mixture for about one minute until I feel the cup getting slightly warm then pour it into my mold. Let is set for about 10 minutes in the mold until the resin you see in the opening turns white and feels hard to the touch. Take the rubber bands off and gently pull apart the two halves. The item will be somewhat flexible when you first take it out but it will firm up quickly. This is usually the time to trim any mistakes away. If needed you can sand your item when it is totally hardened then paint it. I use regular acrylic paints.
Last edited by minus_t; October 30th, 2008 at 19:09.
Normally, I would like to say that this is a good tutorial.
It is well laid out, pictures are very good, and everything is explained very well.
However this has tons of issues that need to be pointed out.
Sadly to start with, this seems like less then novice advice for the most part.
One thing that is forgotten (at least I know I missed reading it) is that it should be stated that you are not to use this method for replicating ANY GW parts. As such, any replication is copyrighted, to my understanding at least.
Worst case for doing so, is that you will be fined if you are caught selling pieces you replicate. Best case, is that you will not be allowed to use any models in a GW store, or sanctioned tournament once it is established that you are making molds of GW minis.
I understand that you did not put it here for that intent, however *SOME* people who are misinformed may get the idea to do GW replicating, and I figured I should point out that you should not do that. I myself have done a few molter conversions using simple molds and GS... However I do not use those models at GW, and do not advertise how I do it, or in any case, sell them.
I am not sure how 'mold making' articles of this fashion flow (so to speak) on LO, as no one really posts them, so I figured that I would just let you know that you should update your thread to post concerns about using your techniques with GW models.
Now, onto the actually tutorial. As I said above, this seems less then novice skill wise. That is not an attack, or an insult, and I hope you do not take it that way. Furthermore, I do not wish to discourage you from posting more tutorials in this forum. Seeing as how well articulated and how good the pictures are, and what seems to be a decent working knowledge of some cool things mentioned in this article, I am sure that you have some awesome stuff you can teach us. Be this the correct forum to outlet said awesome knowledge, I guess a mod or admin will have to give a final ruling on that. But to my understanding, it is ok on these forums, again, as long as it is not for the use of making GW minis of your own.
Ok, finally, I will critique your article. My experience with making molds is definitely NOT as good as yours. Your article clearly shows and states that you have some good working knowledge of the subject, far beyond my own. However, you have missed a few things about mold making that is 'mold making 101' so to speak.... 2 things came to mind right away just by looking at the pictures, before I read...
1. Where are the wood/metal braces for the mold?! When using elastics to keep the mold together, it is very VERY good practice (usually wood is recommended, from what I've read) to keep thin wood/metal planks on either side of the mold, that way when you put the elastic on, it keeps the mold from bending under stress (since the mold material is mostly soft), and It also helps the elastics to keep more tension on the mold, to keep it together, and prevent mold lines a little bit more.
2. Where are the air exhausts? EVERY EVERY EVERY 3 dimensional mold need air exhausts. These are simple 3mm-7mm (sometimes bigger, sometimes smaller) wholes that run from the mold object to the top of the mold where you poor in the substance that will create the final model. This is done to remove air bubbles within the final result, thus creating a stronger mold. I am sure you have yet to run into this problem, but it is a huge waste to wait all the time for the mold to dry, only to remove it, and find a big ugly missing part, because of an air bubble. There are also other reasons for this....
Regardless though, those are 2 very novice things that should be in this tutorial. The fact that they are not, urges me to strongly recommend that anyone interested in this tutorial, look for other tutorials online of this sort, for better advice, and a full working knowledge of the subject. I myself am no where near passing a novice skill level with mold making at all. And probably never will be. But please in the future, make sure you post tutorials truly and accurately. Based on how well you articulate yourself, one could expect that you consider yourself a veteran in the subject, and thus might follow this to the 'T' and make the same mistakes as you. This is an tutorial clearly written under what seems like false pretenses.
Furthermore, looking at the 2 mold pieces themselves, your mixing skills seem to be not too good, and could use some improvement. The very last picture in this tutorial, clearly shows TONS of air pockets in the mold itself. This is bad practice, clearly another novice mistake. When pouring the mix of what will soon be the mold, you need to pour it in a certain way, after mixing it properly, to minimize the bubbles. Because bubbles in the mold pieces itself, will produce an undesired result in anything else that you try and cast using the mold.
Again, I am not trying to scare you away. And I am not angry. I am just wishing that in the future, you state that you are a novice at this, or an intermediate (as the case also may be), and not to take this tutorial as 100% true. When the time comes when you are no longer making silly mistakes, that I have mentioned above, then by all means, post tutorials like this, with no mention as to how long you have been doing this, or any legal issues that may arise due to what this teaches.
Also the title suggests that you are going to teach people how to mold GW parts. Maybe that is reaching, however when I read 'molding your parts....' I immediately thought that you meant GW sprue parts.
I enjoyed reading it non-the less. It is a clear example that even at a novice skill level, you can still create cool things (especially for scenery) very efficiently fast, and costly! I hope to read more tutorials properly created in the future!!
(again, sorry if this sounds rude, I am actually quite happy, this was a fun tutorial to read, I just wished there were not so many issues with it. Also if you have any questions about what I mean by exhaust ports and whatnot, I will draw you up a picture if you ask, however, I am going to bed right now, so have a nice night )
As goblin said:
1) You need to ensure that the mould support box is rigid, and I wouldn't mould a wooden item like this without sealing it, the wood grain is a multitude of undercuts to trap silicone...(I can see the grain lines in your mould). I would use lego to form the box, as it is rigid, cheap and can be washed easily enough...
2) The mould needs sprues to allow escape of air, even on a simple piece such as this column - the sprues should come off the top corners of the bottom of the pillar - I would probably have a seperate pour-hole on this piece as well, rather than pouring straight from the base...vents are very, very, very important. I would actually cast this slightly off-axis, as bubbles tend to get trapped in corners, and would probably put a couple of undercuts to teh corners in there to create air-trap releases...
3) Use a non-sulphur based modelly clay, and you don't really have to use as much, you can create what is essentially a honeycomb layer, up to the layer you want the mould to be, then make a solid layer around the moulded object.
3) Paint several layers of rubber onto the model first, to help prevent bubbles forming close to the model, and ensuring the rubber flows into all the cracks/crevases. Pouring the silicone from about 1 foot above, and into one corner of teh mould, and allowing it to flow through is a better method of pouring to prevent bubbles..If the mould is resting on a table, bang the table a couple of times to encourage air-bubbles to rise to the surface.
4) Resin is extremely toxic, so wear a mask when sanding it. ANd as stated, make sure that the the box is rigid when you put the rubber bands around to prevent leaks and to prevent distorting the mould.
5) As stated, this is a method to make moulds of objects that are NOT copyrighted. Casting something that even contains a couple of Games Workshop parts without their permission is illegal, and if sold could potentially lead to legal action and fines. Case in point is Scribor, who produces (mass-produced) GW kit-bashes, he is being investigated by GW for breach of copyright and IP.
Last edited by kithre; October 30th, 2008 at 13:39.
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Thanks for making my post a little more understandable! I am not fully aware of all of the technical terms, and I tend to blather on LOL. You're post is much clearer to understand!
But again, there are a few pouring techniques (I have read about 2 different ones, don't ask for links as that was a while ago and have since lost them), which can also help with the issue of air and whatnot and so forth!
Thank you for the feedback i do appreciate it, I am putting together a much more detailed one now including the items i left out as you are right with smaller parts vents are a good idea I have been custom fabricating parts for years now for a model shop and often forget to start at the beginning when explaining.
Also i am sorry to anyone who thought i meant you should copy parts off a spur DO NOT DO THAT, this was intended for someone who wants to replicate parts they have made them selves. If you like the parts on a spur either by more of them or draw it out cut it out of plastic and make your own, not that hard, with a little bit of plastic you can make almost anything.
Well thank you again and i am sorry if my post caused any trouble