The Resinator

Over the weekend, I tried out something entirely new for my modeling: Casting things in resin. It was an interesting process–with interesting results–but I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. Here’s what I’ve done.
  1. Source Material: First step is to have something to cast. In this case, it was the laser-arm to a Ma.K. kit (which I don’t have) called a "Raptor". It came as part of a resin conversion set. Another word for what I was dong here is "re-casting". That’s where you take a resin piece and cast copies of it yourself. I just happened to pick this one because I knew it’d be relatively easy to set up and practice with. I did a little sanding work on it–which led to having to re-scribe a line in the arm–but that was just to help get the best possible cast.
  2. Mold Box: After you have the source material cleaned and ready, you super-glue it to a sheet of styrene. After that, you build a box around it with Legos. I "sealed" the Legos to the styrene using sticky-tak (that clay-like stuff you use to hang posters to walls in dorm rooms, etc.).
  3. Rubber Goo: After the mold box is ready to go, you mix up the mold-making material–getting a nice, pink consistency–and carefully pour it into the Lego box. Once that’s done, I put mine on the clothes dryer for about 30 minutes. The subtle vibrations (and just a little bit of heat) help work the air bubbles out of the mold material. After that thirty minutes, wait 24-48 hours for the goo to cure.
  4. Three-Dimensional Copy Machine: After the mold has cured, remove the Lego box, and remove the original part from inside your rubber box. Once that’s done, mix and pour your resin, and now you’re making copies!
For the record, I’m using Alumilite resin. I know that everyone complains it’s the worst stuff in the universe, but I’m actually having really good results with it. So far, I’ve cast that arm, a couple of heads, and I have another mold curing for a project I’m going to start sooner than I had anticipated. If Alisha hadn’t gotten me the materials to start on this for my birthday… I’d probably still be just thinking about doing this a year from now.
As it stands, I think I’m starting to get the hang of it. And it’s a lot of fun. This is going to lead to some unique–and challenging–projects very soon.

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