I haven’t made a lick of progress on any actual model kits–although I’ve been eyeballing a couple in the backlog. Instead, I’ve been continuing the learning curve on resin casting. And what a learning curve it’s been! I learned very quickly that I’m not set up to properly cast very small, thin, detailed parts. On the other hand, larger parts–and their details–cast very well. As a result, I have a number of different molds (I think I’m up to five molds at this point). And I’m also generating a little army of cloned 1:20 pilot heads. If nothing else, they’ll be fantastic painting practice. I recently ordered this guy from Colorado Miniatures. And now, rather than use up my single purchase, I can cast copies of him–for my own personal, private use–and practice painting and modifying him. The first attempt at painting him is pictured there to the right.
I suppose that I should briefly talk about the ethics of resin casting here. If I buy something, and make a hundred copies that will only be used by myself, I think that’s perfectly legitimate. If I buy something and modify it in some way so that it is definitely and clearly unique and separate from the original product–and then sell it–that’s okay too. However, if I just buy something, make copies of it, and sell those copies (be it for profit or not), that’s not good. That’s called "re-casting" and tends to rob the original artist of the money (tho’ it’s not much) and the credit they deserve. A little more gray area is the fact that this particular guy is completely out-of-production and pretty difficult to find. I consider myself very fortunate that I got ahold of this one. In short, if someone asked for one, and all other resources had been exhuasted, I might be inclined to hand over one. It would depend on a few things.
I’ve been absolutely amazed–after painting a "stock" pilot and this guy, side-by-side–how much detail there is in the aftermarket pilot. The level of detail is to the point where he almost (almost) paints himself. The biggest trick for me is trying to keep air bubbles out of the resin while it cures. And I’m getting better, but I still probably have almost as many seriously flawed casts as I do good ones. And, for some reason, air bubbles love getting trapped in the nose. So when I go to pull them out of the mold, there’s a nice little perfect circular crater right where the end of their nose should be. Rather than try to fix the flawed cast, I just attempt to make another one–and hopefully get the air bubbles out of the nose with a toothpick.
Ah, the endless pursuit of perfection…

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