Home Forums General General Question about resins for casting

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • Author
    Posts
  • #50982
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    So I’d like to start casting things I’ve sculpted/scratchbuilt in resin. What kind of resin do people in the hobby normally use and where do they get hold of it?

    I’ve asked this before (years ago on TMP) but the high-quality brand of epoxy resin recommended to me then turned out to be very expensive and difficult to procure for me (I’m in Sweden). I’m hoping against hope that there are more commonplace casting resins that one might find in the right kind of store (maybe a craft store or artist’s supply store) anywhere in the western world. But I’m not familiar with these things, so I’m also kind of hoping that someone here might guide me a bit in my pursuit of understanding the conventions and options of resin casting.

    I’d like to cast some pillars for a start. I’d be prepared to make them in plaster (which I could hope to strengthen by painting over the finished pieces in PVA) if not for the fact that I suspect they won’t dry inside the mould. They’re fairly long, thin pillars, meaning the mould is long and thin as well so moisture is likely to get trapped inside when I pour the plaster. Hence my quest for resin, which hardens without moisture evaporation. The mould itself I’ve made out of brush-on air-drying latex – the only mouldmaking material I can get from local craft stores.

    It’s frustrating that I can’t cast what I’ve already made a mould of. Help!

    #50986
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    I use some pretty cheap resin that is a doddle to use.
    It mixes 1:1 by volume so you can simply buy a couple of measuring cups and use that.
    Some mix by weight and in odd ratios likes 2:5 which is not as simple as equal volumes.

    Here is the stuff, and the place I buy it from:

    RESIN

    Also here is the silicone I use, also from the same place. SILICONE

    Don’t know of anything from craft stores though, sorry.

    #50989
    irishserb
    Participant

    I’m in the US, so don’t know that this will help, but I usually use:

    Vagabond Modelcast 36XXX180

    from:

    Glenmarc Industries, Inc

    http://www.glenmarc.com

    I’ve also seen a similar resin at some craft stores from a company called Alumalite in the US.  You might chase hem down and see if they have a European distributor.

    Best of luck.

    irishserb

    #51045
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Thanks for the pointers, I’ll start looking into these options.

    #51083
    willz
    Participant

    Rhoderic, you mention difficulty in sourcing modelling materials.  Have you ever thought of using melted wax as a modelling material, using Plasticine as a supporting material with latex mould (heat resistant latex required) or Plasticine coated in linseed oil (left to dry for ages).  This method works for building items like walls, bricks, pillars, boxes.  Indeed Plasticine and wax are both much under used modelling material of course this is under the assumption you have a half decent art retailer near you.

    #51089
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Wax, as in candle wax or similar? Purely instinctively, want to think it wouldn’t be a durable material (for the thin pillars I’m trying to make right now, I fear it would just break inside the mould) and might not take paint or glue very well. I don’t know that for sure, it’s just my instinct and I’d love to be mistaken. Unless you’re referring to some other kind of wax I don’t know about?

    Plasticine, as in non-drying children’s modelling clay? I might be missing something, here. First I’d have to make it pourable to properly fill the mould, does it melt over heat or something? Then there would be the issue of somehow getting it to dry inside the mould. Even assuming it does air-dry over a very long time, the mould would seal it in on all sides but one. I don’t see how I could take it out of the mould while still pliant without ruining the shape. And all this is assuming the final cast piece, once dry, doesn’t turn terribly brittle.

    Again, I might be missing something, and if other people are successfully casting terrain items in wax or plasticine, I’d love to know that it can be done.

    #51090
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I think he means use brush on latex to make the mould which will be thin and wobbly but support that Plasticine.

    ?

    #51093
    willz
    Participant

    I think he means use brush on latex to make the mould which will be thin and wobbly but support that Plasticine. ?

    You got it in one Mike, however Plasticine coated in linseed oil and or banana skin oil /varnish will form an outer hard crust. (super glue does the same thing).

    Rhoderic I think candle wax would make very durable pillars.  Look how strong candles are, you have to set fire to them for them to melt.  I made a river out of candle wax for a gaming board, it is still in use 12 years later.  Coat the wax in PVA wood glue and varnish for strength.
    I am thinking more of pressing style casting for the Plasticine and cast with wax I have done the odd box, wheel, hat casting in wax.

     

    #51096
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator

    If you get really stuck I will cast them up for you for a small fee.

     

     

    #51097
    willz
    Participant

    I know you asked about resin but is this any use to you Rhoderic

    https://www.smooth-on.com/product-line/starter-kits/

    #51099
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I think he means use brush on latex to make the mould which will be thin and wobbly but support that Plasticine. ?

    I’m foreseeing some problems with this one, I’m afraid. Brush-on latex has an annoying tendency of sticking to itself even after it’s dried. If I make a thin and wobbly mould, it’s likely that the “walls” will accidentally touch sooner or later, at which point there’s a good chance they’ll stick together and can’t be unstuck without damaging the mould. When I make a brush-on latex mould, I keep brushing on additional coatings over a course of several days until I’ve built up at least half a centimetre. Fortunately I also have an older bottle of latex that has started to turn thick and goopy, which is perfect for this purpose after I’ve done the first couple of coatings with newer, thinner latex.

    Then there’s still the question of how to get the plasticine into the mould if it’s not pourable, especially for long, thin pieces like pillars. I can’t just cram in the plasticine and expect it to fill the mould perfectly, and if using a thin and wobbly mould I’d likely just tear the latex and/or stretch it out of shape. That’s my empirical instinct, anyway. I don’t have an instinct for plasticine specifically (as I’ve never used it since early childhood) but I do have one for other modelling clays/putties and for latex.

    Rhoderic I think candle wax would make very durable pillars. Look how strong candles are, I made a river out of candle wax on a gaming board. It is still in use 12 years later, coat in PVA wood glue and varnish.

    I might experiment with this a bit, but I have my doubts. The things I want to cast have some surface detail (for instance, the aforementioned pillar has a double-helix spiral pattern winding around it) and they would be susceptible to damage if the material isn’t strong enough. The question is whether a layer of PVA would strengthen it enough the way it would plaster.

    Also, I have used candle wax before to make quick and sloppy press moulds, as well as “inverses” of surface detail which I then made latex moulds of. I found it a messy material that didn’t always come off clean after having dried.

    But I may still give it a shot. At any rate, thanks for taking the time to share my quandaries 

Viewing 11 posts - 1 through 11 (of 11 total)
  • You must be logged in to reply to this topic.