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Photoalbum

 
Making silicone molds and casting items from resin

 One way of enjoying this diecast hobby is building dioramas to photograph or display your cars in. I have many requests about casting and how to do it. I am going to do my very best to explain what I have learned. First, it is a bit on the expensive side to do, also quite messy. The amount and quanity of molds you can make from one kit strongly depends on how big your molds are going to be and how many pieces you are going to mold. The Alumilite kit pictured will run you thirty to thirty five dollars. The resin kit, Parts A & B are also about thirty to thirty five dollars. It is a very tedious and messy process, but worth it in my opinion. Humidity and room temprature will play a great factor in the quality of your products and results of your molds throughout this process.


This in the Alumilite Kit I use to fabricate the molds I use to cast my resin pieces. It is available at about any hobby or craft stores.

As stated above, this is a tedious and expensive process. I hate to admit, but I have had several  "TRIAL & ERRORS".  What  I have learned by experience and several of my trial and errors, I sincerely hope to be able to share to all who is interested.  I have invested hundreds and hundreds of dollars over a 10 - 12 year span now, but have learned quite a bit of what and what not to do. I believe the most important thing to know first is humidity should be a mid range, 70 - 80% and room temprature should be 65 degrees to about 80 degree range. This will greatly affect the resin drying process and prevent the resin from bubbling up in the molds. Once you get started casting the pieces, you must move quickly due to the mixed resin setting up so quickly. Having the few tools needed handy, and your set up and work area organized will aid in the working time a great deal. This stuff can be very messy and sticks to about any surface it gets on. Prepare your work area well so you won't have to buy the wife a new dinning table!!! 

Resin Bottles ~ Part A & Part B

The resin comes as part A and part B. Lids should be kept tightly in place when not in use as this stuff is not air friendly once opened. It should me mix thouroughly, quickly and in even amounts needed. Wipe mixing cups immediately after pouring into molds. Your cup will last a little longer. I use popcicle sticks to do the mixing.

Basic Helpful Tools

The tools pictured are a putty knife for scraping excess resin from the top of the molds. Pin sticks for poking and swirling the resin around in the mold to help ot flow into tight areas and prevent air bubbles. Razor knife for trimming flashing. Anything you can find to spresd molding area to help assure resin flows into tighter areas. Plastic disposable mixing and measuring cups (3). Mark and keep apart. One for measuring Part A and one for measuring Part B. Pour both into larger mixing cup and mix well and pour into molds. Once the resin parts are combined, it sets up quickly.

Mold Pods

These small plastic cups are good for fabricating the silicone molds. They are good for molding 1 or 2 small pieces. I liked these because of the grove on the bottom of the cup. When the silicone has dried and removed, you have to turn it upside down to have your mold. That little grove in the bottom of the cup now becomes a small ridge on top of the mold and prevents any excess resin from running off. Just about any kind of a cup or plastic box can be used for this purpose.

Plastic Box Mold Pod

I used plastic boxes like this one for molding mutiple items. Glue the items to the bottom of the box or pod to be molded, leaving ample space between each. I used Elmers wood glue and spread a small amount of the molding pieces. Wipe off all excess to a sticky film on the piece. Any excess will squeeze from the bottom when you put it in place and goof up your resin piece later. The wood glue bonds good, but also breaks loose when finished and your piece is not wasted.

Set Up & Layout

I have sort of developed a routine of casting. I spread a disposable cloth or plastic over what I am working over, because what ever the resin gets on, it stays on. Flexible rubber gloves are also highly recommended. Having everything within easy reach helps allot, and keeping the tools clean as you go, because what the resin gets on it stays on. As the resin is drying, I use that time to chean and scrape the tools. You will also need allot of paper towels.  

Mixing and Measuring

Notice the different size plastic cups sitting on the table. Two of the smaller ones are for measuring equal amounts of part A and B of the resin. Keep part A cup with part A of the resin and part B cup with part B of the resin. The larger cup is for mixing the two. If I am casting from a small mold I will only use 1 each of the small mixing cup that comes with the Alumilite kits. I have purchased several of these kits, so I have several small measuring cups.  If I am casting from a mold of several pieces, I will use and mix 1 larger cup of each. Mixing equal amounts of part A and part B is very important. 

Single Item Mold

This was one of the first molds I made. I used a plain old paper cup and it worked fine. Later I realized it was a waste of the RTV silicone and began making multiple item molds.

Resin Cast Customizing & Performance Pieces

Some of these performance and customizing pieces were hand carved from styrene modlers plastic and others were actual pieces from diecast cars. Each piece was glued to the bottom of a mold pod and the RTV silicone poured over them.

Resin Cast Diorama Pieces

I have now developed different ways of molding and casting about any piece I have in mind to do. Some pieces I had to cut cleanly in half to mold each side separate, and after casting eash side had to be glued back together to form 1 piece that has two sides. Such as the Shop Compressor pictured below.

Two Sided Item ~ Shop Compressor

By using this method of casting, I call "pouring method" you are going to have one flat side of any item. That is where the resin fills to the top surface of the mold. This Shop Compressor is two cast pieces cast and glued together. The original piese was cut in half to mold the right side and left side separate. As described above.

Assembled Resin Cast Car Trailer

I have designed and built these car tdrailers for about 15 years now. I used to cut every piece from styrene modlers plastic and glue them all together. Time factor was a killer. Now I cast my frame, wheels, and fenders from resin, I have created molds for 1 piece frames now, which adds to durability and saves a great amount of time.

Detailed Shop Diorama Items

Once these items are cleaned, sanded (if needed), painted and detailed, they definitely make some fine diorama pieces. I cut logos, banners, and labels from magazines and resize them as needed on color copy machines at any copy center. That is how I achieved the paper work on the desk.

Painting and Detailing

I have found the easiest paint to use and work with is this regular and inexpensive water based craft paint. It covers well and is available at Walmart and any craft store. I paint the items as needed and spray 1 to 3 cotes of this matte finich clear cote to protect from wear and chipping. 

 
   
 

I do sincerely hope this gives some good insight of what is involved here and hope it helps those who wish to venture. Like I said, it is a bit expensive and can be quite messy. Flexible rubber gloves are highly recommended. Best of luck to all who try!!!