Minis and Molds

Discussion in 'Games: RPG & Miniatures' started by Koohii, Apr 21, 2010.

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  1. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    First: I'm not soliciting for business.

    Now that my hobby table is out and I've had time and room, I've been experimenting with RTV mold-making using minis. Naturally, I started with StarWars WEG minis. Used the rare, hard to find, unpainted WEG minis as a base, make a 2-piece mold, then start casting. The results aren't bad. So long as I get the A/B ratio close, they new minis are pretty clean. Best of all, since I can cast with clear epoxy, I can make clear-domed R3 astromechs and holograms of anything. Started casting some snowtroopers and protocol droids too, even though WotC has made finding snowtroopers and stormtroopers much easier.
    Anyone want to see the results? Requests for figures you'd like to see me try?

    Also making lightsaber emitter shrouds for vader sabers based on a Heiland cast iron piece. Debating trying to sell those. Cast iron replicas run $20-25. I figure I can make & sell resin ones for $2. Sure, they won't stand up to stage fighting, but with that kind of price difference...
  2. Jedi_Dajuan Admin: FanForce and Games

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Dec 30, 2002
    star 6
    I'd love to see your work! As for requests, I could think of dozens of characters and species that WotC left out. But I'll keep it simple for now: any of the Young Jedi Knights (Tahiri, Tenal Ka, Lowie etc) would be awesome :D
  3. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    yeah, up WEG never made them, because they lost their license to make anything just as the prequels came out.
  4. FlareStorm Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Nov 13, 2000
    star 6
    post pics!

    I'd love custom minis for my PCs and such, if I were playing atm
  5. KudosDas Jedi Master

    Member Since:
    Jan 14, 2005
    star 2
    Lets seem 'em Koohii! I always love seeing what other fans are capable of doing be it art, writing or what not!
  6. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    My current website (still under construction) can be found here and in my profile. It has all sorts of photo work, painted minis, computer art, professional samples (I used to work at McGraw Hill in their computer books division), animations.

    So, as far as RTV molds and casting go... it's been an interesting week. This is probablly going to be much, much more than almost anyone want's to actually see. If you don't want the how-to tutorial, just jump to the bottom of this post to see the results. Here goes.

    So, I decided to also make copies of WotC's R4-?? and R5-D4. WEG's R2 and R5 are in static standing poses, where WotC's are 'rolling out'.
    First step is to build up a clay block that will cover half of the mini. Decide carefully where the seam will go. Bury the mini half-way into the the clay. Since I don't want the label info, I also filled in the underside of the base stand. The clay is a modeling clay that can be constantly reused. It becomes more maleable when heated (say by the body heat of your hand). A little kneading will soften it to get better results. Poke a couple of 'divots' into the base clay with a brush. This builds anchor points for your mold
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess1.jpg]
    Next I built a little sliver of clay that I attached to the front of the base to be a 'pour hole' for the resin. Alternative is to put it at the top or bottom, but because of the way the mini is built, I thought the top might be better.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess2.jpg]
    Next, build up walls of clay around the mini taller than the original plus about 1/2 inch or more.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess3.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess4.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess5.jpg]
    Next, pour the silicone base into a mixing cup. I use a 'best guess' for quantitiy--can always make more, and have a side mold in case I accidentally make way too much(doesn't happen often). Some people like Urethane, but for me it is way too fussy, and when I got it wrong, once it completely gummed up my original. I'm just not that precise with mixing like that. Back to Silicone. So, Then Pour in the B activator and stir. First couple times I didn't use enough. This material is fairly forgiving with proportions. Too much, and it cures faster. Not enough and you're waiting a day or so for it so finish. Once you mix them, you just keep stirring until the color is even. Mix and mix and mix... You can add coloring if you want to. Whatever. I don't have a 'standard'. The advantage of having different coloring is that it is easier to tell where the mold is supposed to split later. (there are other tricks for that.) Scrape the stir-stick against the sides several times--make sure that every drop possible is used!
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess6.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess7.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess8.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess9.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess10.jpg]
    So, Start pouring into the molds once the color is even. I have scraps and trim from previous molds I can use to 'beef up' or fill in new molds. It may seem a little 'cheapskate', but materials are expensive. Waste not, want not.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess11.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess12.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/rtvmolds/castingprocess13.jpg]
    OK, the scraps thing can look a little disreputable, but that's where the 'leftovers' from your next casting go to fill in.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledes
  7. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    So, time for an update:
    I've worked out a lot of the bugs with my R2, R3, and R4 molds--R5 coming soon.
    Bought a box of WotC minis today and got a Bacta Tank, which just begs to be duplicated--even if it means useing the 3-days-to-dry apoxy.
    Also got the MSE mouse droids going. For some reason, WotC put 2 droids on one stand. Stranger still, they painted them silver/steel instead of the charcoal grey/black that the original droids were. I made a copy, chopped the droids off the stand, and glued one back on in the center. And made a mold of the 1-droid disk. So now I have the option of 1 MSE-6 or 2 per stand.

    Thought I'd make the TS-Arach Pest Control Droid by skulpting clay and making a mold as an entirely original project. Might even make the larger BT Border-Patrol droid. Anyone else ever try that?

    Started me thinking... Since I can mass produce & paint R2s to look however I want, would the R2-KT people want one/some? (not charging obviously)

    I think I'll finish painting and send them pics to see what they say.

    Any thoughts? Suggestions?
  8. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
    I don't know how the R2-KT people or LFL feel about it but I'd sure take one!
    I'd love to have R2-KT make an appearance in some SWRPG adventures :)
  9. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    So, here are 3 images (front, profile, back) of an R2-D2 pained cast, R2-KT cast, and a blue R4 astromech
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/r2kt1.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/r2kt2.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/r2kt3.jpg]

    And here's the MSE-6 miniatures, including 1 original pairing, a couple of individuals, and a 3-some.
    Which is the original?

    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a1.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a2.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a3.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a4.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a5.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a6.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/mse6a7.jpg]
  10. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    got an email from Albin Johnson saying he was ok with it. First one will be mailed to him.

    Maybe we can get WotC to make a special release figure the same way hasbro did?
  11. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
    Maybe if they still had the license. Sadly, I'm not thinking we will ever see a WotC R2-KT.
    :(

    I wonder how effective an online petition/Facebook page would be...
  12. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    If you start it, I'll sign it.
    Maybe it will be handled by whoever picks up the SW license.
  13. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
    At work atm and can't FB, but I think I will, soon as I get home [face_peace]
    I'll put up a thread on the RMFF page, too.
  14. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
    So...anyone know how to make a FB page? I thought it would be something I could do from within my profile but it doesn't seem to work that way.
  15. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    OK, 3-day epoxy for the Bacta tanks turned out pretty spiffy! I even took extra time with one to put in a "top" with blue dye mixed in, waited a day and poored a body of plain clear, and waited another day to poor a clear-blue base. Photos soon.
    Others that were entirely "plain" clear turned out well too. There's a slight pearlescence to the originals that my copies make up for with tiny bubbles. Maybe I'll add some pearl to the next all-clear one to check out the results.
    Anyway, I'm pleased with most of the results.
  16. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
    Just curious, but if I were to paint some of my WOTC minis, what type of paint is reccomended?

    I want them to look as close to factory painted as I can but I also want something durable that won't chip.

    Trying to turn Bith Rebels into Figrin D'an and the gang, but I've also got a few more, like multiple Dark Star Hellion on Swoop Bike's that I'd like to "De-Clone".

    Thanks! [face_peace]
  17. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    I like the old Ral Partha paints from about 10 years ago, but they're a little hard to come by. There are some generic water-based acrylics that work almost as well.
    The big thing to do is after you've painted, hit it/them with a clear-coat spraypaint. (glossy or matt/flat, depending on which you want)
    I also like Testors, but they aren't water-based (except for a few).
    Humbrol makes good paints too.

    Sadly, like most art forms, it's trial and error.
  18. -Gundark- Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Apr 1, 2010
    star 4
  19. Black-Dog Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 27, 2008
    star 4
    :eek:That is so cool! =D= I wish I had the time and patience to make molds like those, so I makes due with painting what extra minis I get.
  20. Koohii Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    May 30, 2003
    star 5
    OK, here's a test. Someone was kind enough to point out that what I was doing was "re-casting" because I was copying existing minis. OK, that said, which of the Bacta Tanks below are originals, and which are my copies? (The blue should be a clue). There are 2 originals.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/bactachambers1.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/bactachambers2.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/bactachambers3.jpg]

    Below are pics of my first attempts to make a TS-Arach Pest Control Droid. I'm not exactly happy with the results, but it was a first attempt. WotC R2 re-casting included for scale.
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids1.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids2.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids3.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids4.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids5.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/TSarachDroids6.jpg]

    and some MSE-6 droids:
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/MSE-1.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/MSE-2.jpg]
    [image=http://www.elasticsmiledesign.info/artprojects/miniatures/molds/MSE-3.jpg]
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