|One-piece silicone cut molds are a relatively easy way to cast miniatures in resin.
Six years ago we ventured into the world of resin casting to make copies of some of our conversions. It took a lot of trial and error to get something that worked consistently, but we found making a pressure pot was essential. All of the molds we created over the years were two piece molds, which are quite labor intensive. After watching a few YouTube videos by Miscast, where he talks about some of the imaginative models he converted and cast, I started to think about the prospect of creating molds again. What interested me most was trying to make single-piece cut molds, like Miscast favors. These are molds where you pour the silicone all at one time, creating a solid block of silicone surrounding the model. You then use a blade to cut the original model out of the silicone, taking care to cut it just enough to release the model and remain as a single piece. Robert Tolone has some excellent YouTube videos about the process that I encourage you to watch if you are interested. In one of his videos, he used one-piece cut molds to cast some characters from the excellent board game Root. In it, he attaches the models to small plastic cups and pours the silicone into them. This seemed like a relatively straightforward process, so I decided to give it a try, making molds of some old metal Games Workshop models I hope to use as a basis for conversions in the future!
|After preparing the models, including adding any vents, I superglued them to the bottom of a plastic cup. At this point they are ready to have silicone poured into them.
|The poured silicone after it has cured for 6 hours, ready to remove the plastic cup (it can easily be cut off) and cut the mold open.
|With the cup removed and the mold inverted, you can see the sprue. I will cut along the sides of this to remove the model and sprue from the silicone mold.
|Using an X-acto blade, I cut along the model, pulling the mold apart as I do so to make the process easier. In the beginning I make a jagged cut to ensure the mold can only go back together one way.
An example of a completed cast. There are a few minor bubbles, but all are easily fixed with modeling putty.
It is fun to be exploring the world of resin casting again. I was amazed how much one-piece molds simplify the casting process. They make creating the mold quicker, only requiring you to pour silicone once, and result in less mold lines because it is earlier to align the mold since it is a single piece. Now that I have gotten the process working, I am excited to convert some models and make molds for them!
- Eric Wier