Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hobby 101: Making a Silicone Mould for Resin Casting

First of all, credits to Jeff Brooks for he was the one that taught me. It's time to share the knowledge. Keep in mind, this walkthrough is meant for a one-sided casting which is more suitable for cating resin bases or terrain. I have yet to successfully make a two-part mould, for I am just a servitor, and need to learn more from the Forgemaster.

Before you start, make sure you have all of these available:
- a plastic container/CD rack
- RTV silicone and catalyst
- silicone release agent
- putty/modelling clay
- the 'master'
- double-sided tape/PVA glue
- toothpick

The very first thing that you must do is to plan; how big your 'master' is going to be and make one. Quoting Khairul: "If you fail to plan, you're planning to fail." Some very important useful tip from Jeff: (1) make sure your 'master' is solid and secure, and (2) avoid undercuts whenever possible. The size of the plastic container that you're going to need is determined by the size of your 'master'. Pictured below is a plastic container I used, overturned, and a hole made at its base. Please ignore the blue stuff for now.

Let's move on. These are my 'masters', glued to the lid using a double-sided tape. Remember to make sure that the base is totally clean, and the 'master' is glued properly and evenly on all sides.

This is the RTV silicone I used. My advice: read the manual and follow exactly as written. Make sure you mixed enough catalyst needed to the amount of silicone used, and pay attention to the mixing ratio; is it per weight or per oz. Unless you have a micro weighing scale, I do not suggest the ones mixed per weight (although they tend to be cheaper than its counterpart).

Once the mixture is ready, it is ready to be poured into the container. There are two things that you need to pay attention before pouring it:
(1) the lids are tightly shut, and packed with putty/modelling clay. Yes, that's the blue stuff in the picture.
(2) apply silicone release agent generously over the master and base of container. I used the spray can agent, while a friend of mine swears by vaseline gel. Well, either way works as long as you get the intended result.

Once those two things are secured, pour the whole thing in and leave it overnight. It should be perfectly cured after 24 hours under room temperature, but it could be much faster if you happened to have a vacuum-pressure pot. However, if you have mixed the aforementioned catalyst insufficiently, please be prepared to wait up until 2++ weeks for the mould to properly cure, regardless whether you have a vacuum pressure pot or not.

This is how the mould should look like after it cured and released from the container. Extract the 'masters' gently and this is where the toothpick came into the picture. Once all 'masters' are extracted, the mould is  now ready for resin casting. There are lots of two-part liquid resin out there, each with its pros and cons (and price). You'll need to do some research here.

And there you have it, a quick walkthrough on how to make a mould for resin casting. A dear friend of mine who migrated to Australia gave me his set of vacuum suction cups to use for moulding (pictured below). I have yet to test them as the stuff that I currently need to mould were quite large. Rest assured, I will utilize them someday.

Hope this helps, and feel free to ask any question. Hope you'd enjoy making a mould as much as I did.

Monday, March 28, 2011

K2: Tales of the Harlequin, Part 3

Where am I?”

Nothingness all around, total silence everywhere. It was not for long, as the emptiness was broken by a sudden throbbing sound to her right. It was the engine, struggling to function normally as a laser shot pierced through the holofield.

Then, it dawned upon her. She was piloting her Falcon on a reconnaissance mission, before she was ambushed by the daemonic monkeighs. Doom was definitely impending and somehow, she ended up in this mysterious null void.

A shrieking laughter broke the tranquility.

Fear not my child for you has been chosen by Cegorach. Now, fly towards the light.


Another one?”

The Yme-Loc artisan looked quizzically as an Iybraesil Falcon materialized through the webway gate. It was simply astonishing to see how the Harlequins obtained their resources. All manners of damaged vehicles from all sorts of Craftworlds and Corsairs were salvaged in the last few months. In respect to their pact, they wouldn’t dare to question the Harlequins. Especially, since that person made a sudden appearance within their midst.

Is it true? Is it really that near?” the artisan questioned himself.

The port door suddenly opened, and ranks of warriors from the Fire Dragon Path emerged from the doorway. Then, he walked out ceremoniously.

The Yme-Loc then mumbled, “Speak of the phoenix…


Monday, March 7, 2011

K2: Tales of the Harlequin, Part 2

The red-garbed figure was sitting quietly at the end of the room. This person, whom most believed to be almost as potent as the legendary Eldrad, was reading a book regarding the history of the Old Ones’ lizard-like servants. A small webway portal suddenly materialized right in front of him, yet the great farseer maintained his calmness. Instead he spoke,

I’ve been expecting you, my brother. Came to reclaim your guardians, are you not?”

An orange-robed figure wearing very intricate bone armour underneath walked out of the portal, nodded and smiled courteously as he took off his ghosthelm. As it has always been, accompanying by his side was a herald of Cegorach.

There was a long history between these two farseers, but a quite recent event made strengthened their friendship, respect and alliance. The Saim-Hann, at that time needed manpower to join the war of Arenxis. The Ilfirin had the support of multiple Exodite worlds, but not the skills and knowledge of the path of Khaine. The need was mutual, and an agreement was achieved.

The three figures walked in unison towards the viewing glass. The Saim-Hann has built a Haven Spire in the midst of many asteroid fields within the Glenmarie Sector. As they were looking out, observing the multiple dragonships and wraithships under construction, the harlequin suddenly hymned,

“Craftworlds and Corsairs must be united. Then, the five shall gather.
The Maugetar and The Master of Blades must be sought. Then, there will be seven.”

As the Saim-Hann farseer looked quizzically at the harlequin, the Ilfirin farseer spoke,

That’s…another reason I’m here, brother. We need your help to get in touch with Altansar again, we need Maugan-Ra.

The red farseer immediately replied, “It shall be done. You’ve probably figured out of Arhra’s whereabouts, am I not wrong?

His counterpart smiled again. Then, while putting on his ghosthelm, he answered,

That will be all, brother. And, as you’ve said earlier, I need my men back. Minaith will be here shortly.

The Ilfirin farseer and the harlequin stepped into the webway and disappeared.