Monday, February 27, 2012

Introduction to Casting

Alrighty then, I have received more than my fair share of questions about the magic that is 'forge pat', so here we go. There is a place in my hometown that carries Alumilite products that I use for my casting. This particular place also offers 40% off coupons every other week in the local paper for after a few weeks of stocking up you quickly get all the supplies you need at a very good price. Here are the basic elements I use in casting.

Quick Set:

and High Strength:

And the actual resin that you will be using to cast with:

The resin is not the best, nor is it the worst resin. Its middle of the road and will get you the practice you need before upgrading to the type of stuff you would use to cast, gee... big things that might or might not be piloted by several fellows from a far future version of Mars - or something like that...

Moving right along, the two different mold making materials are very different and have very different uses, here in an example using the following objective marker:

I cast that objective marker in both pink (high strength) and tan (quick set) and got very different results with both:

The markers to come from the pink (high strength) lost some definition and detail as small portions of the mold ripped off after casting a few bases. The tan (quick set) performed much better on this particular cast and provided much better detail and definition. However, after about 20 casts it lost some detail and I will need to remake the mold to cast additional objectives.

What's the point? There are two different types of casting rubber for a reason and both have their uses, once you start casting and figuring out things for yourself you will see what works and what doesn't. For things like Rhino doors and front slope armor I find that the tan (quick set) works the best. For things like these:

(things that are tall and skinny) I find that the pink (high strength) works the best. 

Now, making your molds. You need something that fits nicely around your object, so you don't waste casting material, that can be easily sealed. I find lots of people that suggest using Lego's because they are readily available and very customizable to the shape you are casting. However what they don't usually tell you is that the rubber mold material will seep between the cracks in the Lego parts and you will end up with thin rubber strips in between everything that will have to be cleaned at some point. My basic building block for mold making is the icing cups you get in cinnamon rolls:

Yes, those cinnamon rolls:

They come in two sizes and they provide an excellent surface to glue them down to the plasticard with. Simply glue your cup down to a small portion of plasticard, cut off the bottom and glue down your 'master copy'. Once everything dries you can mix up a small portion of your rubber and begin creating your cast.

Because they come in two sizes its important to select a size that best fits your object size:

On the objective marker using the small cup drastically reduces the amount of rubber mold making material you need to use. Selecting the large one will end up wasting allot of material:

As you can see there is a large difference in which one you select that will end up costing you money in the end by wasting materials!

For things like heavy weapon bases I have used mayonnaise jar lids for casting, anything can be used to create a mold just keep you eye on the recycling and trash bins. I have a collection of peanut butter jars, butter dishes and even cream cheese containers in my hobby area all waiting to be used for casting.

That is a very general introduction and the actual process of getting your supplies and preparing your molds. Later ill cover some of the finer points on removing the air bubbles and pouring the resin. Of course if anyone has any questions - please ask!


  1. oh dear, I suppose I will have to do the follow up article now ;)

  2. Hey man! Love this post. I am always looking for good hobby articles as we are about to create a resources section on my blog:

    I would love to add yours when we launch that. With credit and links back of course! (Good for SEO). Email me at I would love to exchange blog links too.