How to Make Resin Models

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A resin model is often handmade in limited quantities by small companies known as garage kit modelers. More expensive than their mass-produced styrene counterparts, resin models are usually made with high quality in mind and feature uncommon subject matter. The model making process is an involved one, but once complete can result in a high quality reproduction of an original sculpture.

Things You'll Need

  • Model sculpture
  • Clay
  • Corrugated plastic strip
  • Silicone rubber mold kit
  • Hobby knife
  • Mold release spray
  • Resin compound
  • Foam board
  • Rubber bands
  • Take your model sculpture and place it in the clay halfway, to the point at which you intend to have the seam in your resin model. Smooth the clay's edge in order to provide a clean parting line. Using the corrugated plastic strip, surround the model completely with a plastic wall until it is 1/4 to 2/8 inch higher than your model, sealing the wall to prevent leaks.

  • Mix the silicone rubber thoroughly and then pour into the sealed mold box. Pour the rubber beginning at the corner of the box, allowing it to flow completely over your sculpture, and filling the mold box by 1/4 inch higher than the model. Allow the rubber to cure fully according to manufacturer's instructions.

  • Remove the clay from the model without removing the model from the rubber. Clean all the remaining clay from the rubber and the model. Using a hobby knife, cut two "U" channels into the rubber's edge on opposite sides for new rubber to flow into and provide a guide for reassembling the mold halves later. Place the mold half back into the mold box and then spray the half with mold release spray to keep the new rubber from binding.

  • Mix and pour silicone rubber into the mold box using the same procedure as the first pour. Allow the rubber to cure completely and then remove it from your mold box. Take the mold by the seam line, and separate the two halves of your mold.

  • Use your hobby knife to cut a pour hole into your mold and if necessary, any vents for allowing the resin to run to any hard to reach areas. Also cut small channels into the bottom of your molded model for the resin to run into and push out any air in the bottom of the mold, taking care not to cut channels through to the mold's exterior. Remove the sculpture and you'll have a rubber mold ready for the resin pour.

  • Coat the two halves of your rubber mold with talcum powder to help remove air bubbles. Place a piece of stock foam board on both sides of the rubber molds and use a pair of rubber bands to firmly secure the halves together.

  • Mix the resin compound thoroughly and pour into your rubber mold. Place onto a work surface and wait for the plastic to set. When set, open the mold and remove your new resin model.

Tips & Warnings

  • After pouring your resin and placing it onto the work surface to set, pound on the surface a few times to jar the mold to help release any air bubbles.
  • When securing your molds for pouring, don't seal too tightly, as doing so will distort your resin model.

References

  • Photo Credit Christine Sutcliffe: Flickr.com
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