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135
Pouring Resin: Easy and Inexpensive

Supplies

Resin – The obvious stuff. The kind I started using can be purchased at most any craft shop. I got my 32 ounce container for under $10 USD. There is enough to last a long time.

Catalyst – This is the action stuff. This hardens the resin. This cost around $5 UDS.

Mixing container – Be creative and recycle. Think ahead to the quantity of resin you will need. Things that work are little paper cups, juice bottle lids (the bigger mouthed bottles), fast food condiment cups, and the lids of a kid’s yogurt containers.

Latex – This is to make the mold. You will find this at the craft shop near the resin. A 16 ounce container will give you enough material to make lots of molds and should cost under $10 USD.

Master – This is what you will be molding and replicating.

Scale – A food scale will work, one that measures small quantities. Discount department stores will have them for about $5 USD

Extras – Coloring agent. This is added to clear resin to give it color. Release agent, this is to help remove the piece from the mold. Plastic spoon and toothpick help the pouring and mixing process.

Making the mold

The latex used is designed for plaster casting in the Railroad modeling arena. There are some that are sold as a companion product to the resin. After the master has been selected or made, it’s time for the mold. I have used two methods of applying the latex to the master, brush and spatula. Both tools produce the same results. The spatula is easier to use and easier to clean. The brush gets caked with latex and is soon rendered impossible to clean and useless.

Applying latex is easy and straightforward. Simply dip the spatula into the latex and smooth it out on the master. It is important that you make your mold thick and strong enough to stand up to some stretching and tugging during removal. A minimum of three layers will work. (Five or six wouldn’t hurt.) Be sure to let each layer dry completely before starting the next. If the mold is large you may want to sandwich some type of reinforcement between two layers to help it retain its shape. I have used very thin hobby wire with success. Fiberglass reinforce drywall tape can be used also.

When making your mold you should account for the fact that the resin will shrink some when it dries (this brand did). If possible make the mold slightly large than the master, put a little ‘lip’ on the edge. As you add layers build up the outside edge just a bit.

Project Photos
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About the Author

About Scott Lodder (slodder)
FROM: NORTH CAROLINA, UNITED STATES

I modeled when I was a teenager. College, family and work stopped me for a while. Then I picked it back up after about 12 years off. My main focus is dioramas. I like the complete artistic method of story telling. Dioramas involve so many aspects of modeling and I enjoy getting involved in the ...


Comments

This is very helpful. Thanks Slodder for writing it.
MAR 15, 2003 - 11:28 AM
Thanks for hundred times!!! This is what I need to build my own conversion set from resin. Michal
MAR 15, 2003 - 07:21 PM
VERY NICE THANKS ROBERTO
MAR 16, 2003 - 08:15 AM
very good artcile.thanks slodder
MAR 16, 2003 - 06:25 PM
Solid article... and some real nice pictures. On small flat pieces, I also use a lot of Latex rubber mold, but I apply it with a cheap "sponge" paintbrush. that I discard after use. I also use the re-inforcement fiberglass tape every third layer, and do a minimum of 6 total layers. Here are a couple of other tips I would add, based on my experience of trial and error: 1) to reduce bubbles, place the mold on a sheet of cardboard, and set it on top of your cloths drier. Throw a few wet towels in the dryer. After pouring the resin, turn on the dryer and the tumbling vibrations of the wet towels in the dryer willl shake loose 99% of any trapped bubbles... this also works well if casting plaster in the mold. 2) If you are casting in a cold room (below 60-degrees F), you might consider putting the filled mold into your microwave. once it is poured and still in liquid form.. any additional heat that you can provide to the cold resin will aid in curing to a harder finish... but BE CAREFUL, especially on small items... if you over-heat, your resin may actually MELT back to liquid, and start "boiling".... stay nearby, and start with small timed increments of 15-20 seconds. I find this technique works extremely well, especially on molds with really fine, thin detail. 3) Take your time and measure accurately... if you use too little catalyst, then the finished piece will come out of the mold sticky and oily. If you think this may have been a bad "pour - hit the microwave - and the sooner the better! 4) When pouring resin, consider using wax paper or disposable cardboard beneath the mold - resin pouring often results in some drips and strands of "spider webs"....and the stuff when wet doesn't come off of a wooden or formica tabletop easily. If you DO spill some resin on a cherished surface - DON'T (D-O-N-'T) try to wipe it up while it is wet... it will only smear into a superfine coat. Just let it "set up". Once it is firm and hard, you may be able to "pop" or slide the piece off.
MAR 16, 2003 - 06:49 PM
Never had much luck with this resin to thick for me. But great article!! (++) (:-)
DEC 07, 2003 - 11:29 AM
Good article, Scott. Have you considered trying silicone to make your molds ? It's a bit more expensive, but a lot easier (and less smelly and messy) to work with. Happy to help you out if you like more information on this subject... Jan
DEC 07, 2003 - 11:51 AM
Hey, GF, I think Santa is going to be kind to me in the silicone area. So I'll be 'picking your brain' come January. The idea of the latex mold was to keep it simple and cheap for small items. It's come in very handy a few times. Waiting for January.........................
DEC 07, 2003 - 01:15 PM