I have been doing molding and casting in resin for about six years now, and had to learn the pitfalls of the hobby by myself. Most of the time I lucked out and things worked well. The freedom of being able to cast replacement parts for incomplete toys and casting parts to use in customizing figures was invaluable. Many long hours were spent in a cluttered garage surrounded by plastic measuring cups, mixing sticks and plasticene. The odor was awful, and the product not always as fresh as one would like.
As a writer for Action Figure Times I have been asked about learning to mold and cast items and it’s been difficult to point readers in the right direction. Now, times have changed and I feel I can finally tell my readers about a superior product. Hobby Silicone. com offers one of the best products I’ve ever had the opportunity to sample and review. I met Michael Knott at this year’s Comic Con and saw the sample pieces he brought with him, that and his honest enthusiasm for his product enticed me to sample Hobby Silicone.
The molding silicone came in a one pound container with a screw on top, the top taped to prevent leakage and to preserve freshness of the product. A simple 10 parts silicone to 1 part hardener mixture was all it took. After mixing I poured it into mold and tapped the mold several times to bring any bubbles to the surface and then I just let it sit overnight to cure. After making both sides of the mold I ended up with a very durable mold that looks like it will last for years of castings! I was using the firm silicone and I just loved it. Sharp details, easy to use and a durable molds are what it’s all about!
I have sampled several sources for polyurethane resin here in California, and have had decent results, but I have always hated the smelly resin and having to step out of my workshop after casting a project . Hobby Silicone resin has nearly no odor, and the casting ends up with a nearly white coloring (not the yellowish finished product in polyurethane) and is very durable, unlike the brittle results I got with polyurethane. My test cast was very easy to do and the resin performed better than I could have hoped for. The parts came out cleanly and quickly. I have no fear of dropping them or handling the piece after it cured, which is also a difference with other resins.
HobbySilicone.com is a user friendly site, with tons of instructional materials to give professional results to even a rank amateur. I highly recommend these instructions if you are just starting out molding and casting. There are illustrations and detailed instructions on how to make molds, and how to cast with silicone.
Another important point to make is that this material, while far and away a superior product than polyurethane is nearly HALF the price. This is a boon to the hobbyist where cost is always a consideration,
I urge anyone who has ever wanted to mold their own project, maybe even copy a sculpt that you are proud of to give Hobby Silicone a try.