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by: Action Figure Times

Action Figure Times

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. 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.

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Richard VanOver – Wheaty Wheat Prototyping Studios

Richard VanOver
Owner, Wheaty Wheat Prototyping Studios

I’ve used a lot of silicones and resins in my career. One of the best suppliers for silicone and resins is MPK Enterprises.

I’ve worked with a few of their silicone products 2125 Blue and green, Brushable  silicones,  and the 107 soft silicone. All of them performed outstanding, but my favorite is the 2125 Blue. The molds last without tearing, I have molds 3yrs old that are still solid to cast pieces from.

My all time favorite product is MPK 70 urethane resin. I use both the 180 sec and the 10 min. This is one of the best resins I have found it has no odor, sands very easy and has few to no bubbles that gather to details.
The MPK 70 – 10 minute, makes a great product even better. It allows you time to pour big molds with out making you rush, pour molds with heavy details or small parts giving enough time for air bubbles to find  there way through tight areas in the mold and lastly it helps when the weather is hot, where 180 sec resin become 2 sec resin, again giving you time to pour and not feel rushed.

As a professional I have been very satisfied with MPK products and services since 2005. I recommend MPK products to all hobbyists and professionals who are looking for a reliable product backed by a reliable company.

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Jeff Farley –

from Jeff Farley

For this private client project, I used MPK Enterprises QM Skin 30 as I was looking for a product which would not only be easy to mix, but not have any painting problems that we had encountered in the past. To fill the head, I used MPK’s Flex Foam as it produces a soft, but strong material which was perfectly suited for this purpose. ” After a year, there has been no fading, peeling or leaching! It looks as good today as when I made it!

Your product line is exceptional, but it’s the personal attention that you give to each customer that keeps me a client for life.

I am happy to be a fan of MPK Enterprises and a friend of Mike Knott!

Thanks Mike!!!

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Vincent Chiantelli – Raptor Arts Studio

Vincent Chiantelli
Owner of Raptor Arts Studio

I’ve been using Hobby Silicone products for about 4 years. His customer service and products are top notch and he is fast and very polite. I have had great results with the silicones and casting resins. I create masks, statues, maquettes, and Props for my clients as well as for myself.

I definitely recommend Hobby Silicone for your molding and casting supplies.

Vincent Chiantelli

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Norman Piatt aka Kitman

Norman Piatt aka Kitman
Owner of Paradoxx Resin
Kitbuilders staff writer

I’ve been using Hobby Silicone products for about 6 years. Michael’s products are of the highest quality and easy to use. The level of detail you get out of the silicone and resin is outstanding. I produced kits using Hobby Silicone products for Gore Group, Alterton, Spiderzero as well as myself.

Michael’s service is fast and friendly a great guy to do business with. I highly recommend Hobby Silicone for all your kit making needs.

Norman Piatt aka Kitman Owner of Paradoxx Resin Kitbuilders staff writer

Gore Group: Baby Face
Gore Group: Baby Face
Gore Gore Group: Brain Eating Zombie
Gore Gore Group: Brain Eating Zombie
Alterton:  Ultimate Soldier
Alterton: Ultimate Soldier
SpiderZero: Bite
SpiderZero: Bite
Alterton: The Forgotten One
The Forgotten One
Paradoxx Resin: Orc wall plaque
Paradoxx Resin:
Orc wall plaque
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Nelson Kennedy- Christchurch, New Zealand

Living, as I do, on the other side of the world in a place where the range of resins and silicone rubbers available locally is very limited I have been delighted to strike up a commercial relationship with Hobby Silicones who have proven to be an important resource for me in helping to sort out suitable resins and RTV for my applications. I am a contract caster of components for manufacturers of hobby kits in the railway and figurine fields.

There have been some particular logistical hurdles to overcome to get supplies to me and I am most impressed with the way that they have cheerfully gone the extra mile to ensure that I receive product in a timely manner.

I use MKP resin with a pot life of 3 minutes which suits our moderate climate and gives me time to de-air comfortably. I have been very impressed with the way this resin pours well into very fine detail so that de-airing does not have to be prolonged. Whilst simple flat back castings can be de-molded within an hour or so (or sooner if I use a temperature controlled curing environment with the thermostat set at 30 deg C) I tend to leave complex castings with fine detail for several hours under that level of heat to ensure adequate polymer linking that results in incredibly strong castings with a consistency similar to high impact styrene. These castings have high resilience without being unduly flexible. My customers prefer their castings to be made in a neutral gray color and I find the natural white color of this resin accepts grey toner pigment well.

My needs for RTV range from semi-rigid with a low tolerance to shrinkage (railway kit components that need to be able to be assembled with one another) through to highly flexible where a minimum of cutting to enable complex castings to be removed is desirable to minimize part lines (figurines), Hobby Silicones have been able to identify for me the types of RTV that best suits my needs. I am impressed by the way that the MPK branded soft, medium and firm consistency rubbers release easily from patterns thereby not subjecting delicate patterns to possible harm and the way they release resin castings with only a light application of release agent. More recently I have been introduced to QSI 2125 which behaves just like the MPK branded rubber and to QSI 230 which is a platinum cure RTV and which is maintaining excellent dimensional stability. Even though a more rigid rubber, the 230 still releases cleanly from patternwork and releases the resin castings well.

In all cases these rubbers reproduce the fine detail of the patternwork without fault.

I have developed what I call a pouch mold that enables reasonably complex one piece castings to be made with a fully enclosed mold that has a slit for filling of the resin and removal of the casting. I’m sure others must have thought of it as well but I have not seen it demonstrated in my searches.
Some of the parts I make are of very thin section relative to their size and this method produces consistently good castings.

The SRC roof is a curved sheet about 1.0mm thick with detail on one side and arched ribbing on the other. It is the roof for a NSWGR box wagon. The casting is about 6.5 x 3 inches.

The hopper sides have rivet detail on the outside and channel bracing on the inside. They are for a NSWGR hopper car. These castings are about 9″ x 2.5″

The one piece flat car body is for a smaller scale Queensland Rail model. It is about 7 x 1.25″ with detail both sides that is delicate and easily damaged on removal, but using heat to ensure good polymer linkage takes care of that.
The pilot bust is a 1/6 scale person. You can see how the flexibility of the soft RTV pot mould aids removal of the bust without needing to cut into the area where it might show on detail.

Nelson Kennedy
Christchurch, New Zealand

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Matt Burnett – Monkeyclaw models

Hobbysilicone provides me the opportunity to make better silicone molds and resin parts!

I know what I like; and Hobbysilicone is IT. I am able to work year round, without concern for temperature or humidity, to provide my customers with quality resin parts.

MPK always takes care of me, and that’s what keeps me coming back.

Matt Burnett
Monkeyclaw models

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Michael Dinetz – Haunted Dreams Effects Studio

Fiberglass and 2125 mold

I have been working with silicone for 8 years now for molds and skin pieces. I first tried using 2125 for molds in late 2007, when my company was asked to do a make-up requiring 25 prosaide transfer injuries. It performed beautifully, capturing excellent detail and our molds cured at standard hardness in only 2 hours (nothing I had ever seen before). Now it is the only silicone that enters my facilities for mold purposes.

In addition I tried using Skin 30 for a head and shoulder bust that I needed to produce for a show. I added 30% silicone oil to soften the Skin 30 and not a a drop of it leached out. We painted it with silicone paint made from Shinetsu caulking, dry pigments, and naphtha. I have never seen silicone paint adhere to a silicone prop like this. None of the paint rubbed off, even when we aggressively tried to remove it to test durability. Skin 30 is now the only skin silicone my company uses for skins and false body parts.

We love Michael Knott’s silicones.

Michael, we could not provide the excellent work that we do without the help of your amazing products and customer service.

Michael Dinetz
Haunted Dreams Effects Studio

Thank you so much.

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International Plastic Modelers’ Society USA

Review – by Sean Fallesen of the International Plastic Modelers’ Society USA

Since one needs a mold before one can properly assess casting resin, let’s start with the Hobby Silicone product. Using a 2 lb. tub of firm-formula silicone with the purple catalyst, I created several molds to test an assortment of shapes and sizes (My primary focus is 1:700 scale ships and 1:48 scale aircraft, to give some idea of the range). After giving them a full 24 hours to set, I removed the molds from the boxes, and the original parts from the molds. As advertised, the material is tough and tear-resistant, and a very sharp blade or is needed for cutting it. No surprises here, just a good mold-making compound. Even the batch I did not mix as thoroughly as I should have (as evidenced by the various shades of purple marbling) came out just fine.

On to the casting resin. I used the MPK-90 formula (gel time of 120 seconds, vs. MPK-70 with 180 seconds) Components A and B smoky and clear, respectively, in color, and have a consistency close to that of cooking oil. Being nice and thin, they mix very easily. You need to be careful not to splash! After mixing, the resin remains clear and the consistency initially stays the same, making for a very quick, easy-flowing pour. It successfully flowed into long, narrow crevasses in the mold (i.e. splinter shields on 1:700 scale ship parts), though did not willingly work into very small impressions (i.e. 1:700 scale deck fittings) due to entrapped air. Some stretching of the mold would help a bit, though that does get messy sometimes. Even so, the performance is better than thicker casting materials I’ve used. The material is quite good; the rest is a matter of the caster’s techniques and skill level. There are a (very) few things for which I do favor a thicker material, but for the vast majority of casting jobs this is superior. The fact that the resin is clear when poured helps a lot in identifying obvious air pockets, and a quick probe with a toothpick can chase it right out.

As I was pouring into the several molds, I noticed the mix getting just a little thicker before it suddenly became a slush. When they say “gel time,” they mean gel time! The stuff coagulated very rapidly and clung to the side of the cup as I tried to pour. I set the cup down and it stayed right where it was, on a diagonal slope. At the same time, the mix began generating a lot of heat. So, enough of that – let it sit and cure.

By the way, about that toothpick probe thing: Once the resin hits that gel time, it will grab that toothpick, and pulling the toothpick out will take material with it. Thankfully the resin sticks to the side of the mold even better, so the air pocket you might accidentally create probably won’t breach the surface of the cast part. Still, be aware of that fact.

After about 15 minutes (around the time the cup had cooled off and the material inside felt decently hard and had turned a very opaque, very clean white), I set about pulling the parts out. I did not use any mold release compound (none was provided, and I was testing the product straight.). Not a problem, the resin did not stubbornly cling to the silicone. No significant shrinkage was observed even in the 10”-long ship hull I cast for just that purpose. (The small parts I usually cast being too small to use as a basis for observing shrinkage). I then subjected the parts to a series of tests for modeling suitability.

First, tests for gutting, sanding, and scratching.

One of my molds was just too tight, so I carefully cut down one side to remove the part. A very fine scratch was left in the surface of the part. However, upon dragging the tip of my X-acto over it the next morning, I saw no new scratch. Conclusion: be careful early on, but the parts will harden further, at which point they are very resistant to casual scratches.

Cutting properties are superb for resin. I was able to shave material off with no chipping. Use of clippers likewise produced no chipping, and cracks were less likely to form than in other resins I’ve used. A razor saw worked beautifully, and the material sands nicely.

I tested several types of paint on cleaned (wiped with paint thinner and dried off) and uncleaned surfaces. It turns out that performance was the same for both cases. Four tests were performed: Fingernail drag, knife scrape, Tamiya masking tape pull, and standard masking tape pull. The fingernail drag caused Tamiya paint to chip a little, the knife scrape a lot. Model Master enamel and Acryl and Gunze’s Mr. Surfacer were unaffected by the fingernail drag, and showed no stray chipping from the knife scrape. Tamiya tape did not remove any of the paints. Lastly, I tried the nasty old roll of hardware store masking tape that’s a bit stickier now that when it was new. Not a bit of paint pulled up with that one, either. Conclusion: Don’t scratch at Tamiya paint on a part made of this material. Aside from that, paint with no fear, and mask away with whatever you feel like using!

Squadron white putty does adhere to the material, and I had no problems with supergluing it. As expected, liquid model cement had no effect on it.

The fully cured material is quite stiff. A piece of cowling I cast was about 1/16” thick, and the resin duplicate was very difficult to bend. Stiff as it was, there was a decent amount of flex before it snapped. Stressing it close to that point and letting go resulted in the part maintaining its original shape, with no apparent permanent deformation. Very thin “parts” (i.e. hardened over pour puddles and drips) were different, showing an ability to deform almost to a complete fold before snapping. Conclusion: I have no fear of parts suddenly snapping in two from just an accidental squeeze. Some cold bending is possible on very thin parts (for example, 1:700 scale fighter aircraft wings, ship splinter shields), but from at 1/16” in thickness (and possibly even thinner than that) and up, cold bending doesn’t work. Fear not, though, because…

The old trick of heating parts in hot water then bending them works just fine here. Once the parts cool, they retain their new shape nicely.

In conclusion: I am very impressed with MPK’s product, particularly the casting resin. The modeling properties of this material are a refreshing change from the often-brittle, can’t-hold-their-paint resins I’ve frequently dealt with. And I mean actual kits, not self-casting projects. The Hobby Silicone is likewise impressive. I highly recommend this line and would like to thank Michael from MPK Enterprises and James Woody for the review sample.