Casting Spirit Figures (Method A)by: Ashley Prester
Castin’ Craft resin is great for making clear casts from your molds. This brand is moderately priced and widely available. It’s ideal for ghost or hologram figures. Castin’ Craft dyes mixed with your resin allow you to create tinted casts in a variety of colors.
However, be aware that clear resin can be difficult to work with and doesn’t take paint well Mixing the resin involves a lot of trial and error. It all depends on the thickness of the cast, whether you want more working time, and total amount of material. (see RESIN MIXING TIPS [ANCHOR]) The piece really needs to be cured for about a week before you attempt to paint it. Even then, spray very, very thin coats of flat spray enamel primer. Still, you will loose some details in the process.
So, if you don’t need a CLEAR cast, then save yourself some work and use another casting medium like SmoothCast 3000 or another resin. Here are a few “live and learn” techniques to casting in clear resin.
- Castin’ Craft Liquid Plastic Casting Resin
- Castin’ Craft Catalyst
- Castin’ Craft Dye Kit
- Liquid Latex Rubber Mold Builder
Prepare your mold. Castin’Craft works well with the standard Latex Molds. I do not suggest using mold release for fear of fogging the resin.
Mix the resin with the catalyst. If you’re afraid of air bubbles, this resin can be cast in layers. (This can be used to create “hologram” striations in a colored clear cast.) I think it would be quite difficult to match colors from one cast to the next, so DON’T use layers for tinted ghosts. Unlike 2-part resins, this clear stuff uses just a few drops of catalyst rather than equal parts of A and B. This requires some experimentation to get just right. Too much catalyst makes the piece cure yellowish, like really bad tapwater. Adjusting the amount of catalyst you use will vary your working time too. A little bit less will add a minute or more to your pouring time. (Nothing brings out the swearing faster than watching the resin cure before you’ve poured it into the mold.) Use TOO little catalyst and the piece will never cure. The recommended ratios on the can of resin can be helpful, but there are other factors involved (See Resin Mixing Tips below) A 1 oz bottle of catalyst will usually last for 16 oz of resin.
(OPTIONAL) Mix the dyes to create the right color and pour into the resin. I suggest using very small amounts of dye at first so your piece doesn’t become too dark. You can always add more later, but you can’t take it back out…. Mix the dye evenly into the resin.
Pour the resin into the mold very, very, very slowly. This resin allows small air bubbles to escape but not if it’s poured too fast.
Demold the piece when it has cured sufficiently. The resin usually takes at LEAST an hour before it’s dry enough to remove from the mold. When it comes out, it’s may still be somewhat sticky.
If the cast is tacky after you demold it, you can put it in the freezer for about an hour. This will allow you to handle the piece afterwards without leaving fingerprints.
The resin needs a while to completely cure, about a day or so. But when you’re done and it’s done right, it’s like looking at a clear glass carving.
Allow the molds an hour or so before using them again in case any “stickiness” remains.
Casting Spirit Figures (Method B)by: Sky
With small and/or thin castings it’s hard for it to heat thouroughly, while with a big thick cast it’s not as much of a problem. I put thin cast molds under a 40 or 60 watt light bulb to keep it warm and turn it every so often.
Steve Rivas suggests using a blow dryer (my method is WAY cheaper in electricity) in the same fashion and says that the heat also helps in eliminating bubbles, especially in 2part RTV molds. In either case, this heat will also dramatically speed up the cure time – what might take days can take only a few hours with some heat applied and they come out without the tackiness.
I suppose you could also use the oven on a low setting but it would stink up your hose big time!
Remember, the “THINNER” the cast is the MORE catalyst is needed. If your cast is 1/8″ thick (that’s pretty thin) you should use about 15 drops of catalyst to 1 ounce of resin (The table on the castin-craft resin does work pretty well). If your cast is thick and you use too much resin it may crack from the heat and expansion. Too much catalyst can also cause a cloudy or yellowish look to the clear resin.