Hey y'all! A little while back, we covered the first half of how to make replicas, mold making! Today, we're going to talk about the other half, casting. Finals week got here a lot quicker than I thought it would and I didn't have time to make a mold of the Cyndaquil I used in my last article. Instead, I'll be showing the process I used to cast all of the skulls from my Valeera the Hollow cosplay.
As always, the first thing you need to consider is safety! Before you tear into the materials and start experimenting, be sure to read all the instructions and safety information at least twice. This will make sure that you have a clear understanding of the instructions before you start. We'll be using the second half of the 2-in-1 mold & casting kit. I'll also be using SO-Strong dye in black, but it's completely optional. You can purchase it in two parts on Amazon (mold & resin) or from their website.
- casting kit
- many disposable mixers
- 2+ small disposable plastic containers
- tin foil
- paper towels
- permanent markers (optional)
- small Tupperware container
I use the same work space as in the previous article, so if you want to replicate it check it out here. Once you have a safe work space, you can start making your mixing pot. Because of the short pot life (time until cured) of this resin, I like to make disposable mixing pots. To do that, you'll take your small Tupperware container and cover the top in tin foil. This is an extra safety level to protect the container in case the top layer of tinfoil gets a hole in it. Once you have it covered, it should look like the image below. It should also have a very deep dip in it, so that you have enough room to mix parts A & B.
Now that the container is protected, you'll need to add in a second disposable layer of tin foil. Before you add it, push the back of your hand or a fist gently into the center to create a dip in the foil. This will remove some of the stress on the foil and help it not to tear when you're mixing the resin. You're going to cover the Tupperware in a very similar way, but this time you're going to make a little funnel/ramp so that you can easily pour the resin out without making a mess. Be sure to have little walls at the edge to stop the liquid from pouring over. It should look like the image below once you're done.
Now that you have a mixing container ready, you can start to measure out your resin. For this, you'll need to check out the required ratios for the resin you're using. Some will require 1:1, like the kit that I'm using, but others will have different ratios like 1:2 or even 2:5. Everyone is going to have their own method for measuring out parts A & B, but I personally prefer to use shot glasses. They're very small (so you can easily adjust the volume of material you're mixing), cheap, easy to find and they have little horizontal markers to help with measuring. Before you start measuring out materials, it's also a good idea to clearly label all sides of the measuring cups you're using. You can see in the one of the images above that each one is clearly labeled "CAST A" and "CAST B." Once you have them labeled you can pour A & B into their respective containers. If you're using a dye in your resin, add it in during this step. Most dyes need to be mixed in before the two parts are combined.
For measuring out both the dye and the resins, I use a very precise form of guesstimation. When measuring our a resin for the first time on a new mold, I try to over estimate how much I should be mixing, because at the very worst, I'm only wasting a few ounces of resin. After doing the first cast, I'll see if I need more or less resin. When using a dye, I try to underestimate how much dye I need. If you use too much dye, it can stop resins from curing properly, if they cure at all. When using dyes, a little normally goes a very long way. Below, I have 4 consecutive casts where I didn't add any new dye to part B, I just mixed part B and the dye in the same pot each time. The residual dye left over from each cast was enough to dye the next 2 casts gray, but left the final cast white (the natural cast color). In these casts, I also used an increasing amount of resin for each one, and that's why the eye-holes get smaller as they get lighter.
Once you have your resins measured out, and dye measured in, just pour both parts into your tin foil cup and start stirring! While stirring, be sure to keep the pot life in mind, you don't want your resin to cure before you've poured it into your mold! Mix very quickly & thoroughly and then slowly pour the mixture into the mold. Once the mold is filled to an appropriate level, all that's left to do is wait. The resin I use has about a 20 minute cure time, so I normally work on another cosplay project, clean up my work space, or watch a YouTube video while it cures.
That's really all I have to say on casting. If you have any questions, be sure to contact me on Twitter or leave a comment! I'll be back in January with a build log of Blood Moon Ashe! If you want to see the progress, you can check out the thread I have here. Until next time, get out there and make some mistakes!