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Discussion Starter #41
ooo that does look good. i was going to suggest just what you did to see if that would help. hows the weather where you are right now? resin is sensitive to certain weather. I haven't dealt with it in a while but i know it can have trouble curing in really hot or really cold weather. also it might be reacting to the silicone. there might be something in it that's preventing the resin from curing. does it continue to cure once its pulled from the mold? Also if you put to much hardener in this can have adverse affects on the cure as well. resin is a fickle thing. lol! i highly recommend stirring the resin in a separate container first before mixing, this should help as well. And if you heat up your bottle of resin in a warm water bath for a bit before mixing that will help with the cure and it will flow better to help with bubbles. As for the bubbles, do you have something that vibrates? if you put the mold on a vibrator of some sorts it will help bring up all the bubbles. don't know if i missed this but what type of resin are you using? Some work best in layers. if you were to brush in the detail layers and let in cure for a bit until its still a bit tacky then add your fiberglass in layers that might help with curing.
Thanks for the tips Kindo!....These projects are the first time working with fiberglass so it's definitely new to me....I left the book set outside for the last week so between the scorching hot sun baking on it all day and the terrible thunder and lightning storms we've had almost every night with torrential rains drenching it, the fiberglass finally cured enough I painted it this evening....I had a terrible time trying to get something that looked OK and repainted 3 times trying different techniques....You can see it isn't near as thick as the original....I'm sure that's because I laid the mold on a flat surface with no mother mold...Doesn't really bother me though....There were other imperfections I believe were caused by having the protoputty too thick....I doubt I'll use the corn starch method anymore because of this and will stick with the dawn detergent method....I'm still really happy with the detail it did capture though....It's nice having a way to make a copy of a rare, extremely hard to find prop I can throw in the yard without worrying about it getting stolen....ZR





 

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This is a great thread and I'm looking forward to trying it out soon! With regard to the silicone basting brush being "too soft" for detail work, you could always get another and cut the bristles shorter. This would make it easier for detail work. Cutting them on an angle might work even better.
 

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Just a FYI post

For some other projects, I used U.S. Composites as a source for Epoxy/polyester resins, Urethane foam and fiberglass mats. They also sell Liquid Urethane
Mold Rubber and Silicone Mold Rubbers. It is just generic meterial I assume to purchase directly from manufacturers,

The Urethane foam is excellent, it sets quick and they sell Liquid Colored Pigments.

Just trying to be helpful.
 

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Discussion Starter #44
Thanks for the ideas!....I still haven't decided if I'll stick with the basting brush or throw a chip brush away each time....I cleaned the silicone brush out yesterday evening so I'll get at least 3 uses out of it so far...Still no sign of wear and tear so I suspect I'll get many more uses before it's trash but who knows?....Thanks...ZR

This is a great thread and I'm looking forward to trying it out soon! With regard to the silicone basting brush being "too soft" for detail work, you could always get another and cut the bristles shorter. This would make it easier for detail work. Cutting them on an angle might work even better.
 

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Discussion Starter #45


I tried a bigger project yesterday...Making a silicone mold of my favorite store bought tombstone....I didn't take any pics other than the one already posted in my albums above from before.....I was excited all week to finally have a weekend off to try this.....I figured I'd do the silicone mold, let it sit over night and do the mother mold (fiberglass) today....I worked on it at different times yesterday but finished the final section around 5pm and left it sit in the sun the rest of the day and over night outside because of the smell....I checked on it this morning around 10am and it was still soft and squishy....I took it in to my work bench and let a fan blow on it for about 3 hours which finished drying the outside OK but the inside was still soft and squishy (Oh no!).....I knew by then it was a lost cause but I took it out in the sun for a few hours anyway....Sure enough, still soft on the inside....I've done enough of these projects to know the inside isn't going to cure at this point....I just finished peeling what I could off so the uncured layers underneath can finish curing (hopefully) so I can finish peeling the rest off.....Pretty bummed about the whole thing at this point....I'm guessing I got 4 hours applying the silicone yesterday....Who knows how many hours peeling all the bits and pieces after it dries....I don't think the tombstone is ruined but still too early to know 100% for sure if I can try it again...It has a wet sheen I'm hoping will dry and can be peeled to get back down to the intricate detail....I used 12 tubes of caulk so that is a total loss of $70+......I'm not sure what went wrong...I massaged soapy water into it just like before, the name brand is different but it was still 100% silicone....Everything I've seen says it's not air but moisture that cures the silicone so I made sure to kneed lot's of water into it....I know I said earlier in the thread I wasn't going to use Smooth On products because of price but this experience has me re-considering....Not only all the lost time over the weekend but the money wasted too....At least the Smooth On product is an A/B mixture so it's a chemical based cure so you don't need to worry about not curing the whole way through....It isn't near as toxic so I may be able to use it indoors....It cures much faster so projects can be done in a reasonable amount of time....Most of all it should be consistent as long as it's mixed right....I'd still like to cast in fiberglass for now but I really think I'm going to give smooth on a try next....I'm going to chalk this one up as a learning experience so I can at least get a little something useful out of it....I still think the silicone caulk is a good solution for small items.....Bigger objects, not so much.... ZR
 

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Discussion Starter #46
Started a new project this week....This time around I'm going to try multiple molds to make one final piece....The candelabra on the right....So far I've made molds of the base, top, and candle....I loved the way it turned out....As you can see with those molds, I've already pieced together a single candle that could be glued together and used that way, which I probably will, but I definitely want to finish the 5 candlabra....



Here it is broke down to the individual pieces so you can see how I made the molds....I had some spare time waiting around while the fiberglass resin was curing in the base so I poured a second candle....



Here's a base comparison....You can see where I used a grinding disk on top to make the top flush and I drilled a hole down through so I can run wires to a LED
flicker in the candle....I want it to run off DC electric so I can simply plug it in and not have to futz with replacing 10 AAA batteries every year per candelabra and turning the bottom screw on cap of every candle just to turn them on and off like the originals.....



Here's a top comparison



I went back to using the liquid nails brand of caulking.....I've had great success using that brand.....



As you can see, the detail is turning out amazing with a little clean up....When I look at different molds, it's easy to envision different combinations of things that were never mean't to be mix mashed....The possibilities are endless and exciting!....ZR

 

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Discussion Starter #47
I forgot to mention I've used that silicone basting brush over 10 times now and is still in great shape....Just pull the cured fiberglass straight off the bristles and ready for another round....Also, I didn't use any matting in those pours however I did use some matting in a second skull I did at the same time I was working on these, I just didn't take any pics of it....I found just continually brushing the resin up the sides until it started to cure didn't thicken up the sides anymore than just brushing it a couple times and letting it cure....By wetting the sides and placing some matting and soaking the matting though, I was able to add quite a bit more resin thickness and it would stay in place until it cured....I made a spray foam mother mold around it (Bryan's suggestion - Thanks!) which kind of held it in place but I don't think it's rigid enough to do a 2 piece and have them line up....It still had enough flex to vary the silicone mold though in the case of a half mold where it doesn't have to line up, I think it worked fine....With more experimentation, I think this could work as a mother mold....I'm probably going to try a resin mother mold sometime though I'm nervous about getting a lock on undercuts since I'm not experienced....Bigger projects are absolutely going to need a mother mold so I'll have to figure something out....I bought some plastic blow mold props 50% off this year I'm going to mold and cut in half to try to use as mother molds or depending on the detail on the inside of them, I may use a barrier and mold release and try casting fiberglass out of them but more on that later....LOL....ZR
 

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Discussion Starter #48
I made some more molds and did lots of fiberglass casting this past weekend...Probably the biggest lesson learned was to use the fiberglass matting more on the sides to hold resin in place, otherwise you waste a lot of resin curing at the bottom....



The coolest of the bunch has to be the chest and torso..... I made a silicone mold of a plastic blow mold skeleton from Spirit......I've got a ton of ideas for these things made up all different ways....The skull in this pic isn't the blow mold skull though I did make a mold of it too, I haven't cast it yet....I was able to set the silicone mold down inside a cardboard box and it kind of folded the rib cage in more of a u shape giving it much more depth than the original blowmold chest which is much flatter and wider by comparison....I like this look much better since it has more depth...I kept the shoulder blades out of the box so they would stay straight across....





These skulls were made from the same mold, I just put some resin in the face area for the half mold....Would make a nice skull to mount to a flat surface like a tombstone.....



Speaking of tombstones, I got a bunch of different styles of these to make molds of for tombstones....Really happy with the detail...



Couple small skulls



One of the feet for the skeleton from the blow mold



Even failed pours like the 4 mini skull candle holder can still be used....I'm going to attach this to the top of the skull......ZR

 

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I made some more molds and did lots of fiberglass casting this past weekend...Probably the biggest lesson learned was to use the fiberglass matting more on the sides to hold resin in place, otherwise you waste a lot of resin curing at the bottom....



The coolest of the bunch has to be the chest and torso..... I made a silicone mold of a plastic blow mold skeleton from Spirit......I've got a ton of ideas for these things made up all different ways....The skull in this pic isn't the blow mold skull though I did make a mold of it too, I haven't cast it yet....I was able to set the silicone mold down inside a cardboard box and it kind of folded the rib cage in more of a u shape giving it much more depth than the original blowmold chest which is much flatter and wider by comparison....I like this look much better since it has more depth...I kept the shoulder blades out of the box so they would stay straight across....





These skulls were made from the same mold, I just put some resin in the face area for the half mold....Would make a nice skull to mount to a flat surface like a tombstone.....



Speaking of tombstones, I got a bunch of different styles of these to make molds of for tombstones....Really happy with the detail...



Couple small skulls



One of the feet for the skeleton from the blow mold



Even failed pours like the 4 mini skull candle holder can still be used....I'm going to attach this to the top of the skull......ZR


Wow interesting thread. Looks like you've perfected the method ZombieRaider. Those all look great.

BTW I don't see any photos or videos at the beginning of your thread here. Were they deleted since 2018 or something else going on?
 

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Wow interesting thread. Looks like you've perfected the method ZombieRaider. Those all look great.

BTW I don't see any photos or videos at the beginning of your thread here. Were they deleted since 2018 or something else going on?
Thanks!....Something weird was going on with the forum that deleted my pictures in the album right after I posted the thread....Never went back and re-uploaded anything because I was worried it would happen again.....I forget what the pics even were by now....LOL....The only video is the youtube link in my last post before this one that I can remember......ZR
 

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Decided on a whim today to pour some concrete in one of the silicone molds to see how it would turn out.....Found out you have to let concrete almost completely dry before removing the mold because it cracks extremely easy when it's still even a little damp....Broke the bones off on both sides of the skull by the time I removed it from the mold and the teeth stayed in the undercut section off the mold....Was still happy with the detail enough to go in the woods to find a rock to cement it to....Basically put cement on the back of the skull and bones like a brick and stuck it to the rock...Then using a putty knife went around the edges and shoved cement in the cracks and smoothed out....Finally took a spray bottle with water and sprayed and brushed with a chip brush to smooth everything around the edges and make it blend....Blended the crack in the bones too where they broke off...I noticed a small opening at the top of the skull I need to finish patching but this is pretty much done other than that....Since it's concrete and rock I'm probably going to leave it out year round....It weighs over 100lbs I'm sure so it won't blow away......ZR
 

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Discussion Starter #57
I forgot to mention I did buy several gallons of Smooth-On Poyo Putty and the last skull posted was from a mold I made from it....I know intially I had said that it was a lot more expensive vs caulking....After seeing first hand how far a gallon went versus how many tubes of caulking it would take to equal the same amount, I bet the price would be more comparable than I initially thought....I will say I like working with the caulk better because it's not nearly as firm so it's much easier to work into the details and the cure time for caulk doesn't set up that fast giving you more time to work with it before it's no longer workable....That being said, I'm probably going to stick with poyo putty simply for the fact it doesn't have that very strong vinegar smell so I could work on big projects in the basement with it with a simple fan running to keep fresh air moving since that is what is recomended though the odor on the poyo putty wasn't bad at all.....I showed my wife a whole chest piece I molded with it and even she was amazed with the very low odor....I ran out of the putty and wanted to mold a small object so I went back to the caulk method and the odor was very bad even for a small object....I was sold on it at that point....So I ordered a few more gallons of poyo putty....There was a couple batches I didn't get enough hardner in that didn't cure so I had to peel that off and apply I new batch....I've gotten better at it though...You'll have user error in anything when trying something new so it's to be expected.....Overall I like the poyo putty better, especially working indoors....ZR
 
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