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Saturday, 2 June 2012

Review - "Instant Mold" Part 1

Welcome back oink-fans. Here is the first in a two part review of the "Instant-Mold" product. Instant Mold (correctly spelt as Mould - but I'm willing to forgive on this occassion) is basically a material that allows you to make a "pattern" from which you are able to cast well, pretty much anything - really the only restriction I can see would be the size. This product is very different from traditional moulding which often uses rubber moulds and resin or plaster for casting. However, each casting type has it's place depending on what it is you want, in what material and in what quantity.

For excellent examples and tutorials on different casting techniques then head over to see Rictus at Recalcitrant Daze (with everything from Resin Casting to 3D Printing!) or Unite All Action which has a great tutorial series on Resin Casting.

Instant Mold will allow you to replicate small parts and details to add to your army. This is particularly useful if say, you want all your guys to have one type of helm, weapon or shoulder pad. As such, this is particularly useful if you need to make multiples of something you have sculpted - such as a shoulder pad with chapter symbol - as it will allow you to sculpt once, and copy many. Rather than needing to sculpt over and over!

So, lets take a closer look at the product;

The packaging is simple, but, from a packaging design point of view pretty annoying. Why, well, you can't stack them easily because they have a frustrating and unnecessary curve!? However, what they DO have going for them is that it opens without even needing scissors or a knife.

Each pack gets you 6 Instant Mold sticks, each being about 15mm W x 7mm D and 58mm Long. They are pliable, almost rubbery, but pretty much impossible to tear by hand! However, even when hard they can be cut fairly easily using a sharp blade.

The packaging also includes instructions on the back, although these are in American (in that they say add water at 170degrees - which in American means Fahrenheit and not Celsuis). What does this actually mean? well - in the great British tradition - it's time to stick the kettle on!

Yep, that's it. Pop a stick of Instant Mold into a small bowl and then add some hot water from the kettle. After about 3 minutes it becomes very soft and malleable. It has a similar consistency to Green Stuff except that unlike Green Stuff, Instant Mold pretty much doesn't seem to stick to anything - except more hot Instant Mold!?

So, I grabbed a part that I wanted to replicate and pushed this firmly into a small amount of Instant Mold, pressing hard and from different directions to ensure that the stuff formed closely. Being clear is great because you can actually see the detail and if you need to apply more pressure! Once the Instant Mold has cooled it holds it's shape perfectly even whilst being flexible enough to pull your original out and not damaging either. In this way you can great very quick press moulds - potentially of some very intricate and complicated shapes.

As you can see though, I wanted to create a simple two part mould, so I grabbed another small section of Instant Mold, heated it and then pushed it over the part so that it was completely encased. I wrapped the edges over the first pattern which would help me to line the two halves up when it came to casting. Once colled, I could peel away both parts and be left with an apparently perfect two part pattern.

Importantly, hot Instant Mold does not stick to cold Instant Mold!

Join me next time where I'll be using the two part mould to create a duplicate part.

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