A few months ago I bought a pack of Aves epoxy sculpt to try out as I keep hearing good things about it. After a few trials with some small pieces I thought I’d have a go at a larger thing to get an idea how it could be worked and carved. I picked a design that I’d seen and really liked, which was the Amulet of Domination from the cardgame Hearthstone, and had a go at sculpting one of them.
It took about 5 hours in total to make over a couple of days. I would do a bit, then let it set, before sanding or carving it back a bit, then sculpting a bit more. It does carve really well and makes a nice sharp edge when worked. I was quite impressed with how it could be worked. Smoothing was easy as well when it was still setting. Overall I’m pretty happy with it. Its like using Milliput for sculpting but its much firmer and a bit cheaper for the volume.
Once it had been painted I made a mould and cast a few, mainly for practice but also because I’d had a couple of people ask if it would be available to buy. I’m sure it would make a nice paperweight or .
Its now available in my Etsy Store as both painted and unpainted versions.
After making it, I thought “How could I cast this up? Can’t be that hard, I’ve done some before at uni.” and so I went for a browse round my local craft shop. All I could find there was latex which is a good enough casting material so I bought a big bottle of the stuff and set to.
It took weeks.
Honestly, latex is one of the slowest ways to make a mould. Its also one of the smelliest. The sulpher released was making my eyes water.
Its a case of layer, upon layer brushed on but you have to wait until its dry before putting the next layer on and that can take hours. I was layering it up with thickener as well to get some of the thickness once the first few base layers had been put on.
And so, the first few Cthulhu (Cthulhii? What do you call a group of Cthulhu) arrived via the latex mould.
It was very hard to get them out of the mould. Latex doesn’t stretch very much so it was tough demoulding them.
During the following year I made another Latex one and then started to try out other materials for making moulds. At some point I tried Dragon Skin from SmoothOn which is silicone that can be used for either mould or casting.
Apart from the toughness to stretch the latex moulds, they had started to corrode from the heat when you pour the resin in. The Dragon Skin is far stretchier and can take a bit more punishment.
The first Dragon Skin mould was made in 2013 and the second was made in 2015 and is finally starting to give up. Bits come away in the fine detail areas and it becomes harder to remove the casting so I knew it was time to make a new one. Four years is a pretty good run for something that gets used a lot.
Over a couple of hours, one Sunday, I made a new mould by layering up Dragon Skin over the casting. As it flows quite freely, its great for getting into all the nooks and crannies but it does mean it runs everywhere. It takes a few layers to get a good thickness and you hae to apply it as its nearly set. Another thing is to make sure there are no big air pockets in overhanging areas.
After 24 hours to fully cure the mould peeled off easily, ready for the first casting.
After I made my original purity seal, I’ve been meaning to make some new ones for a while. I even managed to start making a couple several years ago before forgetting about it. I finally got round to finishing and casting one based on the Adeptus Mechanicus logo.
It had been sitting unloved in a drawer for a while so with a little polishing up I managed to get round to casting it with some spare Dragon Skin silicone left over from remoulding Cthulhu. I used a trick I’d picked up a while ago for measuring the volume needed by pouring rice into the area to be moulded and then measuring that volume.
To test the mould, and also some different pigments I have, I mixed up some red resin and poured some test pieces.
I’m also trying out some new weathering process which look nice and is a little quicker than my current process. Using oil paint instead of black polish means I have longer to work with the weathering.
I’m pretty pleased with the end result. It looks nice and battered but the detail is still clear.
The finished Adeptus Mechanicus Purity Seal is now available, along with the standard Purity Seal, in my Etsy shop.