I’m spent some time testing the molds I made…
As you may recall, the blue 3-part mold had not come out as well as I’d hoped, so I was very interested to find out what it would make. I have yet to complete the mold for the second half of the lighter case, so I still can’t say with certainty what went wrong, but I hope to have answers on Monday.
The 2-part mold of the Rook came out as planned, so I am more confident – knock on wood – that casting it will go smoothly. Otherwise, I’ve been brainstorming on creating a base for all the individual chess pieces. Something simple, I’m thinking a little wooden “puck” with a felt bottom. I’ve been poking around the interweb trying to find something like that. Ultimately, I suppose I could buy a wooden dowel and slice it into half or quarter inch disks.
[dropcap_1] F [/dropcap_1] or the Rook, I cast it in a white liquid plastic compound. I have the 2 mold halves strapped together with rubber bands. The 2 white box lids you see are to disperse the pressure of the rubber bands so as to not deform the mold. I believe this was overkill since the rubber bands I used were not very strong. But I would recommend it if your rubber bands seem tight.
The white plastic compound I used can be seen bubbling up from the mold on top – that hole is from where the sculptures feet were hot glued to the cardboard wall in the previous “2-part mold” post.
All 4 pieces you see were cast using the same white plastic compound. The difference is, I used a couple drops of a black pigment into the two on the left.
[dropcap_1] I [/dropcap_1] n the 3-part mold, there were pieces of the original sculpture embedded in the blue rubber, which I carefully scrubbed with soap and picked out with tweezers. I could not get all the paint off. The funny thing was how the jagged tears in the rubber worked just like the “keys” I had so carefully sculpted.
Just to reiterate, I was not specifically familiar with the liquid rubber compound going into this project. In the same vein, I had also purchased an unfamiliar liquid plastic to try. To my surprise…
…it came out damn-near perfect, and it’s also clear! It can be painted just like to the other plastic but it’s clear. What possibilities!
From a technical standpoint, the reason it’s clear is for adding colored pigments. For the Rook, when I added the black pigment to the white plastic, it came out kinda grey-black. When I add the same black pigment to this compound it will be black-black.
Another bonus outcome from this test-cast is that it got all the paint out of the mold, so now it’s a little prettier.
I showed the pictures to Amy (the woman that commissioned the custom lighter), who’s now considering a clear finish.
I’m kinda curious to explore the possibilities for this clear plastic. Any ideas? Let me know.