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Resin Casting

Resin Casting

Welcome to our resin casting tutorial page. Resin casting is not rocket science, but there are a lot of important steps that add up to a good resin cast. This page will introduce you to the basic process and materials for resin casting figurines and other small plastic parts.

Estimating Volume

It is important to note that while Polyurethane resin may be cast into Polyurethane molds, the required release application will make painting very difficult. Release residue must be removed before paint will adhere to the cast part.

Our EasyFlo Resins are easy to use, hence the name, but you must follow some basic guidelines to get good, consistent, paintable casts. PolyColor Pigments, as seen in this video, may be added to our liquid resins to achieve a variety of colors. This video will walk you thought the basic mixing and measuring steps that will help you avoid common problems.

We have recently added a new economy resin, ArtKast Pourable. This is a light tan/bone colored liquid plastic that has a 3 minute working time (at 70F) and a 15-20 minute demold. This is a great resin for decorative parts that need to be cheap and fast! Like our other polyurethanes, ArtKast may be pigmented with PolyColors.

In this next tutorial we explain the "dusting" method of cold-casting. This is an economical means of producing a metal effect on a decorative part or sculpture. We use ArtKast Pourable and Copper Powder to make a decorative cold-cast piece. We finished this piece with Verde metal wax.

In addition to the standard EasyFlo formulas for solid casting, we also offer EasyFlo 120 for rotational casting. In this next tutorial we cast a resin bust using EasyFlo 120 "sloshed" into the mold. A hollow part like this may also be back-filled with rigid casting foam for additional strength.

For weapon props and cold cast bronze applications, some artists prefer a black resin as the black color compliments metal finishes and cold cast bronze effects. TC-808 Jet Black is an easy to use, 1:1 (by weight) ratio resin for true black parts.

Some of resin formulas, such as TC-1630 are moisture resistant and may be cast into an alginate mold. In this next tutorial we cast TC-1630 tooling resin into and Accucast 590 hand mold to create a core for a prosthetic mold. This process could also be used to create a hand cast from a regular hand lifecast mold to create a more impact resistant positive. We used our 5" x 12" mold tube to contain the alginate. 1630 may be painted and finished with Sculpt Nouveau Metal Coatings & Patinas.

Plasti-Flex Semi-Rigid Casting Resin

In addition to our more traditional resin formulas, we also offer the unique, semi-rigid Plasti-Flex formula. Plasti-Flex is designed to mimic wood and has color of a low-density pine. Plasti-Flex cures to a semi-rigid material with some flex that will also accept a stain just like real wood. Plasti-Flex can be pigmented with our PolyColor Pigments and thickened (for brush-on applications) with PolyFiber. In addition to wood simulation, Plasti-Flex is also popular for prop making applications such as weapons and armor.

Air bubbles in resin parts are a fact of life in the resin casting universe. In this tutorial we explain the process of patching air bubbles using Super Glue and Baking Soda.

Speaking of air bubbles, pressure casting is one way to eliminate all small air bubbles in resin casts. This process requires a god air compressor, a pressure chamber, and a resin with a set time that allows for thorough mixing and placement in the pressure pot. In this tutorial we show the process of pressure casting with TC-803 casting resin.

EasyFlo 120 is ideal for casting helmets and large busts. EasyFlo 120 may be hand or machine rotational cast. EasyFlo 120, like our other resin formulas, may be pigmented with PolyColor pigments. Hollow parts may also be back-filled with our rigid casting foam for additional strength.

 Once you are familiar with the basic resin casting process, you can get more elaborate in your casting techniques. The "Cold Cast Bronze" process, or bonded bronze, is a great way to reproduce sculpture that has the look and weight (if desired) of real bronze by adding bronze powder and PolyColor Pigment to the liquid resin. In this tutorial we explain the basic process of making a cold cast bronze face from a silicone mold.

In this next tutorial we show a variation on the cold-cast-bronze casting process. This is the "dusting" method. Instead of mixing bronze powder into the resin, the powder is poured into the mold and then poured back out, leaving a thin film of bronze powder clinging to the inside of the mold. This method works best with soft silicones like Gel-10, FS-10, TinSil 80-30, or PlatSil 71-11. For the casting we used EasyFlo 90 pigmented with Brown PolyColor pigment.

Sculpt Nouveau waxes are a great way to finish a cold cast bronze piece, but you can also  apply Sculpt Nouveau's traditional green patinas over cold cast resins provided you follow these steps:

Tin Cold Casting - Dusting Method

For this cast we used EasyFlo 60 casting resin and Tin Metal Powder to create an antique silver finish. We used Sculpt Nouveau metal wax to add contrast.

Thickening Casting Resins

There are applications, such as large open faced molds, that require a resin that is a brushable consistency. To accomplish this, PolyFiber II may be added to our resin formulas to create a paste that may be brushed into molds. This same technique may also be used to create support shells for brush on molds.

Finally, some parts may just be cast in plain, Easyflo resin and painted. All of our EasyFlo resins and 15 series resins are designed to be painted if desired. For paintable parts, we recommend casting into a Tinsil Silicone or PlatSil Silicone mold with no release. In order to cast consistently paintable parts, you must measure, mix, and prime your resin accordingly. In this tutorial we walk you through the steps that lead to good, paintable parts.

In addition to our EasyFlo resins, we also offer Optically clear resin such as our Poly Optic 1411. As it comes, Poly Optic 1411 is a relatively fast curing resin.If you need to adjust the cure time, speed it up or slow it down, we offer 14X and 14R. In the following tutorial we cover the basic casting process for 1411 resin.

Pressure casting Water Clear WC-786 Resin

In this tutorial we explain the basic rules of pressure casting along with a host of tips for clear resins in general. WC-786 is a great general purpose water clear resin with great strength and heat resistance. In this video we are casting into PlatSil 71-11 molds.

In the next video, we explain molding and casting techniques for small plastic parts. In this tutorial we use PlatSil FS-20 to reproduce small parts for a Tenyo magic trick using EasyFlo 60 casting resin. The parts were pigmented with PolyColor Pigment.

 In this next tutorial we use sand (play sand from a hardware store) to extend and add weight to a casting resin. We used ArtKast Pourable as it is more moisture resistant than other casting resins. As we explain in video, if the resin is moisture sensitive and reacts with moisture in the sand, the resin will expand and "foam" making for very difficult cleanup.

 In this follow-up tutorial, we use a "slosh" cast of straight, unfilled ArtKast resin to coat the inside of a simple P525 block mold. We then back fill this layer with heavily filled ArtKast resin. Again we used "play sand" from a hardware store as a filler.