2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

What can I use to cast small figurines? I'd rather do a gypsum product than a resin and it would have to be able to capture fine detail and be fairly hard, so it wouldn't break. Thanks!

Answer
2 years ago
mickpearson
Master
Blogs: 21
Forum: 2,919
Votes: 52

HI FLORA'S POND.where are you from can you buy different types of plaster where you come from. the hardest plasters are stone plaster. alpha.k herculite 2.crystacal.and crystacal r. and others.depending on where you are uk or other

Reply
2 years ago
GunZ McGraw
Platinum Member
Blogs: 2
Forum: 310
Votes: 8

Hi ya and welcome
Nice sculpture! Is it polymer clay?

If your in the USA or Canada similar plasters go by hydrocal & hydrocal white from USG.
I personally like hydrocal. It has high compression which makes it strong. It's also easy to mix using the island method ( see my blog for video)
I also use a lot of dry stone but you have to weight the plaster and water to get the right ratio. You also need a mechanical mixer. It's dries in 4 hours and is very hard too. You can also PM Zombie on this forum as he casts a lot of plaster.
Here is a link to USG
http://www.usg.com/industrial/art-statuary.html

Reply
2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

Thanks! I think I'll try hydrocal. I was looking at a couple different gypsum products and hydrocal seems to be the best for ease of mixing, bright white finish and strength.

Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

Hey Flora,
Ya Might try Hydrostone instead of just plain Hydrocal as it has even more stength and is about the same price or even Tufstone as it is stonger still (polymer and fibers mixed in)
what kinda mold are ya thinking of using?

Reply
2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

A friend of mine who makes pewter is molding them in silicone. He said it doesn't need de-gassing, but I don't know the name of it. Doesn't Hydrostone take a long time to set up? I may get some of a few different things and try them out. I has wanted to do a cold cast porcelain some time ago, but dealing with polyester resins in my home wasn't workable for me.

I'm doing a Kickstarter project and will be producing pieces as rewards for my backers. http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/264560958/digging- floras-pond

Reply
2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

I looked at Tuffstone and will try that out. Looks like it may be perfect.

Reply
2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

I see you're not supposed to mix it by hand. Anyone know how I'd mix very small batches by machine and what machine I'd use?

Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

Hey Flora, they all take about the same amount of time to set up...usually somewhere around 25-30mins.
As for the tufstone, I mix larger batches so I use a paint mixer attachment on a drill.... you may be able to find a smaller version of one of them at Home depot/Lowes/Rona... You could also probably get away with picking up one of those handheld electric mixers at a thrift store and using it
If all else fails just mix it really well by hand... It still seems to set up the same, it's just harder to mix.
good luck!!

Reply
2 years ago
GunZ McGraw
Platinum Member
Blogs: 2
Forum: 310
Votes: 8
Flora's Pond wrote:
I see you're not supposed to mix it by hand. Anyone know how I'd mix very small batches by machine and what machine I'd use?


I use a Hanson Single Head Mixer in my drill for Dry Stone. Works very well
Just a heads up. Zombie may attest to this? When you mix up Dry Stone ( Never used Tuff) at the proper water to plaster weight ratio it's not soupy or liquid at all. It's more like mud. With such a viscosity it doesn't look like it will pour but it does.
You may also want to keep a eye for some cheap scales too.

Evil Store Link

http://sculpturesupply.com/detail.php?id=250884& sf=searchtext&vl=hanson
Reply
2 years ago
Flora's Pond
Guest

Great information, everyone! I really appreciate it! I think I'll try tuffstone and get an attachment for my drill. I'll let you know how it comes out!

Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

Never tried Drystone GunZ..
Tufstone is a little more liquidy by the sounds of it... more like the consisentcy of a milkshake i'd say.
I had the same feeling about it not pouring properly too though.... doesn't look like it'll pickup detail properly but it does...just make sure to tap the mold a bunch to get the airbubbles out

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

I'm no longer a guest. I think I'll have lots of questions as I go along and appreciate your great support!

Reply
2 years ago
mickpearson
Master
Blogs: 21
Forum: 2,919
Votes: 52

HI FLORASPOND.welcome on board the ship. do you use fimo clay that you can make lots of little figures out of put them on a baking tray and pop them in the domestic oven for twenty minutes and then they are solid.

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

I use super sculpey. The ones I'm going to cast are made from that. I had to ship them to have molds made, so it had to be solid. I have made a lot of dolls from that as well, but as something to sell, it's pretty brittle.

Reply
2 years ago
mickpearson
Master
Blogs: 21
Forum: 2,919
Votes: 52
try some fimo its like resin when baked and you can buy it in many clours including flesh tone. the little figure in your photo can be a latex or silicone mould. i know resin stinks. i use it outside the house and it doesn't mater if its cold outside as the catalyst sets it of.however two part fast casting resin is different in the fact it is almost odorless. and has a slight smell of almond and is easy to mix coming in equal amounts to mix and can be pigmented in any colour.
Reply
2 years ago
mickpearson
Master
Blogs: 21
Forum: 2,919
Votes: 52
Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

fimo and sculpey are essentially the same thing... they'd both stand up pretty well to shipping once baked but they are waaay more expensive then using gypsum...
that and using polymer clay for casting doesn't work for all applications as it can't be poured and has to be demolded before baking so you'd end up with finger prints and such..
not a bad idea, just alot more $/work IMO

Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

it's more suited for one of sculpts and making masters...

Reply
2 years ago
mickpearson
Master
Blogs: 21
Forum: 2,919
Votes: 52

it's more suited for one of sculpts and making masters

HI ZOMBIE.that's what i was saying. not for casting but making originals to mold. as it would save some money

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

I'm not interested in one-offs right now, so color doesn't matter. I use super sculpey because I'm familiar with how it sculpts, but anything I want to sell will be in a gypsum product in a silicone mold. I've made latex and silicome molds and cast in Gardencast and hydrocal, so I understand the process. Looking for the right casting material for small figurines. I'm going to test in hydrocal and tuffstone. I like the color of tuffstone and like that it's a polymer blend, so hopefully that will be the right one. I tried casting polyester resin, but don't like it.

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

I have my molds and cast my first ones in Tuff Stone. I didn't let it cure long enough the first time and will try again. I was able to mix it by hand, since I was pouring such a small amount. What can I use as a mold rinse to keep bubbles from the surface. I used to use a mold rinse product that was like a soap, but I can't find it anywhere. Can I use a soap solution? TRhanks for your input, everyone!

Reply
2 years ago
GunZ McGraw
Platinum Member
Blogs: 2
Forum: 310
Votes: 8

Hi ya
I've never used release or bubble busting solutions for plaster as I've had very little surface bubbles. Well a few but very, very small.
I have read about a drop of dish soap mix with water. Also a 50/50 mix of windex. Also wiping the mold surface with castor oil.
Here is a video from the good old plaster master
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZLww18JJ8hw

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

Thanks! My figures are so small, even a tiny bubble is too big! I'm trying a rinse of dishsoap and water this time. I'll let you know how it does. LOVE Plaster Master!

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

Thanks to everyone for your great advice! The project is complete! Tuffstone worked great. I mixed it in such small quantities it was easy to mix by hand in my rubber bowl. I'd still like to find some mold rinse, but brushing and rinsing the molds with a soap solution worked pretty well.

Going forward, I'll be looking for a somewhat softer mold material to allow for more undercuts. The next project is a flatter piece and I'll use brush-on latex.

Reply
2 years ago
ZOMBIE7666
Gold Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 165
Votes: 5

Awesome! good work!
Happy it worked out well for ya

Reply
2 years ago
GunZ McGraw
Platinum Member
Blogs: 2
Forum: 310
Votes: 8

Yes indeed very nice May I ask about your finish? Colours? Wash effect?

Reply
2 years ago
floraspond
Fresh Member
Blogs: 0
Forum: 7
Votes: 1

I used a coat of clear acrylic glaze with a bit of pearl powder. The stain was done with more glaze and raw umber acrylic (my favorite color). The tiny bit of pearl powder gave them an almost porcelain finish. I was very happy with it!

Reply
By entering this site you declare you read and agreed to its Terms, Rules & Privacy and you understand that your use of the site's content is made at your own risk and responsibility.
Copyright © 2006 - 2015 My Sculptures Gallery