Resin is a popular material for creating copies of dolls, toys and other figures. The process is done by making a mould of the statue design, then casting the negative image left in the mould with resin. For this kind of project, polyester casting resin is used, since it leaves a smoother surface than the laminating resin used in fibreglass work.
- Skill level:
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Things you need
- Model object or figure
- Latex gloves
- Safety goggles
- Protected workspace with forced ventilation
- Vapour respirator
- Stirring tools
- Plastic cups
- Silicone RTV rubber and catalyst
- Rubber bands
- Razor blade
- Polyester casting resin and catalyst
- Modelling clay
- Small wooden craft balls
- Acrylic paints and brushes
- Polyvinyl alcohol
Choose a model figure or found object that you would like to make copies from. Make sure that the figure is made from a solid, non-porous material like plastic or stone, or an art material like clay.
Create a moulding box for your model figure out of Legos and modelling clay. Build a square of Legos 1/- inch longer and wider than your statue, and tall enough to give the figure a clearance of 1/4-inch on the top and bottom. Roll out a flat piece of modelling clay to use as the bottom.
Mix together half of your silicone RTV rubber with its catalyst, following the directions on the packaging. Pour the silicone rubber into the moulding box until it is filled halfway, then press the figure into the rubber. Press several wooden craft balls around the figure. Let the silicone rubber cure overnight. Remove the wooden craft balls and pour another batch of rubber over the figure, filling the mould. Let the mould cure overnight again.
Pull the moulding box apart and remove the figure. You should have a negative impression of the figure on both sides of the mould, along with the round depressions that fit together. Strap the mould together with rubber bands, and cut a hole in the bottom of the mould with a razor blade, so that you can see the cavity inside.
Mix up the casting resin with its catalyst, following the instructions on the packaging. Pour the resin into the hole in the mould, slowly, so that you do not create air bubbles. Fill the entire mould, then let the resin cure for five hours.
Remove the rubber bands from the mould, separate the mould halves, and then remove the new resin figure. If desired, sand the resin smooth. Hold the statue underwater while sanding, so that the toxic resin dust does not reach the air. Paint or finish the figure as necessary.
Tips and warnings
- Resin is highly toxic. Wear a vapour respirator, safety goggles and latex gloves when working with it.
- Work in a well-ventilated area.
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