Undercuts present the biggest problem with creating a mould of complex objects such as model castles. Undercuts are protrusions that, for the purposes of mould making, overlap. For example, if you look at a person in profile, their legs overlap. There is a space between them that is difficult to account for when you make a mould. It is the same with the spires and turrets of a castle. The best kind of mould to use for a complex item such as this is a "sock mold." Sock moulds are latex shells that easily peel off of prototypes.
- Skill level:
- Moderately Easy
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Things you need
- Face mask
- Paint brush
- Latex mould material
- Wire coat hanger
Spread three layers of newspaper across a workspace in a well-ventilated area. Select an area away from pets and children.
Put on a face mask, either a dust mask or a respirator, and a pair of nitrile or neoprene gloves. Place your prototype castle in the centre of the newspaper. Place the two bricks nearby.
Flip your prototype over and superglue a handle onto its base. The handle can be of any kind, such as a spare cupboard handle, a doorknob or any suitable found item. Apply superglue to the centre of the base and hold the handle to it for 60 seconds until it dries.
Unwind a wire coat hanger and wrap the centre of it around the handle so that you can hang the prototype from it. There should be a length of wire extending from either side of the handle.
Pour the latex into a bowl large enough to dunk your prototype. You can find moulding latex in many craft stores. It comes as a liquid bottled up in medium-sized jars.
Hold the prototype by its handle and slowly dip it into the latex. Do not allow the latex to cover the base. Dipping it slowly prevents air bubbles from forming.
Suspend the prototype by the coat hanger, balancing the wire on top of the two bricks so that the prototype hangs down. Use an old paintbrush to brush the latex over the surface of the prototype, ensuring that it picks up detail and forms an even layer. Let it dry overnight, or until it is a translucent yellow. Store the unused latex back in its original jar and seal it tightly.
Repeat the dipping and drying process four more times. When the final coat is dry, peel the mould gently off of your prototype.
Tips and warnings
- Avoid inhaling any fumes and touching any skin to the latex.
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