If there is one problem with the little green army men, it's that kids never seem to have enough. Rather than buying hundreds of them, it's far more fun to make a mould and cast them yourself. This allows you to use different colours and materials for a greater variety than is available commercially. In order to create your army, you will first need to create a two-piece mould.
Lay a 1-inch thick slab of clay onto a flat work surface.
Lay the army men on their backs on the clay and press them halfway in. Chances are they already have seam lines from their manufacture. If so, use those lines as your guide for how far into the clay they should go.
Dig a channel in the clay leading from the army men to the outside of the clay. This will allow you to pour in liquid plastic to make new army men. If the army men already have a noticeable cut-off notch from their manufacture, use that as a guide.
Press a small rubber ball into the clay in a few areas away from the army men to create semicircular depressions. These will form keys that will help to hold the two halves of the mould together.
Build a wall around the army men and keys with paint sticks.
Spray the entire mould with two coats of clear plastic spray to seal the clay and make demolding easier.
Fill the mould with plaster, cement, silicone or any other moulding material.
Allow the moulding material to dry.
Carefully remove the paint sticks and clay, leaving the army men in the first half of the mould.
Set the first half of the mould on the table with the army men facing up.
Rebuild the wall with paint sticks, this time hot gluing them to the sides of the mould to form a box into which you can pour the top half.
Coat the surface of the bottom half with a release agent such as petroleum jelly to prevent the two halves of the mould from sticking together.
Pour the second half of the mould and allow it to cure.
Open the finished mould, remove the army men and clean it before casting new figures.
Things you need
- Army men
- Water-based clay
- Small rubber ball
- Paint sticks
- Clear plastic spray
- Moulding material
- Hot glue gun and glue sticks
- Petroleum jelly or other release agent