So Borka’s been bugging me with this idea he’s had for a glowing Kriel stone for a while – amongst other even crazier ideas. Today when my daughter declared that she wanted to make some trees out of sculpey, it seemed to put some more crazy ideas to the test.
So while she was busily making trees, snakes, rocks – largely stuff that involved rolling out long strings of sculpey, I began to put my press mold ideas to the test.
If you simply need bitz for terrain, or conversion we advise that you simply order them from the Privateer Press Parts Service online. In this case we are only making the mold for personal use and because there would be no other way to make a clear resin cast down the road. Reproduction of miniatures in part or in whole can cause legal issues. and will definitely cause legal issues you don’t want if you tried to sell them. Green stuff has been used here to simply show the process and proof of concept for this material as a mold.
I should say this isn’t the first time I’ve tried press molding with sculpey – and the first time was an abject disaster. This time I’m using smaller, flatter bits, metal not plastic bits, and I’m coating them in copious spit before pressing them into the sculpey.
Sculpey is funny stuff. It starts out as this fragile breakable brick that is really hard to get going. You knead it until your fingers get sore, and it gets soft and pliable. Leave it alone for another 15 minutes, and it’ll be a bit firmer, but still pretty pliable. If you start with a press mold, once you stretch it out to get the bit of pewter you pressed into it out, it stays stretched and won’t regain its shape well. It is poorly built for making press molds.
I found the things that made the best press molds were smallish flat things that I could get a decent grip on to pull them back out. After many many many false starts, I came up with these.
Getting this one back out of the sculpey destroyed 5 out of 6 attempts at the press mold
Ditto for this one. If it wasn’t the smear of the hand print, it was a bowed out round stone. Still If I want to cast in clear resin, then I’m going to need a firm mold
You can see how the edges are bowed out from trying to pull out the pewter. Still the sculpey holds some fine detail well.
In fact it holds the fine detail far better than I would ever have expected. Look at that hand and runes
The best results came from flat shallow things that I just pressed in and pulled out – like this one.
Now into the oven at 130 degree centigrade (not Fahrenheit) for 20 minutes and we have trees, snakes and rocks for my daughter to paint – oh and some sculpey molds
I mixed up some greenstuff and then smoothed the surface, coated it in generous amounts of vaseline, and mashed it into the sculpey molds
A day later I cursed and swore as I tried to lever the greenstuff back out without destroying it – seriously – it didn’t want to come back out of the mold
And I’m really rather happy with the result.
The wheel hole needed filling, so I pulled out a dot of greenstuff and some sculpting tools
Turns out no sculpting tool needed. I filled the hole, then used my fingernail to rebuild the wood grain then gently gently smoothed it back.