Back in 2012 I wrote a post about making small, complex parts by using a product called InstaMold from Cool Minis or Not. In that article I made an modern automatic rifle for an AK47 game I was planning. In this article I will show the results of something I have been trying to resolve for some time: how to make and reproduce a Hussar pelisse (shown below).
Crayola Model Magic to define the basic shape. (Unfortunately I cannot show that as I failed to take a picture before using it to create a mold. Creating the mold destroyed the master, which is a rather frail product.) To harden the part I covered the piece with several layers of white (PVA) glue.
I took that shape and made a simple press mold, where only one side is cast by pressing material into the mold. This took only a few minutes with InstaMold, but I decided to put the mold into the refrigerator in order to ensure the mold was hard. Simply press the piece into the mold, wait for the mold to harden, then pull the part as carefully as you can out of the mold. Note if you accidentally overlap InstaMold over the part you will create an undercut. This may require trimming the mold slightly in order to remove the part. Here is a picture of the trimmed mold.
Here are a set of quick-and-dirty instructions on making a press mold.
I mixed some Green Stuff and pressed it into the mold. After about four hours I was able to pull the part out of the mold without warping the part too much. As you can see there is a little bit of excess material around the edges. Press molding is rarely perfect because it is so hard judging exactly how much material needs to be used to make the part.
Note that there are a few cracks and pits. This can easily be covered with a thin coat of white glue. The gray spots you see are the remains of a failed attempt at using paper mache as the part's material.
Simply trim around the edges of the part and get rid of the excess material.
Looks great! The picture below shows a test fit of the part on the figure.
I can't wait to make the rest of the pelisses som I can finish the unit, which has been sitting on the workbench for a long time.
InstaMold works as advertised. Easy to heat up and create a mold. Easy to reuse the product when you are done with that mold. (Simply throw it in hot water and fuze all the pieces together again.) The great thing is that it is flexible enough to deal with minor undercuts, but not so flexible that the part loses shape when pressing material into the mold. The mold is also easy to trim to fix errors when making the mold (just a sharp blade is required). Finally, although some materials do stick slightly to the mold, it is usually not a problem getting the piece out. Model Magic is just a little too delicate though, so take those pictures of the master prior to using it to make the mold!
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