Archive for category casting

Cargo Container Casting

Working with expanding foam is a project I started on a few years back – it seemed to be the perfect hobby terrain solution, light and cheap. A few months ago, I was approached by Mike from Dragon-Fall asking for help in creating large terrain items for the 40K tournament.  It was the perfect motivation to restart work on the project.

Masters were printed at the local library using files from Thingiverse.  Three file sets were used in the project:

Files used under Creative Commons non commercial license.


Masters were gap filled with putty to prevent the mold rubber from encapsulating the cargo container.


Tried out a new Mold Max product – NV14.  This rubber is super stretchy and is also super smooth.  It was able to penetrate the Lego mold box at nearly every point.


First cast with Foam It 8.  Its always a bit of a trial to find the right mix amount.  Here the foaming resin is lifting about 30 lb of paint and rubber.


Eventually the magic number of 72g/36g was found.  The final product takes detail well.  You can see a few air bubbles along the back ridge.  Because the rubber mold was so flexible, I was able to open the mold wide and treat with talc to fix the bubble problem.


15 - 1

After a fall with a stack of paint cans, it was time to get serious with the mechanical restraint.   The mold is enclosed in mdf boards on all sides.  Duck tape holds the sides in position.  The top board is inside a plastic bag to keep the resin from sticking.  Once the resin is mixed, there is about a minute of working time to get the clamps in place before the mix spills out of the box.




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Quick Links: Cast Buildings

Shrine of the Aquilla

From Epic Battles –  English Translation – a German language Epic Armageddon forum.

photos used without permission

The post is in German, but the Google translation does a good job of translating the construction of a massive Epic scale building.  The cast parts pictured above are 3-4 inches high and could easily be used with 28mm figures.  It appears the tiles were created using a 3D printer, then cast in resin.

Hirst Industrial Building

From Hirst Arts forums.

photo used without permission

An ingenious combination of the small brick, industrial pipe and the machinery builder molds.  The build is clean but  well detailed – I’m sure it would fit well with a variety of near modern to steam punk settings.

Tom’s Boring Mordheim Forum

Tom’s forum is anything but boring.  Go check out the Terrain building and Scenery Gallery for a number of well done Mordheim tables.

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Crates and Barrels

The Hirst Arts Cavern Accessory Mold #85 is an invaluable mold.  Crates, barrels, sacks and vessels are appropriate for just about any sort of table top game – fantasy, historical or Sci Fi.  These crate and barrel stands are going to be used at Adepticon on the Legends of the Old West and Malifaux tables.


Review: Terrain Putty

Terrain Putty is a two part resin marketed by Kraftmark as a terrain builder’s solution.  The product is light weight and produces a dough like putty when mixed.  Combining the resin and hardener is a messy job, frequently getting putty all over one’s fingers.  The resin half is a bit “lumpy” and requires careful attention for a smoothly mix.  The baking analogy continues with the combined product as  the putty feels and acts in the fashion of a sugar cookie dough.  The putty pushes and shapes very well, but has limited ability to pull or stretch. Water functions as a tool lubricant & smoothing agent.  While working time is advertised as 2 hours,  I had no opportunity to work the putty past 90 minutes.

Three Tests

Sculpting: Terrain Putty did a fine job of taking and holding sculpted detail.  The putty is very receptive to finger shaping and able to hold a respectable edge with little work.  Care needs to be taken with the uncured putty, as it has little strength.  Only after 24-48 hours does Terrain Putty develop its full durability.

Patching: As a gap filling product for a resin kit, Terrain Putty does poorly.  The lack of elasticity in the putty makes working a “sausage” into a gap a bit of a chore.

Molding: Terrain Putty does take a texture stamp with some success, although the putty does leave residue on the stamp.  The putty can also be used as a casting material in an RTV mold (such as the Hirst Arts molds).  Terrain Putty is adequate at taking detail & could be used as a substitute for a limited number of pieces if casting resin is not available.

Over all I rate the product a B. The ultra small grain of the epoxy holds detail and takes compression molding very well.  Finally, the price does seem a bit high when compared with other product s on the market.

Project photos: Terrain Putty on the gaming table.


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Hirst Pipe Mold Terrain

The 5th ed 40K rules put a new spin on terrain building.  LOS now strictly governs what a model can see.  Area terrain, the abstract fuzzy space of trees or ruins on a platter, is gone.  The solution adopted by Adepticon is to place all terrain objects on 3 inch disks with matching sockets in a MDF base.  The Hirst Arts Pipe molds, along with the Sci Fi molds, provide an excellent resource to build all the required objects.


Pumping station made from 5/8 Pipe mold, 3/8 Pipe Mold, Station Builder, Star Ship Wall mold and the Star Ship Deck mold.



First Rule of Resin Casting …

The first rule of resin casting is to keep moisture away from the resin.  Any contamination & the resin will bubble and will create a flawed casting.  But what happens if water is deliberately introduced to the resin?  Will resin form huge bubbles?  Will the resin geyser like Coke with Mentos?

chem-plant-009The experiment mixed 1 part water with 2 parts resin.  The heavier resin floated to the bottom of the container & resisted mixing with the water.  Only after the excess water was drained from the container did the resin begin to set up.  I was disappointed that the resin/water mix only created a substance some thing like oatmeal.   No 10x expansion in volume.  No flowing river of bubbly resin.  Looks like I need a Plan B to make my toxic chemical soup.

The rest of the project is part of a terrain building surge for Adepticon.  The project will mix the Hirst Arts Pipe molds with Imex plastic kits and a bit of kitchen garbage including water bottles & soup cans.  The resin does serve one purpose – the fragile plastic bottle is now supported by the internal coat of resin.



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Quick Links: Xedrodome

Add one more casting material to the list:  drywall!  The paper/plaster hybrid seems a natural combo for first sketching out the design, then carving with basic tools.  Check out the results at Xedrodome where the Xedric uses this method to create large scale chaos stars for a scratch built chaos titan.  Follow his most recent work on the rest of his Noise Marine army on Dakka Dakka.

Photo credit xedric


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Full Set Lava Bases

The new demon armies provide gamers the opportunity to play one set of models for both 40K and WFB.  The lava bases project is for a friend of mine who wanted a complete set of bases for an upcoming chaos army project.  All that’s needed is either a pinning or magnet system to flip an army from one system to the other.

The bases are green stuff/procreate over plastic bases.  Texture is applied with a concrete rock, then lava channels are added with a wire hook tool and a standard sculpting tool.  Hardest part of the whole project was mixing up all the green stuff – the bases used up a 30 inch roll of GS.  I spent more time mixing than sculpting.   FYI – don’t let your green stuff lay around too long.  The roll I used was stored in the freezer for 6 years, causing the yellow portion to develop a skin that mixed poorly with the blue portion.

The bike/cavalry bases are designed to go from square to round.  The square cav base slots into the open space on the round bike base.

40K lava bases

40K collection

25mm round – resin bases

WFB collection

25mm square


Spectre Hobbies now stocking CTF castings

Spectre Hobbies is now stocking gaming products cast by Chicago Terrain Factory. The initial release includes:

  • 40mm Urban Bases
  • 25mm Urban Bases
  • 25mm Rune Bases
  • Fallen Banner objective marker
  • Alien Pod Mouth terrain piece

Look for the Chicago Terrain Factory products in the Bases category.

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Hex Nut Challenge: Clay Molding

Using art clay to mold and manufacture scale Hex Nuts.  Jedion357 threw down a challenge on TerraGenisis to create a DYI Hex Nut.  Colonel Shofer suggested a latex mold using 2 part epoxy as the casting agent.  Brain storming on the idea, I suggested using art clay as an alternitve mold material.  The Colonel asked that I follow up with the project.

Hex Nut casting using 2 part epoxy and resin as casting materials.  Resin on the left hand side, epoxy on the right.  Impressions taken from a 4mm hex tool head and a 1/8 square plastic rod.  The resin setup without bubbles and cleaned up from the clay with minor effort.  The epoxy suffered a 50% failure rate from bubbles and still seemed a bit rubbery 24 hours after casting.  The cleanup was a bit of a pain – the epoxy is clear & it is rather difficult to identify what material is the casting and what is flash.  I would recomend resin as the prefered casting material for DYI Hex Nuts.

hex nut

hex nut z