1. SPS's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2011
    Dec 15, 2011, 4:33 AM - Alternative flexible casting materials? #1

    Hello again my ever so trusty compadres.
    I was hoping to ask if anyone might have any suggestions for what might make a suitable alternative for a flexible casting material?

    Latex I'm told breaks down over time and so would not be any good for a long life model.

    Silicone as a casting product seems a little daunting for the beginner that I am, so I'm not really comfortable looking at that as an option just now.

    So, would anybody know of a flexible material that would be:
    -Castable in a silicone mold.
    -Durable enough to last as long as a model potentially could if someone were to display it.

    I know I ask a lot around here, but it's only because you guys are always so helpful

    Cheers - Chris
  2. RPF Premium Member OdiWan72's Avatar
    Member Since
    Dec 2000
    Cologne, Germany
    Dec 16, 2011, 3:58 AM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #2

    Donīt have any personal experience with it, but I heard nothing but positive about SmoothOnīs DragonSkin.

    Is it for a mask?

  3. Member Since
    Jun 2009
    Vienna, Austria
    Dec 16, 2011, 7:31 AM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #3

    Everything flexible will break down over time.
    True, latex will break down (over many, many years), but if you take proper care for it (no direct sunlight etc) it will last almost a life time.

    I have a pair of latex hand gurads sitting in direct sunlight for about 3 years now, no sings of wear!

  4. stevieboy1's Avatar
    Member Since
    Nov 2011
    Dec 16, 2011, 7:42 AM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #4

    i use latex to make small smurf figures with out of a clay mold and ive never had any problems with the latex it seems to work well for small figures it does shrink down a bit so I always make the figures a little bigger to allow for shrinkage ive used it for many years for this perpose without any problems and as said uboe providing you look after it it should be fine.

    As for other flexable things you could use i dont know im in the same boat as when i make my large gremlins I want to atempt to make molds for the large parts so I can re cast all the generic gremlins and incase anyone wants any lol.

    id be very interested to know if there is anyother stuff out there we could use?

  5. Member Since
    Dec 2001
    Dec 16, 2011, 4:06 PM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #5

    Latex does break down and decay.It might last a little longer if preserved and stored correctly, but it will not last a life time.Well,maybe if you have it locked up in a temperature controlled vault? Look at Ray Harryhausen's stop-motion puppets.All show minor to extreme wear.Although they were used extensively for long shoots, the foam latex or cast latex does dry out,crumble,crack and fall apart.Silicone has a much,much longer life span and it probabaly can/will last longer than you will.Again, depends on storage and how it is used/displayed. Casting silicone in silicone is very tricky,so I'm not sure I would reccomend that.However, you could cast a urethane rubber into a silicone mold.You do however need to paint&detail it with flexible urethane rubberized paint and if you go with silicone, you need to do the same with a silicone based paint. Its a double edged blade and both have pros and cons to either. Urethane is supposidly far more durable but may not hold up to UV.Again, depends on how it is stored and displayed.
  6. SPS's Avatar
    Member Since
    May 2011
    Dec 17, 2011, 4:06 PM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #6

    Thanks for all the advice guys! Been researching all of your ideas. Some interesting options.
    Does anybody know what store bought bendable rubber toys are made of? As in a crocodile toy with bendable limbs and jaws?
    Cheers - Chris
  7. Member Since
    Nov 2006
    Dec 17, 2011, 4:40 PM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #7

    SPS, I dont know much about casting as I am new to it myself, but If you would like some local advice, then contact these guys for advice.

    They have been helpfull to me as a begginer with stupid questions so I am sure they would be happy to discuss your needs.

    Hope that helps

  8. Tommyfilth's Avatar
    Member Since
    Jan 2010
    Detroit MI
    Dec 17, 2011, 4:58 PM - Re: Alternative flexible casting materials? #8

    Latex will break down. I think you may need to take the plunge to silicones, the smooth-on product line are my favorites, their website has many video's and step by step tutorials, watch as many as time will allow, but nothing will replace working with those materials first hand. buy a trial size and heed the warnings and fail a couple of times to get better with your material knowledge.

    speech over...
    Dragon Skin is an amazing material, it's a little soft for the "crocodile" you described I would say that would be a hardness of about shore 40d (most materials will have data saying what their hardness is) Dragon Skin can be tricky with setting properly especially if latex has in any way come in contact with the mold or material (no latex gloves, use nitrile) that is because it's a Platinum cure silicone, it does work good with water based clay as water will not inhibit and it comes off of almost everything even without a mold release

    Then you have Tin cure silicone which has it's own set of rules that I'm not as familiar with.

    Then you have Urethanes that stick like no ones business, they are less expensive, but I will not use them anymore as they are so "stickable"

    Hot melt vinyl might be the way to go for your "crocodile" I don't have a lot of experience with them, but a lot of theatrical props people use it a lot.

    Do some googling on hot melt vinyl and read as much as you can and always test it out before you slap it on a good mold, rushing into it without knowing what will happen will only expound your pension for disaster.

    The FX Lab forum has some good articles on mold making as well

Similar Threads

  1. Casting in flexible rubber - need help!
    Droidboy, Replica Props
    Replies: 9
    Last Post: Apr 20, 2014, 9:33 PM
  2. Replies: 2
    Last Post: Nov 13, 2013, 1:04 AM
  3. Materials question for flexible parts
    decaturvader, Replica Props
    Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec 5, 2012, 3:43 PM
  4. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Jul 26, 2012, 3:13 PM
  5. Replies: 3
    Last Post: Dec 23, 2011, 9:23 AM