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Scruff925

New Member
Has anyone ever tried cold casting with graphite powder instead of the typical aluminum, nickel, etc?

I have some that I’ve used as a metallic finish but I’m curious if it would work being mixed into the resin.
 

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robstyle

Master Member
try a small test batch to see if it will mix, pour and cure evenly with the casting material you use. Graphite powder is used as an industrial lubricant which is why its so fine of a mesh. Its something ive used often in color casting but not something I would mix in as a cold casting material. Over the years ive learned "cold casting" is usually a waste of time, money and material. Its the surface finish thats the end result and ive yet to come across anything that cant be done with less investment all around thats been done as a cold cast.
 

Karstein

New Member
I’ve made conductive paint using graphite and acrylic. It works and you can buff it but it’ll come off on your hands unless you clear coat it.
 

Darth Lars

Master Member
I have buffed graphite and "Ebony" Rub'n Buff together on a surface. That got shiny and metallic.
The Ebony variety of the Rub'n Buff has a tendency to crumble though, but maybe it could be replaced with just a wax.
 

Duncanator

Sr Member
Robstyle is right. Most of the additive mixed in for cold casting goes unseen and un-noticed, which can be a waste of money when it's an expensive thing like powdered brass.

I would recommend tinting your resin with pigments to the color (black/graphite) that you want, and then dusting the inside of your mold with a good layer of the graphite powder. The resin will then have the graphite where you want it - on the surface. Then you can buff it after casting.

It sounds like a clear coat is important due to graphites softness, and tendency to come off on your hands.
 

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tubachris85x

Master Member
RPF PREMIUM MEMBER
Robstyle is right. Most of the additive mixed in for cold casting goes unseen and un-noticed, which can be a waste of money when it's an expensive thing like powdered brass.

I would recommend tinting your resin with pigments to the color (black/graphite) that you want, and then dusting the inside of your mold with a good layer of the graphite powder. The resin will then have the graphite where you want it - on the surface. Then you can buff it after casting.

It sounds like a clear coat is important due to graphites softness, and tendency to come off on your hands.


I guess I should chime in here as I sort of disagree with these sentiments. I don't know what kind of props you guys are usually going for or for what purposes, but I can attest to the fact I do a lot of costuming where props require not only to look good, but be durable, cold casting for specific props is quite beneficial. CC aluminum is a good example of this, as it's likely one of the most common forms.

Having worked on Jango pieces for 95% of my entire hobby "career," nothing IMO has held up better than using CC armor/helmet/gauntlets when compared to Rub&Buff or similar paints. There's few paints (economical) that truly hold their look while also being able to last. Yea, CC can be expensive but it's also not nearly as cost prohibitive as one would need when compared to needing specialty painting equipment and space either.

My overall point is that CC is a viable option for both appearance AND durability that you can't just easily get through alternative means, and on top of it, looks the most realistic at the end of the day. Sure, if you just want a dust collector then maybe just painting it will be enough for you, but when you have props that need to be worn and handled, possibly even take a beating every now and then, it's much easier for me to whip out some brasso and polish a blemish than to have to repaint the entire thing.

I'd be interested to see what can be done with Graphite in a CC sense though. There's a few options to choose from but I don't think I've seen that used yet.
 

robstyle

Master Member
My overall point is that CC is a viable option for both appearance AND durability that you can't just easily get through alternative means, and on top of it, looks the most realistic at the end of the day. Sure, if you just want a dust collector then maybe just painting it will be enough for you, but when you have props that need to be worn and handled, possibly even take a beating every now and then, it's much easier for me to whip out some brasso and polish a blemish than to have to repaint the entire thing.

The casting material itself plays a big part in the durability. I use a high impact plastic that was developed for prop use. Ive made cast in color parts as small as a few grams that held up after heavy use. These knives are a great example. The master was not modified in any way retaining the original blade edge and thickness. In the end the hero wasnt even used, just the castings. These held up for a few projects being thrown, fist fights, bounced off walls in Django Unchained... Cast in color, no paint, strait from the mould. I still have them. Ironically a stuntman toying around broke the tip off of one by trying to stick it into a table full force. Just the tip broke off.
 

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ScoobiJohn

Active Member
ok well i'm doing a mandalorian helmet and i 3d printed and doing an xtc-3d coat over the top and had pretty good success adding aluminium powder for a predator mask to the surface coat so i thought i would try it again but to darken it down i added some graphite powder too - will report back tomorrow how it turns out
 

ScoobiJohn

Active Member
well it works with aluminium in there too - just makes it slightly darker - doesn't come off on your hands but then again i think would need a lot more of it if it was just by itself
 

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