Cold casting - mixing metal powder with resin

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skull collector

New Member
i must say that i do learn so much from you guys here at the lair.... i dont think my skill level is ready for cold casting
but its good to know that when im ready to try it....that ive learnd it here from you guys and the huntorials on the lair
i kinda feel like the kungfu student learning from the masters of the lair... lol
thanks for sharing that smoothon tutorial :) :(
 

Elkman

New Member
I saw that video, because I'm subscribed to Smooth-On on YouTube. It looks like an interesting technique. I'll have to give it a try.

I tried mixing an antique silver powdered pigment with Smooth-Cast 300 and casting a gauntlet blade with it, but the results were underwhelming. Instead of looking silvery, it just turned out gray. I'll try out the metal powder technique the next time I have a casting to experiment with, and I'll see what happens.
 

Bowelrock

Sr Member
Love the Marcus Miller music hahahh


BTW Elkman.. Adding pigment is much different.. With cold casting your are actually introducing a metal into the resin.. After doing so your resin can be polished, or aged if you so desire because it has a pure metal /Alloy inside of it. You also have to remember that you really have to add the same volume metal to the resin, if you don't the results wont be as noticable.
 

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Guan Thwei

New Member
Yeah I was going to use the Nickel metal powder with the smoothcast 300 color matching resin for the blades only and then I was going to use their color powder called the silver bullet to do the armor in that way I would hope that it would save me time in painting anything for the plastic and having to prime the plastic first then trying to paint all the detail of weathering on to it. Not a very good painter I must say, so I thought this would save me from any remarks on my lack of painting skills.
 

hez1

New Member
Guan, I would recommend using aluminum powder over the nickel/silver that smooth-on sells, because the nickel is super expensive. $50 a pound? Hooooly ****. Depending on how heavy it is (probably quite) then that 1lb may not go very far either. So far I've used aluminum, bronze and copper, and 1lb of aluminum is significantly more powder than 1lb of bronze. www.sculpturedepot.net sells aluminum powder that I've used before, with good results with the smooth cast 325.

I don't know that this is exactly a substitute for painting either. It will looks silvery, yes, but that's it. It's still a blank slate that you need to weather over the top of, it's simply with cold casting, the technique is different. You can use paint if you want, I personally use a propane torch and aluma black.

Elkman, I believe the smooth cast 300 doesn't take pigment quite as well as some of the others, 320 and 325 especially, which might account for the lack of effect you got.

In case it helps, here's some pics I took for someone while I was doing a cold cast celtic bio. I do it a little different to the smooth on video.

Measure everything out
IMG_2743.jpg.gif


Pour part b in the cup and add tint
IMG_2744.jpg.gif


Add metal powder and mix
IMG_2745.jpg.gif


It'll look a little sludgey till you add the part a (not pictured)
IMG_2746.jpg.gif


Part a has been mixed in, and everything poured into the mold
IMG_2747.jpg.gif


Slush until it starts to set
IMG_2748.jpg.gif
 

Guan Thwei

New Member
Guan, I would recommend using aluminum powder over the nickel/silver that smooth-on sells, because the nickel is super expensive. $50 a pound? Hooooly ****. Depending on how heavy it is (probably quite) then that 1lb may not go very far either. So far I've used aluminum, bronze and copper, and 1lb of aluminum is significantly more powder than 1lb of bronze. www.sculpturedepot.net sells aluminum powder that I've used before, with good results with the smooth cast 325.
I don't know that this is exactly a substitute for painting either. It will looks silvery, yes, but that's it. It's still a blank slate that you need to weather over the top of, it's simply with cold casting, the technique is different. You can use paint if you want, I personally use a propane torch and aluma black.
In case it helps, here's some pics I took for someone while I was doing a cold cast celtic bio. I do it a little different to the smooth on video.
I was just stating my ability to paint which is not that great and I would not want to ruin a good casting of anything with a bad paint job. The Nickel was just something that they had both metal and silver in color. If aluminum works then I can use that. I can't wait to see this finished keep us posted watching the thread :)
 

hez1

New Member
Oh, this is already done and gone...I was just taking pics to show someone the basics. I can post some pics of a few cold cast bios if people want to see them.
 

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VaderDave

New Member
Do you do multiple pours to fill and thicken the casting? Pic makes layer shown look really thin and doesnt cover completely but I assume that that is because of setting time being involved.
 

hez1

New Member
Do you do multiple pours to fill and thicken the casting? Pic makes layer shown look really thin and doesnt cover completely but I assume that that is because of setting time being involved.
Dave, yes, that's exactly how I do it. A thin outer layer of the cold cast material is all you need, as it gets heavy fast. I use roughly 1lb of powder per bio just doing a couple of thin coats.

Here's a few pics of cold cast bios:

Aluminum
IMG_2016.jpg


Aluminum
IMG_1897.jpg


Bronze
IMG_1838.jpg


Copper
IMG_2801.jpg
 

VaderDave

New Member
Ok, just so I get this right...Coat the mold with a thin layer of the resin/metal mix, allow to set up, and then do layers of regular resin until the bio is built up to the desired thickness allowing each layer to set before the next layer it added.

Am I tracking that right? :(
 

hez1

New Member
Ok, just so I get this right...Coat the mold with a thin layer of the resin/metal mix, allow to set up, and then do layers of regular resin until the bio is built up to the desired thickness allowing each layer to set before the next layer it added.

Am I tracking that right? :(
Bingo. It's slightly time consuming and may take some practice till you get used to how the resin sets. I find smoothcast 320 to work best because it has a pretty gradual set up.
 

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VaderDave

New Member
One more question:

When you take the casting out of the mold, does it look like metal or do you have to do something to the surface (ie...polish...steel wool..etc..) to bring out the coloration of the metal?
 

hez1

New Member
You have to scrub it. The smooth-on video recommended rubbing it with mineral spirits first I think? I don't remember. Then steel wool, then some of the metals benefit from polish like brasso. I had great results with the copper and brasso polish, after going from coarse to fine grades of steel wool. I recommend the smooth on video if you haven't already watched it. Search the Arsenal forum for my cold cast P2 thread, that shows you how that looked at various stages. Right out of the mold it just looked like brown resin.
 

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