Embedding things in resin, need some feedback for babylon 5 piece.

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by hydin, May 14, 2012.

  1. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Ok...

    Been on a bit of a B5 marathon lately, and came across a prop I always wanted but never really thought of making.

    The telepath virus and cure!

    Virus - Imgur

    Now, originally I thought these would be easily made in lucite, but after doing some research I don't think they would work out very well. They tend to pop the lucite in an oven that's around 350-375 degrees, and that means the little plastic screw top would melt, plus whatever I put in the jar would probably try to evaporate.

    I did want to try a few different things embedded in resin (for some reason the thought of one of the Smallville blood samples in clear resin just seems awesome to me) but the problem is I have literally NO experience in pressure casting, much less owning a pressure pot.

    So... knowing that the best possible way to do this is with a pressure pot, how would you go about trying to do this without, and what resin would you suggest trying?

    Any helps appreciated!
    Chris
     
  2. hydin

    hydin Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Bump for the night crowd.

    Chris
     
  3. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'm no expert, but I did resin casting of prisms a few years back without a pressure pot and the results varied from great to throw away.

    [​IMG]
    This is a resin prism I made back in 2005 from standard casting resin and some 6mm perspex.

    [​IMG]
    Looking through the prism.

    The prop you want to make looks small, so a 1/2 litre tin of clear should allow you to make a few in case you don't get it right the first time.

    The most important trick I learned was when mixing in the catalyst, do not lift the paddle (I used to use those wide wood ones like a doctor might use to examine your throat) off the bottom of the can used for mixing. Place the stick into the resin and even leave it sitting in there if you see bubbles on the stick when you first insert the stick into the resin. The bubbles will float up and pop in the resin before catalyst is added. If the catalyst is added, chances are the resin will set before they have a chance to move. The idea of a pressure pot is crush the bubbles and when the resin sets, they can't expand.

    So when you mix, just move it back and forth and you won't mix air into the resin. Make sure you still work all the container and scrape the sides.

    The other trick is pouring. If you can set up the job so that fill a pour tray that runs into the mold, you less likely to trap air in the cast. I used to use plastic take away containers with cutout at one end. As I said, sometimes great, other times not so.

    Given the end piece looks to have polished surfaces, you might also want to consider making the mold from pieces of thick (at least 1/4") glass. Or simply fill a small Perspex box. If you make a mold that breaks away, use clay or putty to seal the mold pieces. The casting resin will take on the surface of the finish of the mold, and both Perspex and glass did work for me giving me a smooth finish.
     

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  4. Jonny B

    Jonny B Active Member

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    ...wow...that's a tuffy. Suspending that vile in clear resin?

    I'd thought maybe fishing line, and casting the piece upside down, but it would still be seen.
     
  5. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    The pour is done in 2 parts. You pour up to the level that you want the item to sit at, let that set, then position the item and fill the rest. Providing no dust is allowed to settle, the end of the first pour will not be seen. It will appear as if one part with the item suspended inside.

    The item being set may have to be dunked in raw resin first so that it does not trap air bubbles.
     

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