Jurassic world mosquito in amber - advice please

Discussion in 'Replica Props' started by r_j_young2003, Mar 22, 2015.

  1. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Having a go at a replica of the amber slices seten in the recent JW preview pics /website. I have the mold ready to go and have tried a few combinations of different resins, with dried and alcohol preserved Mosquitos with varying results.
    If any one has any advice on a source for large Mosquitos or crane flies in the uk, or a suitable resin (one that will give the right colour and not heat up too much - it boils the insects) I'd really appreciate it. I think dried specimens is the way to go, as one crane fly that came preserved in alcohol produced a 'cloud' of alcohol as the resin heated up and hardened.
    Thanks, Richard
     
  2. Contec

    Contec Master Member

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    do you pour all the resin at one go or doing layers? if you do layers it would not heat up as much.
     
  3. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    I have pretty much got the layer thing sorted, but it's more a suitable source of Mosquitos/ crane flies or if anyone had used a resin that might be suitable
     
  4. Moviefreak

    Moviefreak Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Maybe send Rylo here on the boards a message and he might give you some advice. He makes the best came replica out there.
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Nov 8, 2018
  5. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks, good idea.
     
  6. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Ok, here's my three first attempts.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1428516434.392039.jpg
    First one is too cloudy, and the insect cooked but it's the right colour.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1428516451.883794.jpg
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    Second one is crystal clear, but I didn't add enough pigment so it came out yellowish. I also waited too long before pouring the final layer so it cracked, and there's a weird bubble. I don't mind these imperfections, it's more the colour.
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    The last is the best. Colour came out fine and the mosquito is positioned well. I tried adding some fine gravel to the outside of the mould, but some of it came off into the resin. Actually looks more like a real amber inclusion, but not film accurate enough for me.
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    So, I have two small preserved crane flies left, so will have another go soon. Still looking for large crane flies, either flying about or online if any one knows of a good source online I would be grateful.
     
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  7. nathanial91

    nathanial91 Member

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    looking good man!
     
  8. Onkelpsycho

    Onkelpsycho Sr Member

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    Yeah, very cool...
     
  9. a438980

    a438980 Active Member

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    I wouldn't have a clue how to preserve or ship them, but I can't seem to open a door to go outside without a cranefly flying in.
     
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  10. DRay1218

    DRay1218 Jr Member

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    I was just thinking of making these. I think I'll keep an eye on yours first
     
  11. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Hahaha. Typical. Not seen one since I have started this project.

    Thanks for the comments guys.
     
  12. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Right, latest attempt. Got the pigment mix right I think. Also worked out the correct ratio that sandwich the mosquito. Have worked out the strange bubble is the alcohol evaporating as the resin sets, and even though I thought I dried it out, there was obviously some left in it's body. So have to use dried / frozen crane flys. It is interesting that some of the actual props have these bubbles that connect to the bottom, which shows that they were cast upside down. I will have to just wait for some crane flies to turn up now!
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  13. Arlington Beech

    Arlington Beech Well-Known Member

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    Fantastic looking! Should we be keeping an eye on the 'Project Run' section?
     
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  14. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    @r_i_young2003 what have you used on the outer edge? Looks great.
     
  15. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Well, you could always drill out those bubbles and say that it was an already harvested mosquito.
     
  16. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks. It's just painted, the detail of the outer surface is sculpted in the mold.
     
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  17. clarence

    clarence Well-Known Member

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    DSCF0019 (2).JPG DSCF0104.JPG I made several jurassic rock items a few years ago and I got my Crane flies from the spider webs in my garage I set them in eggs,rocks experimenting produced some unusual results the rocks in the picture are not painted.I poured half of the egg inserted crane fly and poured the other half perhaps it was the fact of being dried they stayed intact I never had one boiled. Air drying them may be the way to go If they are frozen they must contain water bodily fluids ? this will not help the resin. I have just posted one of the rocks on E-Bay UK http://www.ebay.co.uk/itm/Jurassic-Park-resin-amber-rock-film-prop-/231526752362?.

    - - - Updated - - -

    DSCF0065.JPG DSCF0104.JPG
     
    Last edited: Apr 12, 2015
  18. JERSEYGL

    JERSEYGL New Member

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    oh man, I seen these on the JW website and knew someone would be making these shortly... Amazing job rj young. wouldn't mind seeing a run in the next few months, just my two cents ;)
     
  19. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks for the comments. I wouldn't mind doing a run, but am really struggling on the cranefly front. I have one in my freezer which I'll have a go with at the weekend. Also have some more accurate amber pigment on the way.
     
    ConstruX likes this.
  20. BC-FX

    BC-FX Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    man! i started this the other day too, if you dip the fly in un-activated resin before casting it may help, i cast some spiders years ago and remember doing that for some reason.
     
  21. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I think this is why you cooked the last fly. The fly contains liquid and when stored in the freezer is either going to be really cold or really wet and neither is good to drop into resin which sets of an exothermic reaction as it cures. Adding too much catalyst will also cook anything your wanting to embed as well. Placing the fly in the raw resin (regardless if it equal parts or a catalyst additive) will keep the air off it and "preserve" it at room temperature.

    When you are ready to add the resin soaked fly to the prop, there will be enough contact with mixed resin to cure it. Even if it didn't cure, it is now 100% enclosed by cured resin and will be fully preserved.
     
  22. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice, that sounds like a plan. I am a bit worried about the crane flies legs dropping off when transferring it into the resin. Will give it a go the next crane fly I come across. Will try and post some pics of the latest attempt tomorrow.
     
  23. cavx

    cavx Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    I'd mix a small amount of tinted resin to have on hand as well for when you find it. That way you can drop is straight in and let is soak up the resin.
     
  24. Confused85

    Confused85 Active Member

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    What resin and pigment did you end up using? I'm in the UK too so I'm interested to know what's available.
     
  25. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Hey, I'm using East Coast water clear polyester casting resin with castin' craft amber tint.
    Here are the pictures I promised of the latest go. I got the cranefly spot on, managed to work out how to pour in layers in the right proportions, but didn't add enough pigment. Did a small test but it turns out the more resin, and presumably more heat generated, the lighter the colour. The new castin' craft pigment gives a lovely light brown/orange colour, and is more natural looking than the previous pigment.
    I've sculpted and started moulding a more accurate version which I should get done by the end of the week. I continue to hope and keep a eye out for more crane flies.
    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1432475604.250714.jpg
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  26. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Latest crane fly victim. This was a big fella and turn out pretty well. Would love a circular sander and a buffing wheel to get these super smooth, but they'll do. Have put some of the others up on eBay if anyone wants a bargain.

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1434888714.010120.jpg
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  27. dontfeedmyego

    dontfeedmyego Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    What's the eBay link??? Dead interested


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  28. Mike J.

    Mike J. Master Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    That one looks really good.

    You local auto parts store may have buffing and polishing compounds...

    The first thing I thought of was wet sanding with 2000 grit sandpaper, but I'm sure that's too rough to give you a nice glossy surface.


    -MJ
     
  29. Luke0312

    Luke0312 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Have you been sanding the faces of the cast any? If not, you should.

    The resin you're using (polyester) is a layering resin, meaning it cures in layers. What I do is pour a cast, let it cure for around a week, then sand through the outer (not fully cured) layer, exposing a cured layer underneath. When I'm speaking of layers, they are very thin, it doesn't take much. I start with and use 240 (wet sanding) until it is no longer tacky, then work my way up to 2000 (240, 400, 600, 800, 1000, 1200, 1500, 2000). After the 2000, it will be very hazy, but you go over it with some polishing compound (I use Meguiar's M105 and M205) and it becomes perfectly clear. You don't need anything powered to sand/polish these, in fact that might create too much heat, doing it by hand is sufficient. Use a rubber block sanding pad and put your paper on there.

    As for the heat of the cast, you can control that by using less hardener. I buy syringes and needles (largest gauge I can find) at Tractor Supply (any place that sells livestock supplies should have them). They allow you to just draw the hardener from the bottle and get a more precise measurement. Once you know exactly how many cc's you need it's very simple to get the same amount every time. It will eventually eat away at the rubber stopper in the syringe, so use it for a few cast (if done on the same day), then trash it. The syringes are pretty cheap, 25 or 50 cents a piece, the needle can be reused quite a bit more.
     
  30. stevenentabita

    stevenentabita New Member

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    Looks nice, very well made!
     
  31. Sharkdog

    Sharkdog Active Member

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    Could you elaborate a little more on how you're pouring these and how you position the crane flies in the resin? I imagine it's fairly thin layers and you lay the fly on its side?
     
  32. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks very much for the advice. I'm going to go get some sand paper at the weekend. I picked up some turtle wax polishing compound this evening and did a little test with the sandpaper that I had. It worked pretty well so going to attempt it on the better ones.

    As for the casting, I mix three volumes of resin with the pigment up at the same time to get a consistent colour. The first batch, which is roughly half the total volume of the cast, 150ml, is poured and left to harden. The second pour of 50ml contains the insect, placed carefully about half way through the pour. The insect will move around slightly so you have to be careful. Then the final pour of 100ml goes on top after the second layer has set. Hope that helps.

    I'll keep updating until I'm completely happy with one. I've got one in the freezer that somebody at work brought me - yes, it is becoming an obsession!
     
  33. Luke0312

    Luke0312 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    You might be doing this already and I misread, but an easy way to get consistant color for each batch is mix a single batch in a larger container, then seperate it into the other containers. You would add the hardner to each of the 3 other containers.

    As for the bug moving, I pour one half and let it start to cure (never timed it, I just move the mold until I can tell it's starting to gel). When it first starts to gel, I place the bug. Placing it too early and it will sink through the resin, placing it too late and it will just sit on top of the resin and can move when you do the final pour. Just trial and error, getting a feel for it. The good thing is, the resin you're using is slower curing (unless you overdo the hardner), so the window to work it isn't too tight.
     
  34. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Thanks for the advice again, you know I never even thought about mixing one large batch and separating before I added the catalyst. Doh!

    The sanding and buffing advice really spurred me on to having a go, and it paid off.....

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1435319141.661538.jpg
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    Not perfect but getting there. I managed to get this far with normal grades of sandpaper (no wet sanding), because that's all I had, and some scratch remover from halfords (t-cut).
     
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  35. Clutch

    Clutch Master Member

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    If we're talking something millions of years old, is it possible to get it 'too' perfect?
     
  36. allosaur176

    allosaur176 Sr Member

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    Looks great! I may be interested in getting a couple of these
     
  37. dontfeedmyego

    dontfeedmyego Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    any update on the link to the eBay ones?
     
  38. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    I PMed you, the ones on there sold I'm afraid.
     
  39. dontfeedmyego

    dontfeedmyego Well-Known Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Hmmm weird, never got a PM


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  40. Kopesh

    Kopesh New Member

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    Very nice! Your crane fly obsession seems to be yielding some impressive results. I especially like the "crust" effect you have going, it looks very convincing. While I've yet to see the new movie, the amber piece from the original always fascinated me. This looks like the kind of thing Hammond would be delighted to have to hold down his most important papers!
     
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  41. LTsmash1200

    LTsmash1200 Sr Member RPF PREMIUM MEMBER

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    Yeah, I'd love to get my hands on a replica of the amber mine chunk from the original JP.
     
  42. r_j_young2003

    r_j_young2003 Active Member

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    Not able to do a run, but I have eight amber crane flies in various states of completion that I'm wanting to pass on. Pm me for details if anyone is interested......

    ImageUploadedByTapatalk1442682271.969860.jpg
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