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Which Casting Resin Do They Use?


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#1 RyanSilva

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Posted 09 November 2008 - 11:04 PM

Just curious what some of the well known resin casters out there, which resin do you use, and from what company?

The reason why i ask, and i understand if it is a trade secret, or secretive due to competition, but Im a home caster..but i want QUALITY. Ive gotten resins from some of the well known casting companies , and Im not to happy with the finish (yes i do know how to cast, and yes i use a pressure pot, i know the basics)

I got some masters with some detail in them, that i want to use a high quality resin..Ive been impressed by andy martin, reliable resins, modelhaus, replica & miniatures..etc Just never knew what brand resin they use, Yes i know i could ask directly..but id rather not.

I understand the high price in quality resins, thats fine.. I just want great quality stuff with a slow set time (15minutes or higher.)


Thanks :)

#2 monkeyclaw

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 03:52 AM

Ryan; This is one of those questions you will probably get a different answer from everyone who reponds. There are a plethora of available resins and silicones for moldmaking out there; and I have founf it to be a highly personal choice for each caster.... Most companies will send you "sample" sizes to try; to see if THEIR product will work for YOU. My personal choice is Alumilte white; I like the timing; it does not generate much heat in the mold; and gives a "kit like" appearance to finished parts; and takes color well when casting colored resin..... as far as silicone goes; I use firm silicone from MPK (hobbysilicone) who also offers a wide variety of resins; which also work very well...If you plan to parts with lots of small detail; I would tell you that VISCOSITY will be your main area of interest; MPK does offer low and ULTRA low viscosity resins; which "flow" incredibly well for doing small detail parts; and for thin castings...here is contact info for the people I use ... I hope this info helps.............matt

www.alumilite.com 1 800 447 9344 Carol Warner

www.hobbysilicone.com 714 899 7963 Mike Knott

#3 BigPoppa

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Posted 10 November 2008 - 08:36 AM

I just do small parts, but I got all my training from a guy who produces a lot of model ships. We use Smooth-On 300 or 305, I forget which. Most casters I've seen have resin that cures in a light yellow, including R&R, Modehaus, Promo-lite, AAM, Drag City. Not sure which resin they use, but I did have this link saved from a long time ago recommended to me

http://vagabondcorp.com/

I really like Smooth-On, but it seems a little flimsy compared to the other stuff I've seen, but I haven't tried anything like bodies yet, and the ships are usually 1 piece mold solid "bricks" since inside details isn't needed.

For a few bucks, I could send you a small sample, I have extra.

#4 RyanSilva

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 04:48 PM

Thanks guys! I l look into those companies.

Anyone else? ;)

#5 Ricks

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:00 PM

I cast alot of small parts and use all smooth on products...

AFX uses smoothon
garage cast used smooth on
scale modeling by chris uses smooth on
time machine uses smooth on
Scale repro plus uses alumilite

Theres a few past and present casters that i know what they use..

#6 RyanSilva

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Posted 12 November 2008 - 08:18 PM

Thanks Ricks! Big help..Looks like a call to smooth-on is coming soon.

#7 jeffb

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Posted 13 November 2008 - 04:07 PM

ah..hem, hem.....motor city resin casters uses smooth on too

#8 Art Anderson

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Posted 15 November 2008 - 08:17 AM

I just do small parts, but I got all my training from a guy who produces a lot of model ships. We use Smooth-On 300 or 305, I forget which. Most casters I've seen have resin that cures in a light yellow, including R&R, Modehaus, Promo-lite, AAM, Drag City. Not sure which resin they use, but I did have this link saved from a long time ago recommended to me

http://vagabondcorp.com/

I really like Smooth-On, but it seems a little flimsy compared to the other stuff I've seen, but I haven't tried anything like bodies yet, and the ships are usually 1 piece mold solid "bricks" since inside details isn't needed.

For a few bucks, I could send you a small sample, I have extra.


For years, Vagabond polyurethanes were the standard, used by just about everyone in resin casting. Their 36XXX resin is the one that cures to a light tan color, and I suspect it's still the brand that Modelhaus uses. Located outside of San Diego CA, the transportation costs are higher than some more locally available resins in the Midwest and eastern parts of the US, however, at last I knew, Eager Plastics in Chicago was marketing this brand and formula for Vagabond, in the midwest.

With resin casting however, generally speaking it's not so much the brand or formula of urethane resin used, but the mold and its surfaces that determine the quality of the casting. The most common formulae of silicone RTV rubbers are those which use a tin-based catalyst. These grades of rubber can be had ranging from as soft as a feather (figuratively speaking) to nearly as hard as a rock (again, speaking figuratively). The harder the cured compound, however, the less elasticity it has, and consequently a lower tear strength. With all tin-cured RTV's I ever used, "leaching" of some of the component liquids in the uncured resin will occur in an unprotected mold, leading to gradual surface deterioration of the rubber, and consequently, an often grainy surface to the casting. This is what mold barrier coatings are meant to prevent, at least for a significant number of casting cycles. Price-Driscoll makes a line of barriers that are rattle canned onto the mold, which prevent this leaching, in addition to lubricating the rubber mold for easier demolding of the finished castings. The best of these, in my experience, is their Polyester Ultra Par-Film, which is used about every 4th or 5th casting cycle--extends the life of a mold considerably (and makes the mold surfaces retain their smooth finish longer as well), but it does need to be washed away before painting, regardless of what P-D says

However, remember that a mold is only as good as the master used to make it--RTV is more truthful than the finest camera, it will pick up the tiniest of surface characteristics, even reproducing the shiny surface of writing on a master with a Sanford Sharpie, it's that sensitive. So, whenever possible, polishing the master to at least a satin sheen will give the best casting surface characteristics, and in the bargain, will give you a few more parts from the mold as well.

Art