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Larryhagmansliver

New to making resins - less expensive option for silicone molds?

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Hey folks,

I just somewhat successfully sculpted and cast my first resin car body in 1:24 scale using an Alumilite super casting kit. What surprised me is how much 2 part silicone I had to use to do it! I used up the jar that came with the kit and had to buy two more on top of that and wound up using 2 & 1/2 jars total at $30 a pop!

Is there a less expensive alternative? I really enjoyed creating something that no one ever manufactured before and would like to continue, or am I going to be forced to start modeling in a smaller scale?

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Is there a less expensive alternative? I really enjoyed creating something that no one ever manufactured before and would like to continue, or am I going to be forced to start modeling in a smaller scale?

Not that I've found. Every time I tried saving money with my resin casting, it ended up costing more in the long run. In my experience, it's a pursuit where you get what you pay for. If the quality of your results is important to you, go ahead and get the best stuff you can find. Your work deserves it, right?

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casting is not an inexpensive proposition. especially if your going to do bodies.its even more so if you want to go public with your castings.

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You can buy both casting resin and mold rubber in larger quantities, which will save you money in the long run.

I happen to like Alumilite products, but others like Smooth On and other brands, so you have to try different brands and models (faster setting, slower setting, different hardnesses, etc.) until you find one you like and get good, repetitive results.

As Jeff suggested, casting a bi-scale car body uses a good bit of mold rubber and casting resin, so you should probably start with gallon quantities. Shop around, but if you stick with Alumilite products, www.hobbyengineering.com has great prices and they ship very quickly in my experience. It's around $100.00 for a two gallon kit (one gallon each) of two-part casting resin, so while the upfront cost is greater, it will cost you less per part when you buy in bulk.

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To save a little money you can also "recycle" your RTV rubber. Old molds that are no longer used or maybe got botched can be ground up in a meat grinder. The chunky crumbs can then be used as fill with your freshly mixed RTV. When properly gassed to get the air out it settles as smooth as silk and I've never had a bonding, weakening or break-down issue. However I only use the fill on big molds like car bodies. I also recommend using a manual meat grinder because mechanical ones can bind and break, especially cheap ones with plastic augers.

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