Tuesday, 26 May 2015

First Impressions

Instant mould - the power of creation is finally in my hands!

I've been hankering after getting some instant mould for a while now. And one too many sessions fishing Play-Doh out of Junior Stylus' mouth finally convinced me to get the grown-up stuff.

It took me ages to shape the right-angles, but I should have a working Jenga set by Christmas 2017

The process of press-moulding is simple, even for a simpleton like me:
  • Throw the mould stick into a bowl of just-boiled water
  • Fetch out the softened stick and mush it up into a blob
  • Press the object into the blob, and leave it there for a few minutes
  • Pry out the object (the material will now have hardened, but be springy enough to peel back
  • (if you're not happy with the press mould at this stage, chuck it back into the boiled water and recast)
  • Press a blob of greenstuff into the new mould and leave to harden

"I'm melting! I'm melting! Oh, what a world..."

This was my first attempt - shoving a Troll's face into the mould. It captured the detail very well, albeit I couldn't get any of the peripheral stuff (like ears) into the mould. That may be a limitation of press-moulding, or maybe I just need more practice.

This one (the side of a boar chariot) was a little trickier than just shoving a face into the mould. The details have been captured perfectly, but the shape itself is a bit warped. I suspect this is because I held the mould in my hands when pressing it, rather than shoving it down against a flat surface.

So just the first two test cases here (both of them discards). The real proof of how this holds detail will be when I paint them, but whenever I do some of my own sculpting in the future, I now have a way of preserving the design. It also opens up the possibility of using 'real-life' materials (wood, stone, brick) to get some more interesting textures.

Time to buy more green stuff!

Disclaimer: another limitation of press-moulding is a legal one. Using this stuff to recast a miniature, even for non-commercial use, skirts dangerously close to GW's Intellectual Property claims. So trying to build a unit of Greatswords on the cheap is a definite no-no.


  1. DIYWFB. Who could ask for anything more?

  2. So, wait, are the moulds reusable? Can you cast with it a couple of times, sling it back in boiling water and do something new? Or does it set permanently once cold?

    1. Once softened, you can only get one cast out of it (or the same design - as many copies as you like), because it cools and hardens within minutes.

      But when you're done with it - throw it back into boiled (not boiling, unless you want a primordial soup) water and it squashes down into a malleable putty again.

      So yes, theoretically an infinite number of casts.