Make your own geometric shaped toy by breaking down your object into non complex geometric parts. This procedure is optimized so that the piece is easily cast and reproduced with the use of a silicone mold and epoxy resin.
I picked this step by step project because of its accessibility and high end result possibilities. Hope this works as kick starter for a lot of people out there that have the drive and want to make their own toys but didn't know where to get started.
Step 1: Things you will need:
- Iron wire;
- Isopropyl alcohol;
- PS (polystyrene) sheet;
- Silicone + catalyst;
- Epoxy resin;
- Rubber gloves;
- Containers for mixing substances;
- Glue stick;
- Glue gun;
- Utility knife;
- Spray paint;
- Masking tape;
- Permanent marker.
Step 2: PART 01 | Making a model | Sketch.
Step 3: PART 01 | Making a model | Wire frame.
Step 4: PART 01 | Making a model | Epoxy clay.
When working on the second layer you should start using the isopropyl alcohol to make the clay work in ways similar to natural clay. Get your fingers wet with alcohol as you apply the new layer. Try to get closer to your final look, leaving smaller adjustments for later.
In a simple small piece like Mario's mushroom, you'll probably have your final object after the third or fourth layer of clay. Don't try to rush things and get your hands on it again before the two hour basic drying time is done, the point here is to reach the piece you have in mind a step at a time, "slowly" modeling the layers of clay into the shape you want.
I usually model the geometric basic parts separately. For this one, I had a cylinder for the main body, a round shape to put on top and a couple of small cylinders for the eyes. I wait until each part is dry and hard before putting them together.
Step 5: PART 01 | Making a model | Sandpaper smoothing.
Following these steps you can have quite a share of control over the making of the model. It's just a matter of adding and removing material bits at a time to work your way to the final volumetric result.
CAUTION: You have to keep in mind that the shapes you are modeling are going to be cast and unmolded at some point, so they need to be designed in a way they don't get stuck in the mold or what have you.
Step 6: PART 02 | Making the mold.
Tape (or fix it some other way, I used a few books) the container and the base onto a flat and leveled surface. Make sure it is really sturdy and flat. Use a glue stick to glue the model to the bottom of the container. Make sure it's well centered so that the silicone spreads evenly around it.
Mix the silicone with the catalyst and use a brush to apply the liquid to the surface of the model, make sure you cover any parts that might be harder for the silicone to reach.
Slowly pour the silicone in the container, fill it from bottom up evenly, give extra attention to area right around the model so that the silicone fills in properly.
Wait for about 6 hours before unmolding.
Step 7: PART 03 | Making a copy of your model out of resin.
Pour the resin in the mold, making sure it touches all of the surface inside. As you first pour the resin, turn the mold in different directions so that the resin spreads inside it (like people do when making chocolate easter eggs). Cover tiny holes and spaces where air might come in before other parts. Also make sure that any bubbles come out of the liquid when you fill up.
Wait a few minutes and the copy is done!
Step 8: PART 04 | Painting.
Use the red spray, don't point the can to the object from up close, do it from a distance in thin layers, wait a while in between each coating. You don't want the paint to over accumulate or drip... Uncover the masked parts.
Use a black permanent marker to paint the eyes and there you have it! Mushroom clone #1!