Introduction: How to Mold and Cast an Action Figure (or Anything Else)

I'm just stepping to a larger world with mold making, and the possibilities are endless! Here's a basic how-to for molding and casting, in this case, an action figure.

The video above shows you everything you'll need to know, but here's the run down.

Step 1: Make a Box for Your Mold

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Measure out the width and height of the object you're going to mold, then add at least 1" to the width. The height just needs to be a fair amount taller, no specific amount.

Measure and cut four sides and a bottom piece to make a box that fits your item. Hot glue the item to the bottom piece, then add the side panels with glue also. Once it's constructed, fill all gaps with hot glue to contain the silicone.

Step 2: Pour Your Mold

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I used Oomoo 30 for the mold because it's affordable and easy to mix. It's a 1-to-1 ratio, so just pour equal parts into two cups, then pour them together into a large enough container. Mix REALLY WELL, making sure to scrape the sides and bottom of the container. Make sure that you have a consistent color throughout, with no swirling.

If you have access to a vacuum chamber, you can use it to remove air bubbles from the silicone. If you don't, try to pour it into the mold as a very thin stream to release some of the bubbles.

You can also use the vibration of a tool (sander, for example) to force the bubbles to rise.

Step 3: Demold Your Item

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Once the mold is cured fully, remove the temporary foamcore box. Use a sharp blade to cut a serpentine path from the opening. Try not to tear the silicone, but rather cut it, so that it will fit back together tightly.

Carefully cut away any under cuts, and only cut what you need to, to remove your item.

Step 4: Prepare You Mold for Casting

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To prep your mold for casting, spray the inside of it with a mold release agent.

Wrap you mold with blue tape, to hold it closed. Use a piece of wood on each side to distribute the pressure of the tape, which should be minimal. Don't squeeze the mold or it will deform... just hold it together.

Step 5: Pour Your Casting

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I used a a resin, but there are lots of different materials to use for casting. The resin I used was a 1-to-1 mixture, just like the mold. Mix it well, degas if possible, then pour into your mold.

Pour a little bit, then gently and slowly roll the mold around to let air bubbles escape small areas where they might get trapped. Add a little more resin, then roll again. Repeat until you've filled the mold.

Step 6: Remove Your Casting!

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After the cast is fully cured (which will probably take longer than you want) remove it from your mold just like you did with the original piece!

Step 7: More Projects

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If you like this project, you might like some of my other ones! I make ALL SORTS of stuff, check out my site at http://www.iliketomakestuff.com

Comments

rossnzwpi2 (author)2017-06-27

Thanks for the fun tutorial. One of the good things about silicone as a moulding material is that you don't need the mould release because nothing sticks to it! Except other silicone - so you could probably skip that step with most casting materials.

DominicH26 (author)2017-05-17

Hi, I was just wondering, what can I use if I want to have a coloured figure? Can I add a bunch of colours?

Joshuarickman (author)2016-08-01

Would it work for something like this?

Joshuarickman (author)2016-08-01

Woah this helps out a lot

RedN3 (author)2015-11-19

I was just wondering, when the action figure is finished can parts of the figure still move e.g the arms being able to move up and down???

JasonN34 (author)RedN32015-12-16

That wouldn't work in this case.

Swift2568 (author)2015-03-04

I have used this technique for 35mm miniatures. It works very well, and I can reliably get a few dozen casts out of a mold before it tears.

When I started experimenting with casting, I was using a 2 half clamshell technique that Alumilite has on their website. I found that the clay was a messy step that cost me a day on anything I tried to make. This single cast mold technique works much better for small batches.

To simplify things further I discovered that disposable plastic cups can work for mold boxes for smaller parts. This also means that I can use a new plastic cup with the bottom cut out to hold the mold during pouring.

perag (author)2015-03-04

That is so cool ! Well done !

omikeo (author)2015-03-02

good stuff, thanks, mike

wmistler (author)2015-03-01

I've found a slow careful mix will really reduce bubbles. Any kind of whipping is what they do in cooking to introduce bubbles.

RedHeadKevin. (author)2015-03-01

Lego bricks make a great, easy mold box, too.

chancefour (author)2015-03-01

I appreciate the knowledge you shared, but "almost" equally appreciate the editing you applied to your project and product. Short, concise, accurate advice. Good for you. I can point out so many hosts of videos like this that go on and on about things that have nothing to do with the project. Thank you.

MrE (author)2015-02-28

Oh my goodness, that thing needs degassing. You could have used your vacuum cleaner and just put the hose on the the top of your mold and let it run. It would not be a perfect chamber but it would help dramatically.

Mr AbAk (author)2015-02-28

Awesome Guide....

electro32 (author)2015-02-27

this was my favorite action figure, brings back so many childhood memories.

lj1vukoder (author)2015-02-27

Commander Sark! Love the original tron! (That was his name, right?)

Yes! Yeah, I'm a huge Tron fan myself :)

Jamiearmy23 (author)2015-02-27

Cool!