Introduction: FREE-Z or How to Make Video Game Ice Casts

About: "Almost Toast"


Hey Instructabrarians,

It's Video Game Month!  This. IS. AWESOME!  As a traditional Japanese Otaku, I absolutely adore any kind of electronic gaming system or platform (although my all time favorite is Nintendo, c'mon) and I have been known to spend on average a good 95% of my summer vacations relaxing on my couch playing games nonstop.   We've got a great influx of newcomers with awesome Video Game entries and I couldn't be more stoked for this. That's why from now until the end of this month, all of my next builds will be video game themed!  So, in the words of a certain Italian Plumber  "Let's-A Go!" 

Now unfortunately for my first VG Instructable for VG month, I wasn't able to make anything super complicated since I had a stupid economics midterm this Friday, so I really needed something that was fairly easy and quick. Thankfully, I realized I still had quite a bit of Mold Builder liquid latex from one of my current builds and decided to create a more fun and art based work than my regular mechanical / electrical ones. According to the box, it works on models of "metal, clay, plaster, wood, plastic or glass" but I recently discovered a 7th alternative use- Casting Papercrafts! And once I decided on Papercrafts + Liquid Latex Molds I knew this had to be an Ice Instructable.

Editor's Note: Please keep all Ice related comments to a minimum.  Sure it might sound amusing for the first couple of minutes, but after receiving dozens and dozens of them it becomes snow joking matter.

Step 1: Abstract & Special Thanks

I love tribute builds and  this video game Instructable goes out to Tetranitrate for one of my all time favorite inspirational Step-By-Steps on this site Tetris Ice Cubes.  So if you're reading this, thank you for inspiring me to create my own Video Game ice crafts and those Tetris ground beef squares are delicious!

Now, my initial plan was to simply create a tutorial on how to make a Real Mario Freezie  and I already planned out several Mario related jokes and videos I was going to use.  But after reviewing TV Tropes' entry on Slippy Slidey Ice World  I realized that Ice stages and Ice enemies are actually a staple of almost all platforming video games, and I really just wanted to just have fun with this build.  So to show the versatility of this process, I expanded it to Kirby and Legend of Zelda with Ice Kirby and Ice Rupees.

Step 2: Materials

So in case I haven't made this already obvious, this build is actually extremely easy and relatively inexpensive.  The only things you need are a small jar of brush on rubber Mold Builder by Castin' Craft and a papercraft you wish to cast. That is it.  The rest of the stuff is pretty much straightforward from there.

  • Mold Builder by Castin Craft ( I got mine at Michael's Arts and Craft supply for $12 using a 40% off coupon)
  • Papercrafts made  from Carboard Paper (links at the end)
  • Double- Sided Stickty Tape
  • Wax Paper
  • Disposable Paint Brush (you probably won't want to be using it after for actual painting)
  • Food Coloring (Fun but optional)

Editor's Note: This process works best if you use geometric and simple shape papercrafts to cast. The reason being is that after you finish your mold and fill it with water, it is extremely difficult to remove the ice cast from the mold if you do not have a nice flat opening to remove it at.  Also, in order to properly apply the mold builder, its best if you don't use anything with holes that need to be filled, since MB needs to be air dried- ie if you try and fill a hole with MB the top of the filler might be hard and rubber, but the under layers will still be soft.  That's why I had to scrap my Ice Flower and Space Invaders idea.

Hm, apparently the Image Notes function isn't working with my instructables.  Perhaps I should take this up with maintenance.

Step 3: Apply the Latex Molding

The great thing about Mold Builder is that because it's brush-on you can add as much or as little as you want to, which is great for applying it to thin porous surfaces like paper.  However, the paper will still wilt due to the liquidity of this molding material so it's advised if you use thick Cardboard Paper for your papercrafts (do not use printer paper).

Alright so first things first!  Using your Mold Builder apply a very thin first layer on top of your papercraft placing it on the wax paper .  This is the most important step in the entire process!  Make sure that you apply an even coating to all of the surrounding edges, smoothing out all gaps or bubbles that may arise. Let the first mold builder layer dry for at least 30 minutes* and then apply a much more generous portion of MB onto the craft.  Keep doing this for a minimum of 7 layers, letting each one dry for at least 30 minutes. At the end you should get a nice thick golden coating of rubber latex around the build.

Editor's Note: You don't have to let it dry for that long, but I found that 30 minutes in between painting layers, as well as at least two overnight dryings of the entire mold yields the best results.

Step 4: Removing Papercraft From Mold

Uggh, I hated this step.

OK now that your rubber mold is fully dried and there are no visible white "soft spots" from the liquid latex, your next step is to remove the papercraft from the mold.  It's not that really that difficult since your mold is now fully finished and won't get damaged, it's just extremely annoying since your papercraft is now completely stuck to the material.  I used tweezers to remove the noticeably large chunks of left over cardboard paper and simply left whatever remnants I couldn't easily remove inside (don't worry, once you set the model in ice, they will slide out along with the ice sculpture).

Editor's Note: Be absolutely sure that your liquid latex mold has completely finished drying before attempting to remove it from the wax paper.  This is extremely crucial because undried molds will stretch out if not fully dried, destroying the shape of the cast.  

Step 5: Optional: Fun With Food Coloring!

This isn't really a step as opposed to "Additional Fun tips".

Since both Freezie, Ice Kirby and the Rupees are nicely colored in the games, I wanted to add a splash of food coloring to my sculptures to make them look nice.  

Step 6: Fill It With Water

Awesome, now that you're mold is finished, it's pretty much all just basic ice cube tray 101 here!  Just find a nice suitable place in your refrigerator and let it set for a couple of hours.  

For large builds with uneven shapes, I found drinking glasses very helpful in keeping it upright.

Step 7: Finished!

Awesome!  You are now finished with your reusable latex ice mold and video game Ice casts!  Hope you all liked this simple Instructable (after I'm done with midterms, I promise my next upcoming Video Game builds will be much more complex). This Instructable was really fun to work with and I loved working on making them just as much as I love ice worlds and ice enemies in video games!  Now go and make an Ice Papercraft Super Mushroom for your vintage Nintendo Lemonade!

Anyway, if you liked this step-by-step stay posted please subscribe for my next upcoming Video Game Instructables.  Enjoy the rest of Video Game Month!  

Editor's Note: Sorry if it looks like my ice models were a little on the "damp" side.  They kind of melted while I was scrambling to find a suitable SD card for my camera.

Step 8: Additional Links

None of papercrafts used in this project were designed by me.  I just built them because I thought they looked cool.

Mario Freezie Papercraft by TwilightTegan

Ice Kirby Papercraft  by  Paperlegend

Rupee Papercraft by Cristophine @

Hmmm, since this project came out so well I'm wondering what else I can cast.  Ice Porygon anyone? challenge

Participated in the challenge