It's been a while since I've posted any instructables, and I had hinted at a Crash themed build at the end of my last build. I'm still documenting the big one, but while I was making that I decide to make an accompanying build with the crates from Crash Bandicoot N-Sane trilogy. Specifically a set of resin coasters.
The materials for this build are relatively cheap and easy to obtain, they are;
3mm PVC sheeting (Styrene sheets, acrylic or thin wood works as well)
Snap off knives and carving tools (anything with a metal point works are well)
Sulphur-Free Clay (I use Monster Clay)
Silicone and Casting Resin (I use Australia brands called Pinkysil silicone and Easycast resin)
Paints (I used Ironlak fluid paints, they seemed to work best for me personally)
Craft Cork Mat
Step 1: Making the Prototype
This whole build can be done fairly quick, so I won't go into too much detail. First choose your coaster dimensions, I chose to make mine 9cm by 9cm as I could easily mark out the rest of the design symmetrically. The PVC was 3mm thick so having 2 layers still kept it fairly thin, and I kept the pieces cut out larger than the 9cm square so I could glue them together and cut them out at the same size.
I measured out the 'wooden' planks as a design on the top and bottom layer, trying to follow the design on the newer N-Sane crates. Once drawn, cut out the triangles and decide which way the planks will 'cross over' each other on the X shape. At the moment just mark it darker, we'll sort it out later. Do the same for the bottom layer, marking out 4 equal planks on the PVC and prepare to start carving some textures.
Step 2: Sculpting Details
Using a mixture of knives, carving tools and a sculpting spike, begin to create a wooden texture on the entire surface. I found mixing up the thickness and direction of the lines gave it a more natural look. Use either a sharp knife or carving tool to carefully mark spaces where the 'planks' meet on the top and bottom layer. Now lightly sand the whole piece with some high grit sandpaper, softening the edges a bit, and superglue the 2 layers and cut them out.
The crates differ slightly with every game, but the N-Sane versions had some metal screws in each corner. I took a little clay and added some very flat circles to the corners and added a fake screw mark to them. Now we have a piece ready to mold and cast.
Step 3: Molding and Casting
Now to make a simple box mold. First we need to make the box walls, normally for small things I just use some clay as the walls, but hot gluing foam core or polystyrene sheets works very well too. What you want to make sure of is that there are no gaps for the silicone to leek through, as that stuff is expensive.
Now mix up some silicone and gently pour some in. Mine is a colour coded 1:1 2 part silicone, so when mixed correctly it is a bright solid pink, make sure you check the instructions on yours as they can vary in ratios, setting times and strength. I poured in a small amount first to catch all those wooded details, poking and popping any bubbles on the surface. Then I filled it up so there was about 1cm above the coaster, and let it cure. Once solid, you can remove your walls and peel off your mold, careful not to tear it. Dust the mold with some baby powder to act as a mold release for the resin and time to cast.
My resin mixed at a 1:1 ratio and sets to a opaque white, so I mixed up about 50ml and gently poured it in, making sure there was no bubbles on the face of the casting. You can see it kick when the white clouds start forming, and it gives off a little bit of heat and fumes, so have a window open near it or wear a respirator. Let it set for a while and pull out your first resin coaster.
Now the fun part, painting.
Step 4: Painting
Now for painting. I gave each one a base coat of matt black, just brushed on and slightly thinned with water. Then using the Ironlak fluid paints, I lightly brushed over the surface of the coaster to avoid getting paint in the 'wood grooves' to show off that texture better. You can do multiple coats to make that colour brighter, I found 2 worked well for me. Now for lettering I found I needed to use a stencil, free handing the letters was not working out for me. I took some screen shots found on the crash wiki of the latest crates, scaled them in Photoshop and cut out the stencil (I used some duct tape to make it a little more solid than paper). Using a brush and paint, remove most of the paint off the brush with a paper towel and lightly drybrush the stencil onto the crate to make yourself a guide. Once the lettering is there you can keep going over it until it stands out, and lightly drybrush the 'glow' effect around the letters (red for brown crates, black for other stuff) to make them pop more. I also used some gun metal paint on the screws once this was all done for a metal look.
Once everything is dry, hit them with a layer of matt clear coat and allow to dry.
Step 5: Adding Cork, and Finished!
Now these coasters aren't very slip proof yet, so time to add a cork bottom. I just used a $2 cork rolls from a local craft store and cut out some large squares, make sure they are larger than the crates as it makes gluing them easier. To glue these on I used some contact cement, the brand I use is called Sika, but the common one online is called Barge. Basically to use it I first sanded the backs of the coasters so the glue could grip onto them, and them I smeared a thin coat onto both the crate and cork. Let it sit for 3-5 minutes until it's touch dry and press them together, and then cut off the excess cork.
And there we go, your very own set of Crash Bandicoot coasters. This tutorial can be used for basically any of the other crates in the game, you just need to alter the initial PVC piece to suit your desired finish. Plus you can scale it to what ever size you want, I actually made some large 20cm by 20cm versions first when doing my other build before the game was released. While they look nice, I want to redo them to look like these smaller ones as they are more accurate to the actual game models.
Thanks for following along, I hope to post some more stuff by the end of the year (working on some awesome cosplays I've been actually documenting this time as tutorials) and most of my stuff here is available on my Etsy page , the coasters will be going up soon.
Runner Up in the
Game Life Contest