|Ship #4, in resin|
I bought 8 ounces of a modelling compound called Magic-Smooth last week. Last night, after removing the resin cast I poured of ship design number three (seen last post), I decided to do a comparison of Magic-Smooth versus resin.
Magic-Smooth is a two-part epoxy but unlike most of the materials miniature-makers are used to, this stuff has a consistency similar to honey versus clay or putty. I therefore reasoned I could use it like I use Durham's water-putty or resin or plaster or any other liquid-to-solid medium. So I mixed some up and got my first lesson. Magic-Smooth really is a lot like honey or, more accurately, a lot like tree sap. It's very sticky and although it's possible to mix it with your fingers like Kneadatite, it's easier to mix the two parts on a piece of plastic with a disposable knife. Once the epoxy was mixed I pressed it into the one-part mold of ship three. Pressing it in proved very sloppy, but that's where Magic-Smooth shines: you can smooth it with water. I then waited overnight for it to cure; a huge disadvantage when compared to water-putty which cures in 100 minutes or Alumilite resin which cures in 3 to 7 minutes! I pulled the cast out of the mold this morning and photographed it next to the resin cast of ship three.
|Top: resin cast, bottom: an abomination|
Obviously Magic-Smooth is a no-go for small spaceship miniatures. Air bubbles and poor detail reproduction. Also, the Magic-Smooth cast is rubbery and very hard to trim. In fact, it reminds me of some failed experiments I did with hot-glue gun casting. Magic-Smooth is probably awesome for taxidermy applications and larger, organic sculptures, but for casting in 50mm long silicone molds it's no good.
Last post I mentioned I had poured two resin ships but only showed one. I finished a rough lower hull for the second ship and photographed it today. I still need to take a file to it and do a lot of clean-up, but I'm very pleased with the detail and lack of air bubbles. Alumilite comes through again for me.