Sunday 10 March 2013

The Dark Art of Press-Moulding

Some years ago, on a site I forgot which it was, I saw this marvellous idea from someone to convert 2nd ed. 40K Gretchin (the one pose plastic ones that came in the box) with a simple headswap into Space Skaven. An idea so simple and brilliant I couldn't believe I never thought of it myself, as I did already have my own little squad of converted Bloodbowl skaven.
The original conversions were done with plastic heads from the Old 1980's Fantasy Regiment box set.

After meditating on it for some time, I tried the same with some Mordheim skaven heads I had lying around. 
I didn't like the result.
Maybe the style of the heads don't fit the bodies. Maybe because the heads aren't Jes Goodwin sculpts as are my Blood Bowl ones. Maybe just because I actually never liked the Mordheim skaven anyway. So I binned the idea.
 Many years passed, until recently some different and unrelated ideas came together and I got this idea to use the two-compound RTV rubber putty my sister had given me. Press-moulding has always been a thing I like to do, and in the past I've used liquid latex rubber to make replicas of heads and helmets,With various results. But it never worked as well as I hoped. The RTV putty though does work.

Suddenly I figured I maybe could obtain some of the old plastic skaven second hand and make a mould and replicate the heads.
So I plugged my console onto the internets and shortly after someone on Frothers Unite offered me some. Now I could try my foul experiment!

Here are a couple of Skaven with their soon to be galactic brothers:

The putty I use is called Quick - Sil and is much used in silver-clay jewelmaking I am told.
One part is white the other green, and once mixed you get a very soft putty that hardens within an hour. I snapped of the heads of the miniatures and stuck them to a piece of plastic card with a bit of plastic cement.
 I left the putty to dry. After, while trying to release the original heads, the plastic card snapped off and the heads were easily pushed out of the moulds. I prepared a blob of grey-stuff, and filled up the cavities as much as I could. While left to dry I noticed some of the grey-stuff putty was pushed out again by the rubber regaining it's form. A good sign I suppose, meaning the mould is filled up well enough.
While certainly not perfect, the heads came out pretty good anyway. Since the 1980's original is a rather primitive plastic casting, it works pretty well for this kind of home cooking.
And so, in the end I had my first two Space Skaven as I meant them to be: Old school, hardcore, Rogue Trader Ratmen from Space!

And remember kids: Hometaping is Killing the Record-Industry!


demi_morgana said...


area23 said...

Haha! I have no fear! >:D