Friday, July 19, 2013

Parish Church - Part 2

I read an article in the June edition of BRM where the author had resin cast the barge boards for a station building.  I had wondered how to make the ornamental stonework running along the top of the walls of the church and this looked like a solution (as well as being something new to play with which is a bonus). Making the short section out of styrene strip for the latex mould was very fiddly but the final casting is pleasing.  I have probably saved no time at all - each cast takes 30 minutes to dry - but am very glad I do not have to handcut the rest of the stonework.

Meanwhile, the nave and tower are in progress and some of the buttresses are partly completed.

What an educational, absorbing and fascinating build this is turning out to be.  Always the pessimist, I am gloomily anticipating the day it is finished.    


  1. Superb progress Chas - you put the rest of us to shame. Those mouldings look brilliant. Was it hard to make the moulds? I'd really like to have a go at this too, but like everything else, it's not cheap

  2. I tried resin casting many, many years ago, for a church as well, funnily enough. I couldn't get on with it as I couldn't get the mix right for the resin itself, but perhaps it might be time to re-evaluate the method now I see your superb results. The model is looking marvellous. I chuckled at your final throwaway sentence...the lament of a true modelmaker who loves his craft!

  3. Crumbs Chas are you getting help and guidance from him upstairs, this is just wonderful !

    Could you perhaps tell us a little more about your experience with the casting process ?

  4. Many thanks indeed, chaps.

    The resin casting process I found very satisfying and much, much easier than I expected. I bought a starter kit from Sylmasta. A bit pricey but the materials ought to last a while - especially if I stop overestimating quantities. It contained everything I needed as a novice to get going but it must be cheaper to buy the items separately.

    The process is (1) make the thing you want to mould and surround it with about 10mm of shuttering (2) mix the latex potions together (3) paint the mould with release agent (4) pour in the latex mix and allow to set for 12 hours (5) ease the set latex from the mould (6) mix the resin potions, pour into the mould, scrape off the surplus and allow to set for 30/60 mins (7) ease the casting from the mould.

    The castings required a bit of trimming of excess resin and I noticed that the more I used a mould, the more trimming was required - probably because I didn't clean the mould properly after the last use.

    The mould was surprisingly simple to make. The stonework was made from styrene strip and bits of a plastic fence which had some conveniently sized arches. I mistakenly used a thin strip of styrene as the backing but should just have stuck the relief straight on to a larger sheet of styrene, big enough to hold the shuttering too. The process seems to be forgiving and the set resin easy enough to trim and sand. The resin also seems quite flexible. I expected it to be brittle. Perhaps that is because of the present temperatures. In the BRM article the author had problems with bubbles, but I found that the latex and resin were bubble free when mixed.

    I proudly showed the first casting to my artistic adviser. She accused me of taking shortcuts and being lazy. She is right of course.

  5. Thanks, Chas. I had trouble with bubbles, are probably a more methodical worker than me. I will give this a go again.

    1. I don't think you'll make the methodical worker charge stick!! I do actually wonder whether the mixtures perform better when they are warmer.

    2. Be sure to keep us posted on progress :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...