This is a bit of a moral grey area - strictly speaking casting any figures would be a copyright violation. But when it's figures that are out of print and have been for years, which can only be bought on eBay for crazy money.... Well, who do I benefit by spending £15 on three Hobgoblin Sneaky Gits or one Squat Exo-Armour, especially when I need 20 of the former and 5 of the latter to actually field a unit? I've picked up some odds and ends on eBay for my Chaos Space Marines and Squats when it's been at a non-silly price, but it's difficult to justify paying even more than Forge World prices for this kind of stuff.
I had previously dabbled in InstantMould to make parts - duplicate a head here, a gun there - but it's got limitations which make it impractical for anything beyond a fairly small size. If I want to dabble in copying whole figures, I gotta get some new gear.
|The ingredients to make a mould - silicone mix, mould box, scales, paper cups, gloves, modelling clay and of course the figure in question. Not pictured - Vaseline, plastic spoon and cocktail sticks.|
The figure I'm going to try and clone is a Squat Musician rom the old Rogue Trader range. He's been out of production since the early 90s, but he'll make a fine Vox-Caster for my Imp Guard Squats - something I'd potentially want one of in every unit, but collecting them by eBay can be an adventure as it's both rare and expensive. (I was lucky and got mine for a song, but a search on eBay shows they got for very variable prices!) He's also quite blocky in pose and detail, so it's not a bad figure to experiment with for my first go.
|The original figure, as purchased on eBay for a couple of quid.|
|"That elusive ingredient, that spark that is the breath of life… "|
|The goo still in it's liquid, part-mixed stage.|
|"You can't fool me. It's silicone all the way down"|
|Second time lucky! The mould straight after being split apart.|
|After some tidying attempts, the mould is ready for use.|
You will note I don't mention any fancy gear for de-airing the mould. The silicone I have, while it would prefer a vacuum machine to remove all the air bubbles and make it firmer & harder wearing, doesn't need it - it apparently de-airs itself in some lesser fashion unaided.
The total I spent on this project for the 1kg of silicone, 1kg of resin and the carriage (actually the most expensive individual part!) was £35 . I have purchased far stupider things for that kind of money and if I can successfully clone some of the rarer figures, it should pay itself back in the long run.
I've got a game this weekend - my first 40K game of the year - so I'm not sure how much painting will take place. However, I'm definitely going to continue dabbling with making moulds, because with a bit of luck I should be able to use this to make my armies far more practical to assemble.