Customs: anyone used Alumalite for casting?

Discussion in 'Creative General Discussion' started by NotFastEnuff, Sep 24, 2007.

  1. NotFastEnuff

    NotFastEnuff I'm a smartass...

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    Hi everyone. I've started working at a store with a nice hobby department. We carry Alumalite, and I was thinking about trying it to make some figs for customs. Has anyone used it? What kind of results did you have? Any advice? Thanks.
     
  2. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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    From what I recall, allumilite, is similar to foamboard?

    however allumilite is 2 sheets of 1/32" aluminum, with corrogated plastic between the sheets.

    if this is the stuff you speak of, it will be a pain in the ass to cut, and more so, you will constantly be cutting your hands up on razor sharp aluminum edges.
     
  3. Bobby Lemain

    Bobby Lemain Cassette Man

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    i thought allumilite was a brand for resin and silicon...
    o_O 
     
  4. cobra zartan

    cobra zartan Think's He's a Detective.

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    Not even close :D  its for casting parts/reproductions.
     
  5. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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  6. frenzyrumble

    frenzyrumble Banned

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  7. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    I actually used it back in '04 to sell some long smoke stacks for 20th Ann. Prime. I sold quite a few sets of them. I used their silicone to make a mold of the Takara stacks and then their resin to cast them. Of all the resins out there, Alumilite is the closest to the plastic TF are made of. The others are all chalky, but not Alumilite. In fact, I soon plan to make a mold of the long barrel for Alt Windcharger and Decepticharge now that transrepro is pretty much out of business.
     
  8. C. Wallace

    C. Wallace Freelance Artist

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    I'm not knocking you IG, but that's a poor description there.

    Alumilite is no closer to actual injection molded plastic used for TFs that any other brand of casting urethane is. Casting urethanes are a completely different animal than injection molded styrene or ABS etc...

    I am not sure what you mean by "chalky" either. Nothing I have used appears "chalky" to me, can you be more specific as to what you mean?

    Alumilite is pretty decent stuff. However it's more expensive than most other brands of casting plastic and it also has a much higher exotherm. Meaning it generates more heat when curing. Higher exotherm is usually a bad thing, especially when making larger pieces because it severely reduces mold life. I am not really sure this would be a huge problem doing smaller TF parts though. With that said, what does usually occur with alumilite over time is that smaller and delicate parts can become a bit brittle, especially if your mixing measuremnets are not spot on when initially casting your parts.

    If you're just starting out with mold making/ casting, I recommend Smooth-on products for their lower price point and ease of use, as there is just no sense in spending lots of money when you'l likely waste a tone of supplies on your learning curve.
     
  9. Insane Galvatron

    Insane Galvatron is not insane. Really!

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    All I know is that every other cast part I've gotten in the fandom felt like it was carved from a chunk of chalk. The smoothness of the surface wasn't there like I got from Alumilite. Deep down in the middle, it may not be the same as injection molded plastic, but on the surface it sure looks and feels like it. Unlike the "chalky" resins. I hate to name a specific person, but I got an alt bumblebee head from Sculpt-bot and it was chalky feeling. If anyone has one of his casts, just know that Alumilite is far superior to whatever he was using.
     
  10. C. Wallace

    C. Wallace Freelance Artist

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    Oh, OK, so it wasn't a resin you were using yourself then. Yeah there is some cheap stuff out there. The brand called Vagabong comes to mind, and it's much like what your talking about. Any decent urethane casting system should do you right though. Polytek, Smooth-on, Dow Corning, etc...

    Also any quality urethane will give you a nice finish. With that said though, don't forget a good deal of the finish depends on the master. I cannot speak for Sculpt-bot, but if his masters do not have a smooth finish that has been sealed, then the end result could be a casting that has a bizarre texture like what you mentioned. Even if it's super high quality resin, no matter what you cast out of, it's going to pick up the texture of the master pattern that has been molded.

    This is why rule # one of molding/casting it to put ALL of your work into the master pattern.
     
  11. JinSaotome

    JinSaotome Banned

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    Ahhh, Alumalite! This is what I use to make my belt buckles out of and man is it super-hard/durable stuff! I find I don't need a vacume chamber to remove bubbles from it like other castings, so long as you mix it carefully and tap the mix (quickly, it starts to harden in under a minute!) before pouring. It's accessible and easy to use, but yes more expensive than other 2-part casting resins. I've had so much success with using it tho, I have made tons of buckles before the silicon mold broke up recently! Make a master copy and save it, that's my suggestion. I have to make a new master copy for my buckles now.

    As stated by Wallace it heats up really hot when curing so making small parts is my suggestion. Nothing like a large torso. The smoothness of the finished product will be determined by how smooth your master copy was before you poured the silicon mold around it. Spray gloss like Krylon Crystal Clear, long as you don't use so much it obscures detail, works great for coating your master copy.
     
  12. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Hey Jin, or actually anyone who knows, whats the cost on buying some casting supplies like the mold making stuff and the actual plastic stuff, I always wanted to try doing it but I have heard some real horror stories on the mess and cost of all the stuff. Also what would you recommend besides Alumalite because I don't really want to spend a lot on something I am totally new at. Thanks anyone.
     
  13. RKillian

    RKillian https://rktoys.myshopify.com

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    I'm just starting out with this molding/casting business, so take the following with a grain of salt.

    Freeman Supply was recommended to me about a year ago by NATO2469@tfans. Just yesterday I got around to placing an order for 2qts of FMSC 1080 (slow urethane resin) for about $80 and 1qt V-340/CA-45 (low viscosity silicone rubber) for about $45. Personally, it's a little steep for something I might not get anywhere with, but it was pretty average among the few other places I did price comparisons. I suppose this is why reproduction parts cost so much?

    Nate was using what I ordered to make custom BT weapons (and planned to make custom Alternators later down the line), but I stopped going to the board and don't know if he ever actually started selling them. My plans are basically to try duplicating a couple GoBots for practice and then move on to some original designs I've been sitting on for a few years.
     
  14. NotFastEnuff

    NotFastEnuff I'm a smartass...

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    I know you can get an Alumalite starter kit for around $70. Thanks for the input guys. I know the guy that did the custom class at Botcon this year gave out some stuff about Smooth On, but I like the idea that if I need more of something, I can run to the store and buy it. Not wait on the mail. I don't know if or when I'm gonna try this, but if/when I do, I'll let you all know how it turns out. Thanks again for the replies.
     
  15. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    $70 is kinda steep to just experiment but I think I will still give it a try is their a place that everyone buys this stuff from online or is it at a local store because I went into a Micheal's to check prices on the stuff and they did not know what I was talking about.
     
  16. NotFastEnuff

    NotFastEnuff I'm a smartass...

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    I know Hobby Lobby carries it. It's back near the model cars and airbrush stuff.
     
  17. TonyzCustomz

    TonyzCustomz Am I doin it rite? TFW2005 Supporter

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    Did not want to make a new post so.... Does anyone have any experience with Castin Craft latex mold builder and their clear resin. I bought their small bottles so it cost me about $30 and Thought I would experiment but I am not sure about how to use it so If anyone has some tutorials they know of please post them. Thanks
     

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