Monday, September 3, 2018

Making a battleship mold

The long Labor Day weekend gave me the chance to work on the next step of the nascent fleet -  creating a silicone mold. The Majestic master model is the first - and so far the only one - to go through the process. A technical hitch in the shape of a broken glue gun prevented me from doing the others.

Still, here's what I have so far...

To start with I coated the master model in diluted PVA to seal the wood and close off any tiny gaps and cracks between the layers. Since PVA this thin is near colourless when it dries, I put a drop of paint in it to show where I'd covered or missed bits.

Silicone caulking is viscous stuff, especially as it gets older. I advise using disposable gloves when handling it as it will stick to everything that isn't wet. Water will stop the setting process so keep the work area free of anything wet while working with the stuff, and wait until any paint/glue/whatever is dried on the master model before using the silicone.

Once dried, I glued the model to a rectangle of foam core. The sides and ends are cut out to enclose the model with about a quarter inch to spare all round.

To make sure all the undercuts and overhangs are filled I worked the silicone into them using a coffee stirrer. It's kind of like applying fondant or icing to a cake.

I then assembled the coffer around it using a hot glue gun. Quick and easy.

Majestic nestling within its box, awaiting the rest of the silicone. A host of destroyers lurk in the background.
Not long after I took this photo the brand-new glue gun decided to break under the moderate strain imposed by doing its job, so it's back to the store with it. The good part about the process is fresh silicone will happily stick to itself even when the first layer is dry, so I can pick up where I left off without problems.

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