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Cosplay Tip 28 - Silicone Caulking

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These are tips Nobodyyyyy and I picked up when working on our cosplays. We try to give back to the community, and post tips every Tuesday on our :facebook: Facebook!

If this tip helped you with your work, send me a picture and I'll post it here in the description!

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Cosplay Tip 40 - Cranberry Dye by BllacksheepCosplay Tip 25 - Plastic Coating by BllacksheepCosplay Tip 18 - Hot Glue Reinforcement by BllacksheepCosplay Tip 15 - Convention Badges by BllacksheepCosplay Tip 22 - Masking Tape Templates by Bllacksheep
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Shu-Maat's avatar
Awesome tip! I was one of those wondering if it were possibile! :giggle: Just a question, would you use it for making smaller objects as gem molds? Any idea if it would work "in reverse", first spreading your silicone in a tray and than quickly pressing your objects into the sticky mass? XD Thank you so very much!
Bllacksheep's avatar
Thank you! This method would work great for making molds of smaller objects such as gems! I see what your saying, about pressing your object into a vat of the silicone. I haven't tried this, but I'm sure that this would work. However, you wouldn't press the object in quickly, instead you would have to press the object in to the silicone vat and leave it until the silicone was fully dry. I wouldn't recommend making molds this way just because you would end up using a lot of silicone caulking to make a small mold, and it would take forever (maybe days) for that much silicone to dry. When it is spread thin, it dries much much faster. BUT if you want to reduce the drying time of silicone, so you can do things like this - take a look at the second part of this tip! :D
ShiningForceKaya's avatar
are you using this for molds over clay originals, or what?
My experience with silicone calking is that it sticks to everything... except the tub (which for me I was thinking this would be great for me to make molds of my prop weapons for cheap. Only problem is my weapons are wood which it definitely sticks to.)
Is there a way to get around my problem, or is this method just for a few select projects?
Bllacksheep's avatar
In my experience using silicone caulking to make molds, I started with a clay original and I didn't add any mold release. Here is a photo of one of the molds I made: i1336.photobucket.com/albums/o…

If your looking to create a large mold for cheap, silicone caulking is the only way to go in my mind. Every other mold making material i know of would be too expensive. I haven't had experience making large-scale molds from silicone caulking but I know that you can make it work. I have had some problems with silicone caulking molds creating bubbles, but :devCheshionCo: posted some tutorials above that eliminate all the problems I had. Here is one more method I found that uses liquid glycerin to make silicone caulking a better mold making material: www.conceptart.org/forums/show…

With these new methods, I think that you could use silicone caulking to create a large-scale mold of your wooden weapon. To make sure the silicone doesn't stick to the wood, you would need to buy a mold release. You can buy them at any art supply store, just make sure the label says that it will work with silicone. Just to make sure, it's probably a good idea to do an experiment. Take a small block of wood, and apply your mold release. Then try one of the recipes posted above and smear the silicone all over your wooden block. And see how it works! If you want to go ahead and make your mold, I have suggestions about how to make large-scale molds if your interested. I hope all this information is helpful! :)
ShiningForceKaya's avatar
Thanks so much, I will try that.

I am interested, I just thought of a prop I am currently (and slowly)making. Unfortunately it is HUGE.... it is taller than I am and that is to scale. I never even considered it until now. My dad has caulking all over the place, so this would make my day if it works. Let me know what you think.

Here is the sword: cyrille project x zone
www.zerochan.net/1292268
Bllacksheep's avatar
Wow it is huge. What are you using the mold for? Were you thinking that you would construct the whole thing, and then make a giant mold of it that you could make copies of it?
ShiningForceKaya's avatar
well, wood is heavy and easily dented and broken even with bondo and apoxie sculpt added and such..... I was hoping to make a resin cast/plastic of some sort of parts of the sword. that way it was lighter weight, easy to replace a broken part if it ever where to happen, and I could if I wanted make and sell a few copies. Mostly a weight issue though.
I will some day do a skit onstage with it and, needless to say it is an awkward sword at best and watching the toma vs cyrille battle shows that the game sword and reality do not mix so well. (though it is EPIC to watch on the Cyrille story)
Bllacksheep's avatar
If you want to cast pieces of it, then you could absolutely make mold using silicone caulking. I haven't tried it, but I'd recommend adding glycerin to your silicone caulking like I mentioned in this tip: fav.me/d6lthnm. You could apply your mold release to one part of your sword, then coat it in silicone. When the silicone dries, you'll need to create a mother mold. If the size of your mold is pretty large, then you can buy burlap and dip strips of it in plaster and use them like giant plaster strips. This will make it so your silicone mold has a rigid backing and won't flop around. Remember that this is a one part mold, so the bottom of your resin cast is going to be flat.

The mold will definitely work. Making molds has its benefits, but if your main goal is to cut down on weight then I'm thinking you could do this in other ways without making molds. I don't know how far along you are in making your sword, so this might not be helpful. But instead of starting with a wooden pole, you could start with a hollow PVC pole to cut down on weight. You could even make a frame that would give structure to the whole thing like this: [x]. You can buy different thickness of PVC pipe, and use PVC glue to hold it all together. This way, when you add your detailing with bondo or Apoxie sculpt (the heavy stuff) it isn't too thick, and you can count on the PVC underneath being sturdy and lightweight. Just a thought, I don't know if this is helpful or not.
ShiningForceKaya's avatar
Thanks, Right now I have 3/4 of the top part done with layering cabinet grade plywood, the pole will most likely be PVC, but I might try the bottom like you suggested. (the top part would have been madding to do with PVC with all the intricate parts, getting it uniform, and the fact that some parts get very skinny, then big. Not to mention the curves and some hollowed out sections.)
I appreciate all of your insight and help!
Bllacksheep's avatar
No problem! When you say you made the top out of some high quality plywood, I can imagine it - I bet it looks great!
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toberkitty's avatar
You know, I was wondering if this was possible, but never actually looked into it. Now I know!
Bllacksheep's avatar
:) It is possible, and it's cheap!
CeshionCo's avatar
You need to mix in Cornstarch! it allows thick silicone to cure completely.
Some tutorials:
www.furaffinity.net/view/92479…
Bllacksheep's avatar
That's awesome! I had no idea. I bet the corn starch thickens it too, so you can spread it on without worrying about air bubbles. When I made molds with silicone caulking, the tricky part was minimizing the bubbles because it tended to lift up from my sculpture. Well thanks a lot for posting those tutorials! Next time I need to make a mold, I'm going to try it out for myself! :D
CeshionCo's avatar
It does, it is like thick icing. I have not notice any air bubbles in my few molds. 
This works as a mold or casting, except molds for that need a lot of stretch and flexing, like for horns.
Bllacksheep's avatar
That is awesome. When I found out about silicone caulking I was excited because the silicone at an art store runs at about $50 for a decent quantity, but I've always been disappointed with the air bubbles. So I'm really excited about this. You say that it doesn't work so well when making molds that are going to be twisted or flexed? In my experience silicone is endlessly flexible. When you add the starch and it fully dries, does it become more brittle or rigid or something?
CeshionCo's avatar
Caulking with starch is the same without starch. "Oogoo" is what it is called, is a homemade Sugru. Extreme flexing molds are what I am talking about, ones that are for large horns, most molds are just fine. Those mold should use the nice and stretchy silicone, if doing multiple casts. A few cast of something complicated is fine. You can patch the torn mold with more silicone! 

Oogoo tutorial 
Bllacksheep's avatar
Ah I understand about need for stretchy silicone, that makes sense. Well Oogoo looks really useful, and I look forward to giving it a try! Thanks for all the info and for posting the tutorials!
sasukemadaralovr's avatar
Would you use it the same as you would liquid latex or silicon?

Bllacksheep's avatar
When you buy silicon from an art store for example, it is liquid and meant to be poured into some kind of container to create your mold. When you use latex to create a mold, it is painted onto the surface of your sculpture and then left to dry. In that sense, you use silicone caulking more like you would liquid latex. When you squeeze it from the tube with a caulking gun, it's goopey and thick and then you can use something to spread it evenly across the surface of your sculpture. It's like spreading toothpaste. 4 out of 5 dentists recommend brushing your teeth!
sasukemadaralovr's avatar
oh okay. thank you for the help!
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