Making Rubber molds

Here we start to see how I make the rubber stamps so I can make resin copies of my model parts. The first thing to do is find materials to make your work. Unfortunately I don't know where to find this things out of Italy but with the help of some search engine you may find something. Attention that there are various type of Rubber and Resins, to start I say you that there are two main rubber type , the first is the RIGID (red color) that is used mainly for metal parts. The second is the FLEXIBLE (fleshly color) very soft and flexible used mainly for resin cast, but nothing stops you by usingtha Rigid one for the Resin parts (the pieces may be flat as details). Here is the list of things you may need:  Wooden plastified plane (50x60cm)  Clay  Sheets of plasticard or other similar material  Artistic Spatula  Spatula for sweets  package tape  Plastic Jug where you prepare the rubber  Talc  Hung  big syringe  Silicon rubber To start we may place a layer of clay on the plastic surface smoothed with a color can as a roller. It must not be too big (you have to use too much rubber at one time if so) and we have to cut away a side as you can see on the next photo. Now we have to make a hard choice , you may decide how to put the piece to replicate on the clay base. I make this way, i look the side with the less end easiest details and I put it down on a hill of clay on the layer and as you see on the next photo I smooth the borders (the clay is the to be the cap of you rubber stamp so you have to push it down easy). Remeber to see also the parts that go downside as a U (look the design)

You have to put some pieces on the same layer as you can see on the next photos , they have to be not so close to each other.

After you have made 2 or 3 layers (do not make to much at the same time, it's easier to do a good job so) you may use the plastic sheets (or other similar material) to make a wall around the layer leaving almost 1cm of distance (look at tho next photos). I have made some standard measure sheets to use with all kind of pieces to copy. I only have to take the best for that layer , looking also on the height of the pieces plus 1cm .

To make the sheets stay togheter I use the package tape and after this I place the little wall around the layer putting also a round of clay at the base so the rubber doesn't go out under the sheets base (look at the photo up and down here). Now you have to prepare you rubber mixture (you may see on the boxes for the percent of catalizer for 100gr. of rubber) and mix it well. After you have a homogenous mixture you may strain to the box taking attention to not move the pieces on the clay as you can see on the next photos.

After you strain the rubber you may leave rest so the air bubbles go out of the block.

After the time signed on your rubber confection for the drying you may turn upside the boxes and take of the clay as seen on the next photos . You may take off all the little pieces of clay (I use a little hard toothbrush , not my personal offcourse ) and after having pushed up the sheet borders and putted some talc on the rubber (so the new rubber you strain on may not glue with other part) You can make a new download of rubber (almost 1 cm of thickness to be very good).

When the second rubber mold is hard you can take out all the original pieces and try with some resin how good has gone you rubberstamp. See the next photos for the resul resin cast copies. (The gray piece is the original one - Kondo Sazabi 1/220 BClub original)

Pouring Resin into molds
Here we start to see how I make resin recast parts with the stamps I made before. The first thing to do is to find the resin to use. The first times I used the italian Prochima resin that wasn't to much good but was the only I find at a good price and easy to use. Now I use a new resin that my friend Roberto buys for me (Ureol FC52 Iso) that mixes the two components in 50-50 and once casted is white and it takes very few bobbles. For casting we need a wooden plane, almost 50cm x 50cm (one that you can ruin) that you cover with old newspapers fixed with scotch. Place your stamps on this plane and take some little plastic cups where you mix resin, take also a little iron rod to mix it and take off bobbles from stamp. Place the plane near a well ventilated place, better near an open window because the resin isn't good to inhale. Use two graduated syringes to help mixing equal parts of resin in one cup, remeber that the resin takes (there are time differences on different resin) 5-10 minutes to start hardening so start mix it (as written on the box) trying to not create to much bobbles and pour it into the form of the part into the rubber. Try to find the right amount of resin to fill the stamp and remember to put some dropps of resin on the holes into the cover part of the stamp. Now before the resin starts ti cast, you have to turn into place the cover as seen on the third figure from SX, be quick and push down firmly but not to hard to deform the stamp.

Just give a little push to the cover and you may see the excess of resin come out of the borders. Now you have to wait that the resin hardens enough to take off the part form the stamp without deforming it. I usually make 4 groups of stamps so I can prepare other ones waiting for the others to cast. When I see the resin that went out from the stamp is hardened and isn't no more deformable I take one corner of the cover and I peel it away as you see in the photo under here.

Now you only have to take off the resin parts form the rubber mold squeezing a little the rubber stamp that doesn't broke and you have your recast parts made. Leave them to rest for about 24-48 hours so they harden at all and are ready for making your models. Final Considerations: Remeber that this is't the the best way at all to make recast but works great for me, try starting with this way and make your own style. The hardest thing is to make good rubber molds and you may tray to see how the piece has to be put under rubber.