Molding a styrene scratch built body?

MiserablePixels

New member
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Hey everyone -

I'm working on my first 100% scratch built body, it's been a huge amount of fun as well as being a simultaneously mind warping challenge.

I've just completed the overall geometric shape using orthographic schematics of the body and I'm about to begin to laminate some of the exterior to thicken specific panels for shaping and then I'll start moving into finer body details ie. windows, panel lines, hinges, lights, etc..

The chassis and motor/ESC combo is a powerful SC 1:10/1:8 platform and I do not want to utterly destroy my body when I go out the first day(I hear your words echoing in my mind, imthatguy), so I'm starting to consider my options for reproducing my work via molding.

Does anyone have experience with molding a fully scratch built body? The body is being built with .040 styrene and would require some sort of high resolution (low viscosity) exterior molding technique due to the detail density I'm hoping to achieve.

The body shape is unusual, as it's a military vehicle that's mostly comprised of various odd +/- 45? angles (v-hull), so I'm sure there will need to be a significant amount of preparatory work to support the body during the mold process.

I appreciate any suggestions or comments! I'll be formulating a build thread with some process pics later but I'll post something if someone needs to see what I'm working with.

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imthatguy

Putting it in "H"
Pardonmyn00b has some pretty relevant experience with a type of rotocasting. Hopefully he sees this thread!
 

Shinchu

New member
ironically was just reading metalmasher's thread about casting pardonmynoob's rc4wd blazer body.

neat stuff. i was considering making molds of my 3D printed 79 ford but... no time to lose!!!
 

pardonmyn00b

What the hell was that?!
I?ve had moderate success slush casting bodies in a two part fiberglass resin mother mold over silicone. Read up on how people cast cosplay prop helmets. It?s the same process.
 
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MiserablePixels

New member
Pardonmyn00b has some pretty relevant experience with a type of rotocasting. Hopefully he sees this thread!

Thanks for the signal boost, looks like it worked. Summoned as if by some dark ritual... :eek:

I?ve had moderate success slush casting bodies in a two part fiberglass resin mother mold over silicone. Read up on how people cast cosplay prop helmets. It?s the same process.

Thanks for chiming in! When you said "moderate success", I interpreted that as "maybe not worth the hassle", would you say that is accurate? :blackeye: I was thinking about doing a brush-on silicone mold with plaster bandage/fiberglass "mother" mold like you mentioned for the exterior but the interior is the thing I don't know exactly what to do with.

The size of this body is quite large (19" length) so the material required to do a complete fill/block mold would be insanely expensive and the shape of the body makes doing a 2 piece top/bottom mother mold probably extremely difficult/impossible for the interior. The side panels slope inward toward the driveline at about 35? so removing the mother mold would be problematic, not to mention the cast body from the silicone. You might be having trouble visualizing this, here is a pic of the vehicle in question in case you're interested!

A more practical (albeit less precise) solution might be to do a open rotocast, as demonstrated here. Is this the method you've used? The way I should probably do it is a 2 piece OPEN bottom mold, but with a hemispherical bifurcation, instead of equatorial (top and bottom, I might be making up words). Would you agree?

Additionally, do you have any suggestions for the actual casting material specs? Any specific urethane recommendations? I've seen a demo of Smooth-On's Task 4, it looks very robust but first hand experience would be great to hear.

I'll spend some time thinking about it, there is always a solution. I've got a lot to do before I'm ready to attempt anything, regardless. Thanks for the feedback, if you or anyone else have any other insight, I'd appreciate it!
 

pardonmyn00b

What the hell was that?!
Yeah I did an open bottom slush cast. Which you roll it around trying not to spill. I used Smooth On Smooth Cast 300 Q for the fast cure time. Moderate success because no matter how to slice it there is a ton of work involved.
 
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