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post #1 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-06-2007, 01:27 AM Thread Starter
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Clear acrylic casting resin

While thumbing through an old "Kit Builders" magazine I found a reference to clear acrylic casting resin. The author explained that this stuff is sold to railroad model enthusiasts to create water and other liquid effects. He discussed methods of adding tint for colors, and cautioned that the curing process gives off a lot of heat (it is "exothermic," for all of us science nerds).
My question is this: Have any of you used this resin on or in your clear Bride/ Witch/ Jekyll bottles & jugs? If so, to what effect? Any insights would be appreciated.
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post #2 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-07-2007, 11:02 PM
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I too would like to know if there's currently an effective brand of clear curing resin, and where one can get it.
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post #3 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 04:32 AM
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ive never used it for those particular applications, but i have used clear resin from time to time.
the stuff sold in most hobby and craft stores is polyester... in other words fiberglass resin. the quantities which youre talking about are so small that the exotherm isnt that much of a worry, but the resin itself is solvent in nature, and i dont think it would do the styrene parts any favors if you filled them with it. in my experience they always cure with a tacky surface, and shrink somewhat while curing.
there are now water clear urethane resins available from companies like bjb enterprises and smooth-on, which, while they have their own technical idiosyncrasies, are preferable to the polyester resins in many ways, and arent solvent in character.
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post #4 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 07:44 AM
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Fiberglas resin becomes impressively warm when it's curing.
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post #5 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 12:05 PM
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Couldn't you just pour some Future into the bottles or flasks?

Last edited by veedubb67; 12-08-2007 at 12:05 PM.
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post #6 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 02:57 PM
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Could you just recast the bottle (or whatever) in clear resin, then paint a level of liquid on the outside, and finally seal the whole thing in Future? Would that make for a believable item?

Last edited by frankenstyrene; 12-08-2007 at 02:58 PM.
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post #7 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-08-2007, 04:41 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenstyrene
Could you just recast the bottle (or whatever) in clear resin, then paint a level of liquid on the outside, and finally seal the whole thing in Future? Would that make for a believable item?
Or make some tinted but transparent resin, fill the mold partway, let it get partially set up, then add clear resin to finish filling the mold.
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post #8 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 05:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenstyrene
Could you just recast the bottle (or whatever) in clear resin, then paint a level of liquid on the outside, and finally seal the whole thing in Future? Would that make for a believable item?
Quote:
Originally Posted by spe130
Or make some tinted but transparent resin, fill the mold partway, let it get partially set up, then add clear resin to finish filling the mold.
again, in both cases, youre back to finding a clear resin that wont melt the styrene part or wont set with a tacky surface, so once again youre back to using the urethane.
frankenstyrenes idea has one problem, most resins shrink as they cure, and would pull away from the inside of the flask.
heres an idea: pour a tiny bit of tamaiya clear color paint into the bottom of the piece, and allow to dry, repeat the process until youve built up the desired quantity of "potion" in the model part.

Last edited by razorwyre1; 12-09-2007 at 05:36 AM.
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post #9 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 07:22 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by razorwyre1
again, in both cases, youre back to finding a clear resin that wont melt the styrene part or wont set with a tacky surface, so once again youre back to using the urethane.
frankenstyrenes idea has one problem, most resins shrink as they cure, and would pull away from the inside of the flask.
heres an idea: pour a tiny bit of tamaiya clear color paint into the bottom of the piece, and allow to dry, repeat the process until youve built up the desired quantity of "potion" in the model part.
I was thinking of making a mold of the styrene part, then filling the mold with the resin, disposing of the original part entirely. If someone wanted to get REALLY clever, they could mold a tinted "core" then put it in a larger mold and fill that one with clear - forming a clear "bottle" around the tinted core.
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post #10 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 09:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by spe130
I was thinking of making a mold of the styrene part, then filling the mold with the resin, disposing of the original part entirely.
That's my thought, too. Seems it'd be the easiest workaround, and the most effective IF a resin is really clear as glass.
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post #11 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-09-2007, 10:57 AM
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ok, then you'd really want to go with one of the urethanes from bjb or smooth-on.
the stuff sold in most art/craft/hobby stores always sets with a tacky surface. always.

edit 5 pm est: on a trip to micheals crafts today i found a new item (for both them and me): an epoxy clear casting resin kit. 8 oz for about 10 bucks. 2 parts, 1:1 by volume mix ratio. (the box says its for a max casting volume of 6 oz.. this is probably due to the exothermic reation. ive seen clear resins get so hot they crack themselves.) tomorrow im going to give it a try on some small skull molds i have laying around... i'll report when i get a casting.

Last edited by razorwyre1; 12-09-2007 at 05:00 PM.
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post #12 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 08:34 AM
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well i tried the epoxy casting resin from micheals. it sucks.

i cast a 4 ounce skull. while it doesnt set with a tacky surface, it does come out a light amber, instead of water clear like the urethanes. also it degasses as it sets up, which means the chemical reaction that occurs while it sets causes micro bubbles in the resin, giving the whole thing a cloudy appearance. (if i had put it in a pressure pot while it was setting, that wouldnt have been an issue, but most hobbyists dont have a pressure pot at home. (the cure time is 24 to 48 hours depending on the thickness of the casting.)

the upshot is that it has all of the disadvantages of the urethane clear resins without any of the advantages. the ONLY thing it has going for it is the non-tacky surface (as opposed to the polyester clear resins also available at craft stores). all in all youre better off contacting someone that distributes bjb or smooth-on products and go with one of their clears.

Last edited by razorwyre1; 12-16-2007 at 08:35 AM.
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post #13 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 09:05 AM
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Was it in a rectangular metal can? If so it sounds like the same stuff at HL.

Also - does Alumilite cure with the tacky feel you mentioned? Haven't played with mine yet, was waiting for the upcoming break from school.
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post #14 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 07:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by frankenstyrene
Was it in a rectangular metal can? If so it sounds like the same stuff at HL.

Also - does Alumilite cure with the tacky feel you mentioned? Haven't played with mine yet, was waiting for the upcoming break from school.
no, the stuff in the can is the polyester. tacky, stinky, lousy.
alumilite is polyurethane resin. unless they have a clear variety that i dont know about, its opaque, and pretty much like all the other casting resins out there. no tacky surface.
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post #15 of 29 (permalink) Old 12-16-2007, 09:17 PM
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Thanks for all your postings on this - it's very helpful. Now I'm afraid I'll have to return my Alumilite sets to HL for a refund, since they may well be past their shelf life (read that on another site) and the resins won't work very well.
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