Monday, July 21, 2014

Casting Crystal

The "Arms, Armor, and Awesome" cosplay blog brings us this excellent tutorial on casting faux gems and crystals with tinted resin.

Let the resin set, at least 4-6 hours (depending on the amount of catalyst used) before demolding the gems. (It may take a practice run to get a good mix.) Then you want to rough wet sand the gems with 220 grit sandpaper, and then refine the shape by wet sanding them with 600-1000 grit sandpaper for a nice, smooth finish. (I do all my fine detail sanding on a piece of glass to ensure I have a perfectly smooth and flat surface) The gems will appear to have a haze or fog to them, this is normal.  Finally, spray them with the Krylon crystal clear (or a clear gloss spray), and you’re done!


CoastConFan said...

A quick note on gems. Gems were not always the precision faceted stones we see in jewelry stores. So if making a prop that is representing a historical period earlier than the Victorian era, you might want to do some quick research on cuts and shapes. Here are a few links about the history and timeline of gem cutting. Keep in mind that gems were recycled and remounted with great regularity, so a prop with a few anachronistic stones such as Roman stones (especially on a dark ages piece) it wouldn’t be all that unusual in a composition. Don’t just concentrate on hard stones either, amber, coral, and pearls are old favorites and faux stones – glass and substitute stones (garnet passed as ruby) turn up commonly too.

Kevin Cooper said...

Forgive my ignorance but why spray the "Crystal" with a clear finish instead of polishing the resin?

Propnomicon said...

@ Kevin Cooper

Polishing resin can take hours. Spraying it with clear acrylic gets the same effect in just minutes. Instead of polishing out the surface imperfections that cause hazing you can just fill them with the clear acrylic. I suspect the difference in refractive index between the two will also make the faux gem more "sparkly".

Kevin Cooper said...

I take your point, I'm all for an easy life. If it gets the desired finish great.