I have been asked quite a lot recently “So what is it your actually doing now?” especially as I have given up work to run DMB as a full time business.
So I thought I would write a quick blog post to explain what the process of making the dungeon tiles is and what I do on a day-to-day basis.
I want to focus on the mould making process in this post so ill skip over everything leading up to that point, I’m going to go in to this in more detail in future posts but we first make the master for the tile out of the Hirst Arts moulds. We are fully licensed and his stuff is so Spanky it seems a bit silly to sculpt our own.
Recently we made new masters for a ruined temple floor. Here are a few of the masters we made for the moulding process.
Once the masters are made the next step is to set up the area that we are going to pour the silicone in to.
We start by laying out a plastic bag, we find the heavy-duty rubbish bags are the best, the rubble sack kind, as the plastic is till foldable but is less prone to cause an uneven surface, or tear during use.
Next we lay out the pieces that we are going to make the mould of on the plastic bag and arrange them so that there is enough of a gap around each piece fro the silicone to flow, but not such a large gap that we waste silicone or make the mould to big to use.
Next the forma is made. The forma is a shape that will contain the casting material so it doesn’t spill all over the place when poured over the item you want to mould.
We use Mega Blocks, because they are big, and suitable for my giant monkey Paws, but any interlocking brick system will work just as well.
Once the forma is made around the blocks we remove the blocks and place them to one side so we can prepare the inside of the forma for the job at hand.
Next we line the insides of the blocks with masking tape, this stops the Silicone from running between the cracks in the blocks or under the bottom block if the surface is not totally flat.
We then sweep the top of the plastic bag to get rid of any particulates, bits of spare masking tape or sandwich crumbs out of the way.
We then carefully place the masters back in the forma in the same positions that they were in before, or as near to it as we can get.
Next we mix up the silicone, which requires weighing and measuring the correct amount of silicone and catalyst.
Then we slowly pour the silicone over the pieces until they are just covered. We then bang the table to remove any trapped air bubbles, to the surface. This helps to reduce air bubbles in the mould, as there is not much silicone on top of the piece for the bubbles to rise through.
Once we are happy with the air bubble situation, we pour the rest of the silicone over the top of the mould to form a solid bottom, which stops the moulds for bowing under the weight of the plaster when we cast the pieces.
Then we leave it to set. This can take up to 24hrs, depending upon the thickness and size of the mould, but most are done in 8-10 hours. Either way we normally leave them over night.
I think that is enough of my waffling for today. I really shouldn’t start a blog post with “I thought id write a quick blog post…” as it never ends up as a short blog post…
Next time ill show you what happens once the silicone is set and what we do from there to make the moulds usable and start talking about the actual casting process.
See you on the Flipside
Andy @ DMB