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Making a Doll Molding a Doll Stringing Supply List

Casting

For some great tutorials on mold making and casting you can check out these at both the Alumilite and Smooth-On sites. these guys also sell the silicone needed for the molds, as well as the casting resins for the dolls.

On top of these tutorials how ever, I can give you some helpful methods I used which will make your final doll assembly much easier!

mold box1
mold box 2

Mold Box

Mold Pour

Mold Box

One word Lego!! this stuff makes great mold boxes, it's a lot less porous than you might think, and because it's always in set dimensions, you wont have any trouble matching up your mold box for the 2nd halves of 2 part molds. You can also reuse it over and over again.

Warning!

Something I did learn the hard way is, you must always always have some clay in the bottom where the Lego joins the base, if you leave the base clay free the silicone will leak out of the bottom and things will get very ugly, so always seal the base.

Keying Your Molds

To key up your mold. Embed beads into your clay, and these will make great notches and groves to use to line up your mold pieces! when casting!

drill free thigh

Basic Drill Free Part

Drill Free Dolls

I wish I could take credit for the beads and the Lego, but those tips are thanks to my local hobby shop guys! One method I did devise however is the drill free doll parts!

To do this I used Drinking straws. When making the molds of your pieces, have a piece of drinking straw fitted into the holes and the top and bottom of the piece, and sticking out about 1/4".

Once the mold is set you can fit a drinking straw into the gaps left behind. The resin should not flow into the straw leaving a hollow center. Also the resin will not stick to the straw, so you can pull it out of the cast for no drill needed parts!

hollow torso
Core Mold for pieces where a regular core isn't possible

Tricky Hollows

Some parts need to be hollow, but in the case of for example the lower torso, don't have an opening large enough to create a core mold.

For these what I did was make a core out of styrofoam. Insert the drinking straws into the styrofoam core, and seal it up with press and seal wrap (if you don't the Styrofoam will absorb the liquid resin) It's important to use the clear press and Seal and not the blue, if the core comes too close to the side of the casting you won't notice the white, but the blue will show through.

After that simply place the straws into the straw grooves in your mold and you are ready to pour!

Photo note

The core in the photo isn't a good shape and size, you want to get as much of the casting hollow as possible. I also used bubble tea straws for this piece as I wanted largest openings for the legs.

Get Rid Of Styrofoam

When the cast is cured, you can drop a little nail polish remover down one of the holes, and this will dissolve away the Styrofoam completely for a perfect hollow piece!

torso T
Upper Torso Straw positions

Upper Torso

This part is a little tricky, what I did was make the mold in 2 pieces, an inner core, and an outer mold in one piece (see seamless casts below) I molded the master with a small amount of drinking straw sticking out of the top of the neck, and with a place to put a 2nd drinking straw going across from arm hole to arm hole.

I made sure when cutting the outer mold to not cut through the arm holes.

Now plug one end of a length of drinking straw with left over silicone scraps (this is the cured stuff that you rescue from your mixing cups etc from previous molds) place the other end place in the neck. A second length goes across the arm holes to form a "T"

The point of the core mold should just touch the straws, but not enough to knock them out of place. Once the upper torso is cast you should be able to push through the thin layer of resin between the holed with the points of some scissors.

seam free mold 1 seam free mold 2

"glove" and Core in a seam free mold

Seam Free Mold

Where ever 2 mold pieces come together, there is a seam, but where a core mold is used such as the head or upper torso you can make a virtually seam free cast!

Simply fill the core of the master with clay, and have a column approx 1/3 of an inch high stick out of the piece. Stud this clay with beads to key up your mold later on, and seal it to the base of the mold box.

Fill the box with silicone and allow to set like with any other 2 pieces mold. Then remove the clay and beads, brush with rubber to rubber mold release and fill the core with silicone.

Once it is set you have "glove" and a core.

Make a cut down the sides as far as you need to remove the master from the outside "glove" mold.

When you cast band the mold together as normal, lining up the sides and best you can, the core mold will help you to find the right position. When you de mold your cast you should have virtually invisible seam lines!

Pigment

To keep all my doll parts the same color I dyed the whole batch of resin. To get a nice pale porcelain color I added 5 drops of caucasian skin pigment to the catalyst bottle of my white resin.

Counting the drops worked pretty well, I had to dye a 2nd batch the same color and you can't tell the difference between the 2 batches at all!

For a more normal skin tone I'll try 6 or 7 drops in my next batch.

finished cast
The finished cast

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