What happened on the 3rd?

This is what happens when I don’t take notes.

Monday the 3rd, I got it into my head that if I could do an all-nighter on the weekend, and that if I can do two all-nighters in a 3-day weekend, then I shouldn’t have to wait for a weekend to have one so long as I function well during business hours. Having gone through a few of these now, I had a good feeling that come about 5 AM, I’d grow to hate life and stupid past me for making that decision, but that with coffee, and breakfast, and more coffee, and getting outside for a short walk, everything would be a-okay. Happy ending…I was right. If anything, I felt better at work Tuesday than I often do after a solid night’s sleep. And I wasn’t just slacking, either. I have a pretty physical day job, and I kept the pace up all day. Come 10:30 that night, I was done. And I woke up well-rested today and got things done at the day job. So I’m thinking I keep trying this until my body rebels. If it never does? Just think of all the free days I’m adding to my life, dedicated to doing things I feel like doing.

So, anyway, I pulled that all-nighter Monday night and…no notes. Somewhere in there I was satisfied with the three new thin coats of latex rubber and decided to try making the mother mold for the tile. First, I made another one of those 2×2 tile mold frames from project board like I did last time. While I was at it, I tidied up the graphics for the plans. Along the way, graph paper happened, as featured recently (woo! graph paper!). Just need to add some text to mold frame plans and they’ll be download ready.

It was my first time mixing plaster, so I had no idea what to expect. The container said 2 parts plaster mix to 1 part water. I (mis)calculated the amount I’d need and made too little the first go. Luckily it mixes quickly and easily, so I was able to remedy that. No so luckily, I was so eager to pour my first plaster mold for anything at all, I leaped right past the step where you spray the outside of the rubber mold with mold release, or even just cooking spray. And I hadn’t, at that time, fully grokked the importance of a step in the one video I’d watched. I now grok. In the video, you hot glue the item you’re making the rubber mold of down to a non-porous surface. You brush the rubber on the item, and on the surface about 2″ out in all directions. That was important. The way I did mine, it had no flange surrounding it.

Which is just as well, because without the mold release, that rubber mold (with the wood/baked polymer clay tile in it) wasn’t just going to pop out of the plaster. I tried.

And it turns out that when the plaster container says it hardens in only 30 minutes (into a workable state), I’ll assume they also meant it when they said it would be fully cured in 24 hours. I don’t know. Three hours after pouring it, it was solid as a rock, but when I broke it apart to free the rubber mold, it still had some moisture to it.

On the bright side, broken plaster makes great rock texture. Nothing wasted. I now have some fully-cured plaster rock forms waiting for some terrain modeling.

And the rubber mold survived, even if in its present un-flanged state. From that, I learned that three coats is certainly plenty for this kind of small item. It came off the tile with little fuss. And it appears to have captured quite a bit of detail. What I can’t tell is if some of that detail is brush stroke. So the next mold making experiment will involve doing all the steps (ahem), and then I can find out for sure how a resin casting works with it.

Other than that, I monkeyed around a bit with making some rough fully posable mannequins in 1:48 and 1:18 scales. It took a bit to figure out the wire armature part, but I’ve got it now. And the basic mannequin shapes form to the wire well. The twist to the wire keeps the pieces firmly in place after it’s baked. The wire I’m using isn’t the strongest, so it will only take so many hard bends before snapping, which is good to know in advance. I’ll be sure to post photos when I get a couple of serviceable figures done.

I also spent a fair bit of time searching for reference photos. Along the way I beat my head against a blank page on the screen.

That said, it’s time to get my all-nighter for the 5th going. I’ll remember to take notes this time. The daily log entries are much easier with those.

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Author: Rocky Mountain Bog Monster

Lifelong student with interests a mile wide and an inch deep. Autodidact. Pedant, hopefully of the slightly more pleasant sort. Sharer of things learned along the way. Lately of a creative bent.

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