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Silicone molds 

Silicone molds have been used in the world of modeling and crafts for many years, and have been essential to create pieces to make models or dioramas, as well as to decorate game tables of different board games and Wargames.

 

This type of molds are used thanks to their great capacity to reproduce details, their resistance to high temperatures (normally up to 240ºC) generated by the materials we introduce in the molds, and finally for their non-stick properties that allow the pieces to be unmolded very easily. 

 

The ideal is to find a silicone mold that includes the type of parts we are looking for, instead of having to make my own silicone mold. If we have to manufacture it, the complexity is much higher.

Mold Filling Materials

There are a wide variety of products for mold filling with different properties, toxicity, and cost.

The best products to fill molds, ordered by drying or setting time would be: 

  • Polyurethane resin, the curing time of each casting is 3 minutes. This material is quite toxic, has a very low price, and generates very characteristic yellow parts. This resin has an unmixed shelf life of 6-12 months depending on the state of conservation. The copied pieces are quite resistant to breakage in case of falling to the ground.

  • Acrylic resin, curing time 30 minutes. Generates white pieces with a hardness similar to porcelain, it is a non-toxic material that is mixed with water as a hardener. On the other hand, the pieces are fragile and could break if dropped on the floor. 

  • Modeling pastes or putties need about 90 minutes to dry depending on the type of putty and are usually quite resistant pieces. These pastes have little or no toxicity compared to polyurethane resin, but the production of pieces is quite slow since each hole of the molds must be filled 1 by 1 pushing the pastes manually.

  • Epoxy resin is a bi-component resin with similar toxicity to polyurethane resin that generates completely transparent parts ideal for water effects, but it needs 24h to dry. The pieces obtained are very resistant.

The best option quality/price/ease of use and for its low or null toxicity would be the acrylic resin that you can find in several formats in the web of Green Stuff World.  

Types of silicone molds for wargames

The main classification of molds would be by the number of sides:

  • 1-sided molds: these are simpler molds where we will always have pieces with 1 side without detailing. 

  • The 2-sided molds are double molds that seek to duplicate all the faces or sides of a figure. Depending on the shape of the figure it is often not possible to duplicate a figure, being a very complex process.

 

Another way to classify molds would be through their hardness, in which we would have very hard molds from 60ºShore-A hardness, medium hard molds 35/40ºShore-A hardness, and finally very soft and flexible molds of 15/20ºShore-A hardness. The softer a craft mold is, the easier it is to break it. The harder a modeling mold is, the more difficult it will be to remove the parts from the inside.

These are just some of the designs you will find in our online store, but there are many more! Feel free to stop by and choose all the ones you need to make your wargame unique and exclusive, with your own personal brand. 

Stonework

They are used to produce stone constructions such as pillars, walls, ceilings, doors, arches, or windows, in a very detailed way so that they can be combined without mistakes. It is a special mold for use with epoxy, resin, acrylic, or polyurethane resin. It has a scale of 1:48 and allows both the creation of independent pieces and to combine them to create a larger and unique one.

Dungeon

These silicone molds are ideal for creating the most exclusive Dungeons, as you can create them in your own style using acrylic, polyurethane, or epoxy resin.

Cemetery

These molds allow you to create cemeteries, complex mausoleums, and other pieces specific to Haunted Graveyards.

Molds for roofs

Molds to create roofs to build houses and buildings in models and dioramas in different scales depending on the model, offering very detailed results. Each one of them measures 6×12 cm. 

Columns

One of the most simple and useful molds at the same time is the column mold. This mold allows obtaining capitals of columns and pillars of different styles very useful in the creation of models.

How to clean silicone molds

If you want to continue to have accurate and detailed results in your figures and decorative shapes, you must take care of the silicone molds and clean them every time you use them. They should not be rubbed with scouring pads or the like, as this will cause scratches that will be reflected in the figures. 

 

For correct maintenance, use the specific scrapers that will remove the resin remains. Then, you can rinse them with water and a neutral soap and let them air dry for their next use. If you need to dry it to continue using it at the moment, do it with a soft microfiber cloth and if possible new to avoid damage. 

Reusable Molds (Blue Stuff)

The silicone molds that we can find available in the market are molds that include pre-established designs and drawings that cannot be modified. They can be used many times to make many copies of the same parts, but the mold material itself is not reusable. 

 

Fortunately, thanks to Green Stuff World and its Blue Stuff plastic, it is possible to create reusable molds simply with a cup of water and a microwave. Just heat the plastic to turn it into an easy-to-knead paste that you can knead in your hand to create the mold of your choice. Blue Stuff does not require release agents, and after using it several times you can simply reheat it to create new molds using the same plastic all the time.

How do you keep the resins from sticking to the mold?

Each resin requires its own release agent although many products such as acrylic resin do not require any. 

 

Some liquid or spray release agents are commercially available, but they can generate bubbles if they are not completely compatible with the filler material to be used, or they could affect the detail of the pieces if too much is used. The best release agent for polyurethane resin would be talcum powder. 

Types of silicone for molds

There are different types of silicones according to their catalyst: liquid silicone and silicone paste. 

 

The liquid silicone is a liquid bicomponent product that you have to mix in a proportion, that you need at least 24 hours to set, and that will allow you to make cast copies of the part. This is the easiest and most economical way that has traditionally been used to make silicone molds. There are many types of liquid silicone depending on their color, hardness, and temperature resistance.

 

On the other hand, we have platinum silicone that uses platinum, a noble metal, as a catalyst. This paste is also bicomponent and must be mixed in equal parts for one minute, which will give you silicone that will harden in 5-10 minutes. These types of silicones are used for the creation of single-sided molds. The resulting silicone is usually of higher quality and is suitable in most cases for the manufacture of food contact molds.

What is the best material to make silicone molds?

The most suitable material to make a mold will depend on the parts and the materials we are going to use to fill the mold. 

For metal parts

When we want to make metal or alloy parts, we will need silicone molds with high-temperature resistance.

For resin parts

For the manufacture of resin parts, silicone molds are needed that can withstand vulcanization temperatures of 90° and 120° minimum.

On the other hand, the morphology of the part must be taken into account. For example: 

  • For flat parts, you can opt for harder molds.

  • For parts with edges that are difficult to demold, a lower hardness will be required to facilitate removal. 

  • The size and thickness of the parts will also determine the diameter and thickness of the silicone mold.