Another highly requested mini build, a miniature Thanos infinity gauntlet. Because of the level of detail involved in a build like this, I decided to cast it, from brass. Obviously like always I wanted to make it as cheap and easy to replicate as possible. This is it…
Making the Infinity gauntlet mold
In order to make a mold we first need a sacrificial plastic infinity gauntlet. This could have been from a cheap toy or keychain, but I had mine printed on a 3D printer just so I could perfect the technique without the use of a kiln. When you’re trying not to use professional kit you have to cut corners, and there is always a learning curve in that technique, i.e. multiple tries. If your interested I used a standard PLA filament and the Thanos model form Gambody. I could have used a low temperature 3d printer filament designed for the job, but I wanted to use standard cheap filament to prove it could be done and replicated.
After having a couple of failures with pure plaster of Paris, I started to use a 1:1 mix with building sand and this seemed to be a perfect mix between strength and detail. I then cured the mold to remove ALL of the moisture (super super important). A combination of the central heating radiator and the oven was used. If you dont manage to remove all the moisture steam will be created in the mold when the metal is poured resulting in horrible air bubbles in the cast or spitting. Do not use too much water when mixing the plaster of Paris, too much will make the finished mould weak.
Next I melted out the plastic with a hot air paint stripper. Plastic is toxic when heated, so this was done outside with the wind blowing away from me and wearing the correct breathing mask, eye, and hand protection. Remember if it’s not fresh air, you don’t want to breathe it. I also managed to achieve the exact same thing by placing the plaster of Paris mould onto a charcoal BBQ, but I had to buy the BBQ, so it cost more and wasn’t shown.
It goes without saying a kiln would cure the plaster of Paris and melt away the plastic, but again, they cost money. As a side note if you store the moulds in a humid environment they will re-absorb moisture from the air and be compromised. I had this problem even inside the house during Autumn and Winter in the UK, so keep this in mind.
Making a simple forge or furnace
My furnace is made from cheap firebricks bought from eBay. Turns out there easy to stack and you can build all sorts of shapes. Combine them with a cheap propane torch and some patio heater gas and you have a forge or furnace that gets hot enough to melt brass or aluminium and run for hours if needed. When you’re done, let them cool and stack them away again. Simple. I always moved away from the furnace whilst running, but close enough I could see it. I remove myself from all fumes at every possible opportunity.
Casting molten brass
Whenever you cast any metal it’s going to be very hot and probably give off horrible fumes. This is certainly very true of brass, that makes it potentialy dangerous. Do your own research on potential hazards for whatever you may consider melting, but once again mine was done outdoors with the wind blowing away from me. I was wearing a mask, gloves, face mask and sensible clothes.
To drive out any last moisture from the mould I placed the plaster of Paris near the furnace and heated the inside prior to pouring the molten metal. I’m no expert but it seemed to equalise the temperature and allow for a higher level of detail. I also managed the same thing with a BBQ. Again these are the hacks you have to make when you don’t have a kiln.
The above project is aimed at adults for education and entertainment purposes only, not to replicate. Anyone doing so takes full responsibility for their own actions.