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I’ll admit to having wargame minis on the brain this morning. As a commenter on my earlier post pointed out, a cheaper alternative to Shapeways printing of your entire computer-modeled miniature army is to print just one of each unit type, then use the print as a master to make your own mold and cast a bunch of duplicates. Heck, while you’re at it, you might even just print the mold itself. This page provides a set of pretty good tutorials about duplicating miniatures by casting. [Thanks, RichB!]

Sean Michael Ragan

Sean Michael Ragan

I am descended from 5,000 generations of tool-using primates. Also, I went to college and stuff. I am a long-time contributor to MAKE magazine and makezine.com. My work has also appeared in ReadyMade, c’t – Magazin für Computertechnik, and The Wall Street Journal.


  • c0d3monk33

    Two sided molding and casting is a difficult process without some specialist equipment (vacuum pumps, spin casters). I’ve had a lot of success with one sided molding and wrote a similar tutorial several years ago: http://www.tabletop-terrain.com/archives/2006/08/26/656/

    The other option for molding 3d shapes is to mold your piece as a solid block and perform a ‘jeweller’s cut’ into the mold to release the master and casts. This technique actually works quite well since most RTV is so flexible, although careful you don’t damage the master cutting it out of the mold.

    Garage casting is a lot of fun, and you can create some very nice pieces for modeling and wargaming. Here’s a 15mm scale building I built from scratch and cast in Ultracal 30 plaster:

    http://www.tabletop-terrain.com/archives/2007/02/15/743/15mm-building-facade-released/

    • c0d3monk33

      Oops, that second link isn’t an ad. The pieces are no longer on sale!