Easy Casting of Small Model Parts and Miniatures with Blue Stuff

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Easy Casting of Small Model Parts and Miniatures with Blue Stuff

The amazing model maker, David Damek, who runs the website and YouTube channel called Plastic Models posted this video last year showing how he casts copies of parts for his models using something called Blue Stuff. The video shows just how easy it can be to get very respectable castings of parts using only this material for the mold and a two-part epoxy putty for the cast.

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Anyone who’s spent time in the tabletop wargaming hobby, working on gaming miniatures, is likely familiar with “Green Stuff,” the two-part epoxy that many gamers use to sculpt additional parts for their models. In fact, Green Stuff has been widely used in the gaming industry to sculpt the models that are then molded and cast as commercial minis. One of Games Workshop’s sculptors once told me that working in Green Stuff was like trying to sculpt in stale bubble gum. While a lot of the industry is now switching to digital sculpting and 3D printing of models to be molded and cast, epoxy putty is still widely used in the industry and among gamers and modelers.

Blue Stuff is a moldable thermoplastic which becomes workable when placed in hot water. Once soft, you only have a minute or so before it sets up again. Once set, it is strong, but very pliable. When molding and casting with it, you can easily peel away the mold from the casting. Another great feature of the material is that you, when you’re done with your mold, you can reheat the Blue Stuff and use it over again.

Once you have your mold, you can use whatever materials you like working with to make your casting: resin, Green Stuff, Brown Stuff, or other formulations of 2-part epoxy. I have used Green Stuff for both making molds and casting parts and gotten pretty decent “tabletop standard” results. From the pieces David is able to cast, it looks like you can get much more detailed castings when molding with Blue Stuff. In the video, he even casts an entire 28mm miniature and gets surprisingly respectable results.

Blue Stuff is sold by Green Stuff World, a European etailer that specializes in epoxy putty products for use in tabletop gaming modeling and dungeon crafting. Among other things, they have a lot of amazing rollers and stamps for creating patterns in putty (for terrain, model bases, etc.).

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Gareth Branwyn is a freelance writer and the former Editorial Director of Maker Media. He is the author or editor of over a dozen books on technology, DIY, and geek culture. He is currently a contributor to Boing Boing, Wink Books, and Wink Fun. His free weekly-ish maker tips newsletter can be found at garstipsandtools.com.

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