For a while now I have had a hankering to get my hands on some “Blue Stuff”, and no this is not the little blocks they drop into urinals to keep them “fresh!” It is in fact a material that can be heated in boiling water to make it soft and it can then be pressed around an object and a mould made, best of all once you no longer need this mould, you can pop it back into some more boiling water and re-use it!
However the slight problem I have had is getting hold of any, as it is sold by “Greenstuff World” in the US but postage is horrendous from there at the moment, and though there was one person who was selling packs on Ebay, but he wanted you to “bid” on them starting at £14.95 plus £3.50 postage! My wife as usual came to the rescue finding some on “Amazon” but not called “Blue Stuff” but rather called “Hinodewashi Oyumaru monochromatic clear and blue“, and imported from Japan by (and I kid you not) “The Fun, Fun Hobby Company” and it was only £11.99 post free. Worth a “punt” I thought so an order was placed and the next day a rather large envelope arrived containing these two small packets (one blue, one clear). The instructions were of course all written in Japanese, now my Japanese is rusty to say the least (well I know “Gojira” and that’s about it to be honest), and the three tiny pictures didn’t really tell me a vast amount, but luckily there is a veritable plethora of videos about using “Blue Stuff” on “YouTube”, so I just did what they said.
Now you may remember that last week I posted up my finished “10mm Wild West Wagons”, and that I did mention that there had been a problem with a couple of the wheels, well they were in fact missing from my order, I did Email Lancashire a couple of times but got no response (not happy), so I decided that these would be the first items I would reproduce with my new toy. So off to the kitchen I went, where I boiled the kettle (and made a cup of tea), then re-boiled it once I remembered what I’d come in there to actually do! And poured some of this into a soup dish (don’t tell the wife!), a strip of the “blue stuff” was then immersed in this for three minutes, until it was soft, and then after pushing two blobs down onto my painting table, I pushed one small and one larger wagon wheel into said blobs and left then to go cold.
After a few minutes I was able to “pop” out the wheels (the material stays slightly flexible) and taking some “greenstuff” pushed it into the new moulds (I ran a thin sausage of putty around the rims first before pushing in the main piece over the spokes) and left this to dry overnight. Next morning I popped out the new greenstuff wheels and I have to say I was pretty happy with the result, aright they were flat on the back and the gaps between the spokes didn’t go right through, but once in place and painted you can’t see the difference really (and it looks like I’m never going to get a response from Lancashire, so it was this or a wonky wagon).
But what else could I make, now most of the demonstrations on Youtube seem to involve “ripping off” Games Workshop figures, but I was thinking bigger than that, I want to rip off Games Workshop scenery!! Well no not exactly, but I do have a vague plan for “Dave Stones Season of Scenery” challenge this year that is loosely based on GW’s “Temple of Skulls”, I won’t go into too much detail about his here (as it isn’t July yet!), but suffice to say I’m going to need some skulls (well duh), and to this end I have this old eraser I have had since I was a child, this is about the size of an “Action Man” or 12” GI Joe head, (for some reason I painted it white with emulsion paint and melted a birthday cake candle on top of it, hence the knobbly black bits on the top). Now I need a few of these and I really want them in plaster, so I thought I’d see if plaster of Paris worked in these moulds. So plaster was ordered from Amazon and while I was waiting to took three of the strips of the clear “stuff” and made a mould of my little skull. Here is the result, sort of reminds me of that crystal skull that used to feature in “Arthur C Clarke’s Mysterious World”.
So next up I mixed up some of the plaster of Paris and poured it into my “skull Mould” left it over night to be sure it totally set then tried to ease it out, well long story short I had to rip the mould a bit to get the plaster casting out, this was my fault as I’d gone too far around the underside to allow it to come out the hole, but this didn’t really matter as I can always take another mould of the eraser! The casting isn’t perfect (again probably more my fault than the materials), but quite good enough for what I have in mind. I can now go into production as I need a few of these ready for July.
But for now, happy Easter, stay safe, and cheers Roger.