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Material needed:

Original object to mold
Polymer clay
Talcum Powder
Round Toothpicks
Craft Knife
something hard to use as a press if desired



I use polymer clay as my mold material. You'll want to use fimo soft or sculpy or if using fimo classic soften it a bit more with some mineral oil such as vaseline or baby oil. The mold material should be soft to take a good impression.

1) The original object that your going to copy should have no undercuts

2) I take 2 globs of fimo about enough to embed the original object with about 1/2 an inch or more thick so the mold will last & not crack. I just flatten them so that there is around a 1/2 inch border around the object.

3) I dust both halves of the upcoming mold parts & the original piece in talcum powder (baby powder) as a mold release. Some people use mineral oil or vaseline but I don't.

I use an old brush to get the excess out of the cracks & pitter-patter the polymer in my hands to get most of it off.

4) Lay the original piece on one of the fimo rounds then lay the other one on top.

5) Press down firmly being careful not to slide your hand to one side until the 2 old halves are touching around all sides.

As you can see from this picture the mold has spread out.
Lift your hand or helping flat object off the mold carefully making sure not to disturb the 2 layers. You want the 2 halves to stay together.

I cut the tapered part of the toothpick off to make it easier to have the holes I'm about to make even.

6) Insert the toothpicks into the mold on 2 opposite edges. These are alignment hole. Cut a small v notch through both top & bottom layers of the the mold, this is to help you put the mold halves together in the proper orientation. Make sure the toothpick goes all the way through both halves.

7) Either bake the mold as is, if the object can withstand the baking process or carefully take out the toothpicks & the 2 halves to remove the object and the bake.

8) Once the mold is cooled I trim the toothpicks so that they don't stick out above the top half of the mold. I also glue the toothpicks into the bottom half.

I hope this helps. .
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Victor Watrous
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Re: How I make molds for polymer coin projects
Most cool. Thanks for sharing. Here's some for your effort. thumbsup
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Re: How I make molds for polymer coin projects
O.K. Here's the second part.

I was too tired last night to finish this, sorry.


Materials

Soft fimo or sculpy in black or silver
talcum powder
molds
round cutter the size of finished coin
spacer for rolling out clay to right thickness
gilding paste in say gold, silver or bronze




Optional:

pasta roller

1) Condition your clay well either using your hands or like I do with a small chopper. I bought mine at a thriftstore for $1.00.


2) Roll out your clay to the right thickness. A little thicker than your original object you molded. You can use a pasta roller if your coin is thinner. For my handcrafted Puerto Rico or Cthulhu coins which are tad thick I use 2 popsicle sticks taped together as a guide.


3) Using the right size cutter, cut out your blanks.


4) Prepare your mold by lightly dusting the mold halves. Don't dust the clay if using black as the talc can changed the surface color to a grayish. I tend to use black most of the time for my coins.


5) Place the blank into the mold half with the toothpicks.


6) Fit the top half of the mold making sure the notches line up & press firmly. I usually pick it up & give extra squeezes all around.


7) Gently remove the coin from the mold. If it sticks you didn't use enough talc.


8) You'll notice that the coin is a touch wonky. Use the right size cutter to give the coin a nice round shape, assuming your doing a round coin.



9) Bake.


10) When cool put just a bare skim of gilding paste on your finger & lightly brush onto to the highlights & around the edge. After letting dry, I wait about an hour or 2, spay seal both sides with a satin varathane.


I seal them as I'm not sure if the gilding would rub off after repeated handling. I'm not partial to the slick look varathane gives but I want durability.
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Nick Hayes
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Awesome, thanks for the rest of the tutorial. I was pretty sure something was missing originally, and when I reread the thread title I figured you just wanted to make a tutorial on making coin molds, not the actual coins. But I'm glad you went ahead and finished the whole thing out!
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Victor Watrous
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Thanks for finishing the tutorial. Very nice.

Have you found if there is a minimum thickness to the coins?

I have an idea for some poker chips and was wondering if poker-chip thickness would be too thin.

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Thanks. As for minimum thickness the first ones I made were about 1/16 of an inch. They have a bit of flexibility but have held beautifully for over a year of playing. I use them in general replacement purposes. It's just the coins I make from my own sculpts that tend to be so thick but if your making your mold from a normal coin or poker chip, there should be no problem.
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Tremendous job. Well done, and if you develop any other techniques please post them.

Happy gaming!

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Amazing! I love it. This is something I think I could enjoy trying...
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sunshiny wrote:
Thanks. As for minimum thickness the first ones I made were about 1/16 of an inch. They have a bit of flexibility but have held beautifully for over a year of playing. I use them in general replacement purposes. It's just the coins I make from my own sculpts that tend to be so thick but if your making your mold from a normal coin or poker chip, there should be no problem.


Regarding flexibility, have you tried resin casting or is that too messy for your purposes?
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Melody
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I've done resin casting but only for jewelry as I'm a jeweler by enjoyment. I've been meaning to try to make game bits but just haven't gotten around to it. The resin stuff is a recent thing for me & the polymer I've been working with for almost 20 years so it's my goto usually.
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It would be nice a tutorial on how you made the original cthulhu coins before the casting of the copies.
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Melody
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I just sculpted them off the top of my head. I don't know if I could of made a tutorial out of that, really. I didn't use any stamps or such. Sorry about that. Hopefully the pictures are good enough to follow if you want to make your own. Here's a closeup of the originals if it helps.
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Very nice, those look really awesome! Thanks for sharing.
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This was really interesting and I will be trying it in the future. I just printed out a copy to have for one of these evenigs this winter.

Thanks!
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Sean Todd
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Very cool coins. Are the original sculpts made out of the same material of a different color or are they a different material?
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Melody
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Thanks. These were made of the same material of a different color. I use Fimo Classic as it's better for fine detail. I use Sculpey or Fimo soft as the blank for the coins.
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Fantastic tutorial!!

sunshiny wrote:
I seal them as I'm not sure if the gilding would rub off after repeated handling. I'm not partial to the slick look varathane gives but I want durability.

Have you tried making the coins out of silver or gold clay and using a black wash for aging? Then there is no issue of durability or of the gold or silver color wearing off.
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The gold & silver clay just isn't shimmery enough for me. It also makes more sense for the blackening to be in the crevices & the highlights to be shiny.
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sunshiny wrote:
The gold & silver clay just isn't shimmery enough for me. It also makes more sense for the blackening to be in the crevices & the highlights to be shiny.
A wash would put the blackening in the crevices.
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sunshiny wrote:
The gold & silver clay just isn't shimmery enough for me.

True, the metallic clays aren't great yet, but you could always put on some of the gilding to shiny them up a bit. Then if it does wear off you'd still have a gold base, just a bit more dull.

And the wash is applied to the low areas and wiped off the high areas leaving roughly the same look as you have now. In fact this is what I thought you had done when looking at the pictures.
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I did some with the silver & gold with the black wash when I first started to make coins but I just wasn't satisfied with the result. It just didn't look enough like metal to me.
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I like Sunshiny's concept that starts out with the black coin and is high-lighted with the gold or silver paste that is applied with the fingers, leaving the black in the crevices. This would be similar to an old, dusty coin that shines only where contact is made with it.

But to each his own.
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Just tried out your method on a pirate coin for a game my brother is working on. Came out great!!

The talc is the best mold release agent I've ever used, works perfectly.

The only thing I did differently was to drill 1/8" registration holes after the dies were cooled. I did this mainly because the toothpick holes weren't perfectly aligned, so it took some wiggling to get the die halves to close correctly. This caused the blank to shift before being struck.

The sculpey is surprisingly machinable, took the holes very well. I then used 1/8" steel pins to register when striking and it comes out great.

I wanted the reverse side to have just a recess for a sticker (instead of the raised design of the original). After the die cooled I filled in the hollow with wood putty, being careful to keep it smooth and even with the rest of the design. Came out great! I was worried that the wood filler wouldn't adhere to the clay, but it did!
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Melody
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I didn't know that wood filler would adhere to polymer clay, really cool idea. thumbsup

When I make my more complicated sculpts I do what is called a multi-bake. For example when I make the steampunk machines I bake the legs or the gun parts first then insert them in the soft body of the main machine.

There's a product put out by Sculpy called 'Bake & Bond' that I use like a glue onto the baked pieces before I attach them to the soft clay. It helps with adhesion. Sometimes I will end up baking a piece up to 3 or 4 times altogether before it's finished.

Polymer clay is wonderful for sculpting after baking. If you're making a the master coin for modeling, you can get much cleaner edges if you carve it rather than sculpting it soft. This is really good for more geometric or modern designs. As I tend to do more organic designs the softer look of soft sculpting is mostly the way I go.
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Melody
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By the way is there anyway you can post a picture of the coins? I would love to see a picture. Of course if it's an ongoing project your brother is working on you may not be free to but if your able....
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