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Subject: Lucite-encased pieces rss

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Peter Drake
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One of the games I play is Starmada, a tactical space combat miniatures game. For pieces, we currently use Columbia blocks to which homemade stickers have been attached:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/image/60246

These work fine, but I find the game more satisfying with painted miniatures starships, such as those produced for the Full Thrust game:

http://www.gtns.co.uk/store1/commerce.cgi?product=FT-JAP&exa...

Miniatures cause two problems:

1) The ships keep breaking off of the little stands. I've tried superglue, but the point of contact is just too small. Even when I glued the miniatures to wooden disks instead of to stands, at least one would inevitably come of in a game.

2) Miniatures don't stack well.

My fantasy, that I plan to have a shot at this year, is to paint the miniatures and then have them encased in clear plastic (e.g., Lucite) blocks or cylinders.

Thoughts?
 
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Tim M-L
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How?
How are you going to accomplish this?
 
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Robert Wesley
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very simply
Quote:
How are you going to accomplish this?

If you have ever seen those little 'plastic' BLOCKS with anything 'suspended' in those, then THAT is how! They are RESIN and most times this is done in 'layers' being poured over them in a couple of steps or procedures, in order to 'work out' the bubbles or even if some 'dirt' or object fell into them, such as an 'eyelash' or whatever. Good luck on this and please provide some photos(somehow) once you're done.
surprise
 
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Tim Deagan
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this could be really really fun!

Most of the bigger hobby/craft stores sell small lucite encasing kits (Hobby Lobby, Michaels.) In small quantities this is easy and fun. It might even work to do a couple of layers of dipping for wierd effects!

A quick note, to get rid of bubbles, you can place the item on an appropriate surface and vibrate it (use a power tool or a strong 'personal' vibrating device blush on the surface where it's sitting)

In larger quantities (gallons and gallons), it's fairly toxicish, but for minis it should be no problem.

Good Luck! I look forward to seeing the results.
 
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Tim M-L
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ok
I'm familiar with several casting methods, I was just wondering if that's the method he's using or if he's using something else.

As for a vibrating surface, That's why I keep my old electric football game around.
 
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Aaron Potter
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As a note, if you are willing to spend a littl emore cash, any plastics shop will do the job for you professionally. They do up sports memorabilia, baby mementoes, etc., so they have plenty of experience and a wide variety of materials available.
 
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Patrick Korner
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Interesting...
Even cooler would be to encase the minis in Carbonite.

Of course, getting your hands on some is tricky - that Jabba puts most loan sharks to shame...

 
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Robert Wesley
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Okay then, Tim
Quote:
How are you going to accomplish this?

I wasn't certain IF you were aware of this 'process' and I didn't MEAN to come off as sounding like you were never exposed to this sort of thing, since I have seen it done in 'Crafts Shop' from the early 1970s myself. It is really intriguing to make this stuff from whatever, now if ONLY someone would creat MOLDS for casting 'Gamepieces' from WHAT I make on my own, then we would have a thriving 'Cottage Industry' and I could FINALLY get Bill Gates to "kiss ma gritz!", among other things. wootlaugh
 
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Tim Deagan
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Make your own...
Micro-Mark is a catalog/website/merchant that seels stuff for small scale modelers. Among the things they sell are (reasonably) cheap molding and casting kits. The casting is done with low melting point metals (melts in a pan on the kitchen stove) and the molding is done with room-temp vulcanizing rubber or silicon molds. It's a lot of fun and you could make a small run of game pieces fairly easily from masters you've created.

For those interested in other geek hobbies, the sainted Ron Gingery published some wonderful books on homemade die-casting rigs. Check out one of my alter-hobby essential sites:
http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com and it's links page http://www.backyardmetalcasting.com/links.html.

Nothing like a metal pour (even a low-temp one) to get the blood flowing
 
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Tim M-L
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Silicone molds
I've used mold making rubber and casting materials from a company called Polytek. It works really well. Also, for a cheap mold you can use silicone caulk from a hardware store.
 
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