Last month OFE announced the Imako-san Ver. Nekomimi/V (18+) and I pre-ordered it right away. I told my friend about it and he said he ordered the first Imako-san Ver. Nekomimi (18+) back in July last year but how he wanted this new Nekomimi/V version. Then I told him “maybe you can duplicate the left arm?”

I used to build a lot of GK when I was in highschool many years ago. I learnt a lot of GK stuff and I even scratch built my own GK (very ugly of coz) and duplicate them. I know how to duplicate parts in the right way but silicon and epoxy resin are not cheap. So how about duplicate it in a poor man’s way? This is the reason why I’m starting this “Poor man’s Modeling” series. I want to see if I can duplicate part with very small amount of money. =D

This is the “Part 1: Duplicate part with Gelation mold & Plaster“. To replace the expensive silicon and epoxy resin, the first things come to my mind are gelatine and plaster. It is definitely not the best idea and there is a lot of flaws. You will see why very soon.

First I go to the near by supermarket to get some gelatine powder. It is more expensive than I expected. CAD$6.19 (~US$4.77) for only 84g is really not something a poor man will buy.

Fortunately, I find that I can buy it in bulk for only
CAD$4.55 (~US$3.50) for 100g. I bought around 100g.

Here is the mixing part. My goal is to make the gelatine will stay rock-solid at room temperature. One good thing about gelatine is if it is not hard enough after it set, you can always re-heat and melt it again and add more gelatine powder until you’re satisfied.

After lots of trial and error, I find that 3/4 cup of water + 8 teaspoons of gelatine is hard enough.

This is the part that I’m going to make a copy of. It is Nendoroid Noel’s face!

This is the small container for making the mold.

The face part will be suspended in the middle of the container and be filled with gelatine water.

A popsicle stick and tape will do the job.

Before pouring in the gelatine water, let’s put some release agent on the part first otherwise it will stuck in the gelatine mold. I’m using cooking oil. Vaseline or soap should be fine too.

Nice and shiny but bad photo quality. =P

Pour the gelatine water into the container slowly to avoid creating air bubbles.

The gelatine water is very heavier then I thought. The face part is starting to float! It will just keep floating if I keep adding more gelatine water. I’ll just let it set like this first and will add more gelatine water after.

It is cold outside here in Canada (around 5-6°C) at night. To let it set faster, I put it set outside instead of let it set indoor at room temperature.

Once it’s set (in an hour or so), I remove the popsicle stick & tape then oil the inside area of the face part.

I re-heat the remaining gelatine water first and then pour all of them into the container slowly.

Sadly I forgot the face part floated a bit in the previous step so the remaining gelatine water isn’t enought to cover the whole thing. But that’s ok, I need a hole to let the excess plaster out anyway.

Just let the gelatine set overnight and we can go to the next step.

Use whatever way to take the whole thing out.

Cut it in half with utility knife (or fishing wire or anything you’re comfortable with) and then take the face part out. Be very careful not to break it.

But I broke it…. OTL

Well anyway, as long as I can put the pieces back together in 1 big piece. I’m fine with it. So now the gelatine mold is done!

The next step is mixing the plaster. I use Plaster of Paris which I bought many years ago. It is cheap, something less then CAD$6 (US$4.6) for 2kg.

Don’t forget to read the mixing instructions! “2 parts Plaster of Paris to 1 part cold water”

Oh by they way, before you mix the plaster, make sure you let the gelatine mold set at the room temperature for a few hours. Plaster will not dry properly in cold temperature.

If you want to make the plaster stronger, you can add some white glue while mixing.

Put the plaster into the bottom part of the gelatine mold. But the plaster is A LOT thicker than I thought. It’s going to have a lot of air bubble in it. =(

Then I put the top part of the mold back and push out the excess plaster.

Side view

After 2-3 hours, something is not right. The plaster isn’t drying properly. It is still very wet. Then I realized the plaster is absorbing water from the gelatine mold so it’s not drying!!!

So I take the top part of the mold away and let the plaster dry like this. By the way, I broke both ears and the top in the process…. OTL

After few more hours, it looks like the plaster isn’t going to dry even without the top part of the mold. So I just take the whole thing out.

By the way, don’t throw the gelatine mold away. Just clean it with cold water and you can melt it and reuse it for molding again!

After a few days, the plaster dried thoroughly finally.

As I expected, it has tons of air bubbles and air pockets on it.

But it looks pretty good on the inner side.

I have so much fun doing this over the weekend. This is my just first try and I think I can do a better job next time. Gelatine mold + plaster is really not a good idea for making face part. I think it should be great for simple small parts like Nendoroid arms and legs. The final product might not look good but I think it is a very good start for this Poor Man’s project.

“One small step for a poor man, one giant leap for poor-mankind.” =D