Tools of The Trade

We often get asked, “What tools and supplies do you use?”  Well this page is here to answer that. We will keep this updated with links to all the different things we use in our creative madness. Depending on where you live, much of this can be found locally. If you can’t find something local, or its more expensive in stores, we have links here to buy it.  And through the magic of the Amazon Affiliate program, we will get a few pennies on the dollar. Isn’t the internet wonderful?! We only list items here that we have personally used and liked, but your mileage may vary. And as always, follow all directions, safety warnings, and use protective equipment!

  Smooth-On molding and casting products.

1 to 1 Mix ratio silicone rubber and casting resin that can be used without a pressure tank or degassing. Not the cheapest, but the ease of use is worth the extra $$$.

Kits:

Moldmaking & Casting Brush-On Starter Kit
Moldmaking & Casting Pourable Starter Kit

Urethane Casting Resin:

Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 300 Liquid Plastic Compound
Smooth-Cast 65D
Smooth Cast ONYX FAST Black Liquid Plastic Casting Resin – Trial Unit
Smooth-On Smooth-Cast 320 2 Pint Kit -Off White 10 Min Cure!

Silicone Moldmaking Rubber:

Rebound 25 Brush On Silicone Moldmaking Rubber- Trial Unit
Mold Star 16 FAST Moldmaking Silicone Rubber – Trial Unit
Mold Star 30 Silicone Mold Making Rubber – Trial Unit
Mold Star 20T Silicone Mold Making Rubber – Trial Unit– My new fav!

 I tend to like “reductive sculpture” (fancy speak for sanding) and epoxy is my preferred medium. Also, when I am not in a rush I use 2 part epoxy putty instead of polyester based auto-body fillers. They take anywhere from 15min to 24hrs to cure but they have a longer pot life. They can be smoothed with water, epoxy specific smoother, alcohol, or lacquer thinner. They don’t stink nearly as bad as polyester products and they sand easier.

Free Form Sculpt Epoxy Putty – Trial Size Best deal for sculpting epoxy
Smooth-On Free Form AIR Lightweight Epoxy Putty – Trial Unit It Floats! Great for lightweight fairing & smoothing.
Apoxie Sculpt 1 Lb. White
Apoxie Sculpt 4 Lb. White Epoxy Clay
PC Woody Epoxy Paste, 12-Ounce Tube
Elmer’s E761L Damaged Wood Repair System 12-Ounce
J-B Weld 8237 PlasticWeld Plastic Repair Epoxy Putty – 2 oz
J-B Weld 8257 KwikWood Wood Repair Epoxy Putty – 1 oz

Smooth-On XTC-3D Epoxy

XTC-3D is a 1 to 2 mix ratio epoxy that is self-leveling, low VOC, and very easy to work with. It was designed to smooth out 3D printed parts, but can also be used to harder paper products, smooth out all kinds of ridged foam, and takes tint or powder pigments very well.

XTC 3D High Performance 3D Print Coating – 6.4 oz
XTC-3D High Performance 3D Print Coating – 24oz. Unit

5min and 30min Epoxy.

From gluing to fiberglass to the occasional casting, epoxy is super useful in the shop. I always try to have both cure times on hand. 

Great Planes Pro Epoxy 6-Minute Formula 9 oz
Great Planes Pro Epoxy 30-Minute Formula 9 oz

West System Epoxy.

An excellent polyester resin replacement that is good for larger projects. It has a low viscosity for an epoxy and can be used with fiberglass easily, but also can be used to harden any fibrous material or as a coating. With structural grade adhesion, a good amount of self leveling, low VOC, and a pump system that makes measuring ratios a thing of the past, West System Epoxy is awesome to use.

West System Starter Kit 1- 1 Qt 105 Resin, 1 Pt 205 Hardener, 1 Set Mini Pumps
West System 105A Epoxy Resin (Quart)
West System 105 Epoxy Resin (.98Gallon 10.3-Pounds)
West System 205 Fast Hardener, .43 Pt .47 Lb
West System 206 Slow Epoxy Hardener
West Systems 207 SPECIAL COATING HARDENER .66 Pint
West System Mini Pump Kit for Quart, Gallon, 5 Gallon sizes

Acrylic Mediums

These mediums will modify any acrylic paint, from cheap craft store up to professional grade. Each changes the properties of the paint in a specific way, so get the one that matches your project.

GAC-100: Generic thinning of acrylic paints & wetting out dry pigment.
GAC-100 8oz
GAC-100 16oz
GAC-100 32oz

GAC-200: Promotes film adhesion. Helps paint stick to smooth surfaces like plastic.
GAC-200 8oz
GAC-200 16oz
GAC-200 32oz

GAC-900: Turns any acrylic paint into a flexible fabric & foam paint.
GAC-900 8oz
GAC-900 16oz
GAC-900 32oz

Airbrush Medium: Lowers viscosity and reduces tack for running acrylic paint through
an airbrush.
Airbrush Medium 8oz
Airbrush Medium 16oz
Airbrush Medium 32oz

Fabric and Vinyl Spray paints.
The only spray paints that we know work as advertised.
Meltonian Nu-Life Color Sprays
Spray It New

Cutting Tools.
Logan Foam Werks Foam Cutting Tool, Straight/Bevel

Books that have helped us out a ton!
The Prop Builder’s Molding & Casting Handbook
Pop Sculpture: How to Create Action Figures and Collectible Statues
Color Mixing Recipes For Oil & Acrylic

Tapes

Intertape 591 Double Sided Flatback Paper Tape– Double sided masking tape, great for holding down foam while painting or even as a bed tape for 3d printers. A little expensive, but soo handy!

Tamiya Masking Tape 6mm & 10mm Value Set– Great inexpensive making tape in tiny sizes.

General Purpose Masking Tape, 60 yds Length x 2″ Width– For general use, no need to get anything smaller than 2″ wide.

Gaffer’s Tape– This stuff is what duct tape dreams of being. Sticks to anything, releases cleanly, doesn’t loosen in the heat. You should always have some in your cosplay repair bag.

Electronics boards & Kits

These are different pieces of tech that we use in our cosplay. Most are plug and play, or require very basic soldering skills

Adafruit Audio FX Sound Board 16MB w/ Headphone Jack

Adafruit Audio FX Mini Sound Board 2MB No Headphone Jack

One thought on “Tools of The Trade

  1. Pingback: Alternatives To Bondo | KnowOne's Designs

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