I did some research a while ago. I have no experience at all, so I'll proceed to shoot out of my arse:
Here are some videos (I'm not gonna embed them since they're in multiple parts) about mold making and resin casting.
There are many of these kind of videos on YouTube. You can do this at home, but it's a lot of manual labor. The molds are often soft, meaning, you can have complex shapes and pry them out of the mold. You can use 2 component resin which seems to dry pretty fast. Apparently the detail level isn't that good, so it can be a good idea to keep shapes smooth. I don't think it would be possible to get near anything of Citadel miniature detail level this way, unless you start using professional casting stuff... like vacum /pressure chambers and stuff.
This Japanese video describes how an anime figure is sculpted from idea to casting and painting. It's 9 parts and the action doesn't start until video 2. I found it very informative despite not understanding much of what was said.
I looked into plastic kit making as well, but it's very, very expensive (meaning you need to produce large quantities). Apparently making steel molds are the reason for this. These aren't worn as easily as many molds, but since they are hard you need to think about separation. The parts needs to go on a sprue with injection points placed so it fills well. Details must be a certain thickness (walls) because plastic shrinks, possible making the walls concave and wobbly. The parts might grip to the mold (vacuum perhaps) so square stuff like lego bricks are apparently slightly tilted in the mold or something. I'm not sure how lego does the hollow bits, but I suspect they use more than 2 mold faces. Corner sharpness is another thing to worry about. Apparently it's difficult (thus expensive) to do sharp concave corners inside the mold. They have a little robotic thing which carves the inverted shape into the steel. I don't think concave corners (in the mold) would be a problem though, because those can be sharpened because they stick out.
Then you can get a 3D printer. These have gone down in price a lot, but are still a big investment. You most likely need to polish up anything it spits out. It's probably the best to buy this service.
You can make a 3D model yourself, but it's best to hire a specialist here too because they need to figure out a lot of technical stuff (unless you have a simple figure).
Then there's a method where you make the mold, pour in stuff an rotate the mold while the stuff dries. This is called rotocasting. Maybe rubberducks are made this way.
Last, designer/urban toys / vinyl figures has an artistic value that equals that of double gradient filled smileys and easter eggs. Also, they remind me of the stupid little deviant art mascot, every one of them. End rage.
Last edited by Prometheus|ANJ; September 2nd, 2008 at 07:28 AM.
Jamen jag tror att han skäms, och har gömt sig. Vårt universum det är en av dom otaliga spermasatser som Herren i sin självhärliga ensamhet har runkat fram för å besudla intet.