How to Cast a Copy of a Miniature Figure

by Nora Zavalczki
Replicate mini figurines using molds.

Replicate mini figurines using molds.

Hemera Technologies/ Images

Casting a copy of a miniature figure is a process in two stages. First, you make a mold after the original figure using rubber or plaster. Cast a figure in the mold using plaster, rubber, resin or clay, creating several copies that you can give as gifts or a collection of figures for your home.

Items you will need

  • Sponge
  • Detergent
  • Cardboard box or five glass panels
  • Tape
  • Vaseline or oil
  • Clay or plasticine
  • Plaster or rubber
  • Varnish
  • Sandpaper

Making the Mold

Step 1

Clean the figurine with a sponge and water or detergent if there is grease or dirt on the surface of the piece. The miniature has to be dirt-free when you make the mold. Dry the piece.

Step 2

Create the container for the mold. This may be a cardboard box that is slightly larger than your miniature. There should be between 1/4 and 1/2 inch between the miniature and the walls of the box, depending on the thickness of the mold you want to make. Remove the upper lid of the box. Alternatively, create a lidless box using five glass panels. Join two glass panels with tape at a 90-degree angle. Tape the other two sides of the box at a 90-degree angle. Join the sides of the box, so that the opposing sides are parallel. Put the fifth glass panel underneath the box and secure it to the sides with tape.

Step 3

Apply Vaseline or vegetable oil on the figure, so that the mold material won't stick to your original and compromise the piece.

Step 4

Put the miniature figure in the box with the bottom facing up. Isolate one side of the piece using a clay or plasticine slab. Making the mold in two parts (i.e., left and right) is more practical and makes it easier for you to remove the copy figure after casting it.

Step 5

Prepare liquid rubber following the instructions on the label of the product you buy. A cheaper alternative is to make a plaster mold. Prepare liquid plaster with equal parts plaster and water.

Step 6

Pour the plaster on one side of the miniature and fill the box until reaching the level of the bottom. Don't cover the bottom of the figurine. Allow the plaster to cure or the rubber to harden.

Step 7

Remove the clay slab. Take the half of the mold you prepared and varnish its edges. This ensures that when you cast the second half, the material won't stick to the first half.

Step 8

Put the miniature in the mold and place it in the box with the bottom facing up. Prepare plaster or rubber and pour it in the box to fill the other half of the box to the level of the figure's bottom and obtain your second half of the mold.

Step 9

Allow the mold to dry for at least 24 hours before you cast miniatures in it.

Casting the Figure

Step 1

Join the parts of the mold and place it on an even surface with the opening facing up.

Step 2

Prepare liquid rubber, resin, plaster or liquid clay, which is the material you cast in your mold. Make liquid clay using water and clay and mix until you obtain a pourable paste.

Step 3

Pour the liquid into the mold, filling the mold entirely. Allow to dry and remove the halves of the mold.

Step 4

Sand the figure if needed. Decorate it with colors or varnish.

Tips & Warnings

  • The mold you make should be at least 1/4-inch thick if you use rubber or thicker if you use plaster.
  • If the shape of the miniature figure is more complex, you have to prepare the mold in several parts. Make one part of the mold at a time.

Photo Credits

  • Hemera Technologies/ Images