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Polymer clay in piece production...

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Anonymous

First let me say "ALLO", since this is my first post. I originally found the site doing a google search for info regarding how to legally protect one's creations. I have found these forums to be most informative and entertaining. My interest in board games tend to be in the "abstract strategy" type classic games. The games I having been designing are often along a similiar feel. Though reading through these forums has broaded my mind in terms of the incredible variety in games.

Anyway...

I was wondering if anyone has ever used a polymer clay (Sculpy, Fimo...) to make any part of their games. I love this material, so I use it for just about everything I can. It's great for creating fancy looking "pawns" :)

Anonymous
Polymer clay in piece production...

Back in August I remember another member here (Coronamew14, hasn't posted in a while) posted a game using clay pieces. Here's the link to the thread.

jkopena
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Polymer clay in piece production...

I've done some. I put an older page of mine up at [1] with some pictures of one of the more successful results, a small space marine type guy. I wound up using him in the prototype for a game a friend and I put together. The orginal you see there is made with Sculpey, which I then resin cast to produce piles of clones (each copy of the game needs 5). People really got into us having our own little plastic bits (mostly our friends, and we've played a bunch of times at local clubs and small conventions). I've been using alumilite for casting. It's pretty easy to use and gets great results---the pieces are very solid & durable, and the casting is not too delicate in terms of getting measurements right and things like that.

For me it takes a lot of time, and I'll never be great at it, but it's also really rewarding and a neat skill to have in making prototypes and things like that.

[1] http://gicl.cs.drexel.edu/people/tjkopena/games/space-marine/

Anonymous
Polymer clay in piece production...

Very cool results! Thanks for sharing the pics and info!

A friend of mine has had a lot of luck using room temperature vulcanizing (RTV) rubber (I think it's urethane) to make VERY detailed casts of pieces. It can handle quite high relief (great for chess-piece type pieces or modular floor pieces, etc.). The best part is that most pieces can be molded using a one-piece mold (no mold lines).

Just something to keep in mind if someone needs to duplicate their clay sculpted pieces.

jkopena
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Joined: 12/31/1969
Polymer clay in piece production...

I thought I'd add that the Alumilite I mentioned uses RTV rubber like SiskNY mentioned. Basically, that means the process doesn't involve high temperatures, pressure, or anything like that. It goes like this:

- Make the piece.
- Build a little box around it, to contain the rubber
- Mix the two rubber elements and pour it on.
- 4 hours to a day later (depending which rubber you use), you can pop the piece out
- Mix the two resin components (the plastic is essentially an epoxy)
- Pour it into the mold
- Wait a minute or so, and then you can pop out your new clone.

The stuff smells pretty funky, about as bad as spray paint, but not as bad as a gloss sealant or whatnot. The resin gets hot as it mixes but not so hot to burn if you get it on you. If you get some on you, it usually peels right off. It generally will not just peel off your clothes/table though!

A starters box of Alumilite runs about $35US. That gave me enough to make a couple small molds like that pictured and a few others (e.g. a sheet of chits). I still haven't used all the resin that came with it, and I've made a ton of little guys and stuff.

Anonymous
Polymer clay in piece production...

WHOA!

Thanks for the "cloning" info. When the time comes when I will have to make a small army of pieces, I'll definately take advantage of this advice.

Some of the few game I am working on a fairly simple, so I intend to fashion everything by hand. Though some of my more recent designs have quite a bit of equipment, so mold-made will be a certainity in my future.

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