Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My first attempt at encasing an insect in epoxy

I have long wanted to cast a insect in epoxy. When I found a good cicada specimen recently, I thought I would give it a go. This entry is about the mistakes I made. Hopefully, after reading, when you try you will avoid the same mistakes.

I used EasyCast clear casting resin from here.It is low odor and easy to work with.

I read the instructions (yes, I did) but continued to ignore them. The result was less than spectacular, but a learning experience.

Here is a list of my mistakes in hope that you will do better.

1) Used wrong kind of mold - Polypropylene or polyethylene resin mold are required. I am sure I used poly something, but it was too stiff and the epoxy bonded with it extremely well. I had to cut the piece out of the mold. USE THE RIGHT LIND OF MOLD.

2) Use a mold release - I skipped this as well - Instructions suggest using Castin'Craft Mold Release/Conditioner. USE MOLD RELEASE.

3) Bubbles - I had major bubble on head of the cicada. I believe it is suggested to coat the insect prior to placing in the mold of resin. You can coat the insect with using a small brush. WATCH FOR BUBBLES. COAT THE OBJECT.

4) The legs of my cicada protruded out of the resin. The cicada was very close to the edges. I should have used a bigger mold. USE THE CORRECT SIZE MOLD.

I have learned quite a bit. When the opportunity arises, I will try again. Hopefully without the issues described above.