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"If This Alien Shape Was Sculpted For 15mm, Could It Cast?" Topic

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4,006 hits since 3 Apr 2012
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Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Apr 2012 9:43 p.m. PST

Something "similar" to this here . . .



Before bothering to start on it, are there any special considerations to . . . ummm . . . consider? Is it just not worth the trouble?

What say you sculpting wizards?



captainquirk Inactive Member03 Apr 2012 10:58 p.m. PST

Using rapid prototyping such as Shapeways, it could be printed as a single piece.

Mako11 Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 12:04 a.m. PST

Yes, but I think you'd need to make the antennae and legs(?)/feelers as separate pieces.

Angel Barracks Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 2:12 a.m. PST

Depends how big it is.
If it is only 1cm long then don't bother the tentacles would break.
If it is 10cm long then there is less of an issue but it will still be tricky.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2012 3:44 a.m. PST

Max height of 20mm, I hope.


Andrew Beasley Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 3:57 a.m. PST

I would be tempted to do the legs out of cotton covered in superglue…

Terrement Supporting Member of TMP04 Apr 2012 6:05 a.m. PST


Eli Arndt Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 6:14 a.m. PST

At 20mm you may find it easier to consolidate some of the tentacles and sculpt them as a single piece with the individual tentacle details done in relief.


Rothgar Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 6:34 a.m. PST

Bulk up the tentacles if you want to cast them.

TheMasterworkGuild Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 8:36 a.m. PST

No more difficult than your average beholder I'd imagine

TNE230004 Apr 2012 10:07 a.m. PST

Black Hat has something similar in their Cephalod line

captainquirk Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 10:43 a.m. PST

Casting in metal with individual tentacles is just an utter pain in the rear echelons. Even casting with the tentacles grouped together is still usually tricky to assemble and prone to damage.

The thing is, why bother? When you can do this:


I still like metal castings for many purposes. But rapid prototyping can make things in a single piece, so less chance of breakages.

And you can make things with undercuts which could never be created as a single piece metal casting:


Right tool for the right job! If you want a tentacled alien flea thingy rapid prototype it!

emckinney04 Apr 2012 11:41 a.m. PST

Those antennae will break, regardless. You'd have to scratchbuild them with wire, at the least.

captainquirk Inactive Member04 Apr 2012 11:58 a.m. PST

I've got several of the space octopus type RP models and nothing has broken so far. The material is flexible, not brittle.

I'm sure it IS possible to break the stuff, but nothing has happened in ordinary gaming handling.

Lfseeney03 Jun 2012 8:01 a.m. PST

Knutson elder things have a few like this, one standing on 2 tentacles,

It seems to wrk well, pic soon.

Ravenstar03 Jun 2012 8:36 a.m. PST

for casting you want them all seperated and put on a single spru ,the customer will have to glue them on , but that is th ebest way and cheapest. if you make the right type of joint , you will have no issues.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 Jun 2012 1:51 p.m. PST

So, casting the creature in two halves, with the bottom (legs/tentacles) portion joined in the center in a star pattern, wouldn't work?


Lion in the Stars22 Jun 2012 6:35 p.m. PST

Probably not. Take a look at the Combined Army drones from Infinity:

Notice that most of the tentacles are massed together for easier casting. (For scale, that's a 40mm base, they stand sensors-to-eyeball with 28mm infantry).

Das Sheep Inactive Member28 Jun 2012 9:46 a.m. PST

You could print it in two pieces (tentacles and main body) and then just have them able to glue together. This would give you two flat sides for easy resin casting in single molds, which would also free you from mold lines.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP03 Jul 2012 7:07 a.m. PST

This 28mm form seems to have all the tentacle parts done separately, which must be a pain to assemble and a nightmare to handle:

TMP link


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2012 9:26 p.m. PST


Ok guys,

I know there's still TONS of detail yet do add, but let me know if I got somewhat close with this VERY early stage of my sculpt:








28mmMan Inactive Member21 Oct 2012 10:35 p.m. PST

That looks like serious fun.

Maybe…just maybe…cast in two parts?

Upper mantle and legs with base.

The legs with base could be cast fairly strait, for ease of mold/cast?

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP21 Oct 2012 11:01 p.m. PST

Glad you like it. Right now, the two parts are temporarily stuck together.

But the "horseshoe crab" portion (what you call the "mantle") was the first section I made, followed by several attempts at making the legs section. I finally made a set of wire legs that looked like a fit, so I attached it loosely to the underside of the head section.

As you can see, I've added no other detail to the head section, since my primary concern so far has been to get the general shape and proportions just right.

First I thought the Martians should tower over the humans. But considering the spindly nature of the legs, I opted for something slightly shorter than the humans.


Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP24 Oct 2012 2:25 p.m. PST

Looks like Mega Blocks has a version of that body shape:



Never seen one of those HALO flood drop pods in person, so I can't really say how big those pink-yellow infections are.

Anyone know?



Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP22 Nov 2012 7:48 p.m. PST

Similar body concept walking high up on semi-rigid tentacles:




Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP27 Nov 2012 11:02 a.m. PST

If you were able to vulcanize a mold without breaking the figure, your first castings would look really cool because it is a nice sculpt, but those sharp edges would soon tear the rubber.

Perhaps you could avoid that by flattening all of the arms to make it more two-dimensional and let the buyer bend them to shape after purchase.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP28 Nov 2012 6:00 p.m. PST

Well, well, well . . .

Looks like the little alien I'm making might have a much larger distant cousin:





Mako11 Inactive Member28 Nov 2012 6:54 p.m. PST

I really like that design posted on Nov. 22nd.

Need to get those into production soon.

I suggest a main body, the two legs as one piece, and then the multiple tentacles at the front as the third piece.

Tumbleweed Supporting Member of TMP02 Dec 2012 8:34 p.m. PST

I agree with Mako11.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP28 Jan 2013 4:05 p.m. PST


How's this? (I wish I knew how to post the image directly from my iPhone)








PS. Apologies for the camera phone pic and the bad lighting in my hotel room.

Mako11 Inactive Member28 Jan 2013 5:20 p.m. PST

Looks great to me so far.

Not sure you want to add it, but if you could possibly put some swirly patterned, or other detailing on the main body/head, in the flat spaces, that would look really cool.

Perhaps some netting mesh pressed into the green stuff, to give it a little scaled look. Of course, smooth would be good as well, for a squid-like surface – people could then just paint on any mottling desired.

Would love to see some nice hooks on the end of at least some of the creature tentacles which are to the front. Perhaps on only some models, while they remain hidden in others, for the "is the alien just trying to hug me, or capture me look".

I'm also a big fan of sharp teeth, and/or a sharp, bitey beak, but that's just me as well, perhaps.

Looks really good thus far.

Would love to see a crouching and ready to jump forward pose, and/or one running as well, eventually.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP30 Aug 2014 9:59 a.m. PST

What about this somewhat similar form, with its thicker "legs"?




Lion in the Stars30 Aug 2014 10:10 a.m. PST

Thicker legs would probably be much easier to cast, though I'd consider making the model a 3-parter: upper body, left and right tentacle clusters. Cast the tentacle clusters relatively straight for ease of casting, and let the buyer twist the tentacles around as necessary.

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