September 19, 2019 at 12:23 pm #149116
Hi. For those who do not know, and that is probably a lot (I’m not going to give myself that much credit), I have been in the pursuit of leaning the technique of soft vinyl slush casting. I know I am not the fist in America to try this, and I hope not to be the last. I have shared many of my findings on my youtube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLhmGJv2QkZOS4Qa0IB5GWRkW6De-Q-LPZ
Obviously there have been some walls I have come up agains like what sort of plating is required and the chemical baths, but it has been a very interesting study that I have been doing mostly on my own for a while. I don’t consider myself an expert on the subject, but I willing to try and answer questions about the process. If anyone has stuff to add, that would be brilliant!
I have always felt that the more we learn about this and what goes into it, more we can demystify the process as a whole. I also realize that this is a much older process than many other ways of toy making, and it needs to be passed on.September 19, 2019 at 1:48 pm #149145
Thanks Geoff! What sort of issues have you come up with plating & chemical baths? Getting the right chemicals that are used in Japan into the USA?September 19, 2019 at 6:44 pm #149274
So the biggest hurdle with the chemical baths that I found was what was it made out of. Most people were saying it was a salt-based solution called “torque.” The issue was that it wasn’t really explained beyond that. It’s pretty hard to find anything on the web that explains the ingredients of this and uses that name for it. I ended up rifling through old patents from shoe companies that used plastisol for rain boots and shoe soles and I was able to find out that it is a combination of sodium-nitrate and potassium-nitrate! These are fairly obtainable, and non toxic. I don’t however know what the ratio is, but it seems like a possible 1:1 (don’t quote me on that).
Another issue has been with platting. I keep getting confused of the steps with the electroforming. I have been able to successfully electroform copper on to my pieces, but the question is more about where does the nickel plate go. This is a much more dangerous process to do alone due to the chemicals involved, but a couple people who had followed my videos found a way to do it. There are plating companies out there that will do this, and it’s not too expensive. As far as I can tell, it’s a cost of nickel, followed by a thicker coat of copper. The nickle allows for the curred vinyl to slip out smoothly.
The biggest challenge is the plastisol itself. George on this week’s marsham episode said that the plastisol is a specific kind. I believe the brand is “kobasol” (spellcheck). I know that one that in the states, Alumalite makes one called “Alumasol.” This stuff is sort of a prosumer based material, generally used for fishing lure hobbyists. I am not sure of how it plays with slush casting, but I keep planning to call their hotline about it. They’re pretty helpful.September 19, 2019 at 10:52 pm #149292
Sounds like you’re pretty knee deep in this process. How are you finding the results, Geoff? Are you pulling quality vinyl releases? Have you attempted pulls with other folks sculpts?September 20, 2019 at 1:00 am #149340
In all honesty, I’m nowhere close 🙁 .
I’ve done some copper cavities, but have not gotten to pull anything yet. I still want to do some tests with what I have to see what happens, but it may be sometime due to my insane schedule. The tooling that I ended up making didn’t meet the standards of the Japanese factory when I made my King Liger figure, so I reluctantly had to have all to the tooling made over seas in Japan. I am still experimenting with more stuff in my spare time. It may be another few months. I am proud to say that I have influenced a few people around the world with my videos and they have built on my process since then.
Here is a link to my first results: http://neo-fighters.blogspot.com/2017/01/i-have-cavities.html
Also, these folks out of Slovenia have been doing more on their own based on my videos: https://www.instagram.com/official.toy/
I would love to see more people add to this process and beyond.September 20, 2019 at 12:07 pm #149389
So unfortunately I haven’t gotten to do much on that front 🙁
It’s like I know where all of the moving parts, but I have insane schedule that will not allow me to fully get started with the process, let alone the proper space for it. The copper cavities I have made may not even work due to them not having nickel plating. Lulubell toys ended up stepping in and getting the tooling made and the toys produced at this point.
I really want to get to that next level though. Here is the furthest progress I made:
Luckily there have been people watching my videos and have built off of them. I highly recommend people check out Official Toy’s instagram: https://www.instagram.com/official.toy/
They are out of Slovenia, and have been trying out these techniques as well.September 20, 2019 at 7:34 pm #149502
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