by: Russ Amott [ ]
Originally published on:
IntroductionJ's Work is a manufacturer of well thought out and useful diorama accessories based in China. Their range of products includes plastic kits, paper plants, terrain and diorama accessories series. They are sold exclusively through Lucky Model, an online retailer.
This review covers a new release in the diorama accessories series, a silicone mold for roof tiles.
ContentsThe silicone mold comes in a clear plastic sleeve. There is a small cardboard backer included for stiffness, which has the instructions printed on it.
The silicone mold has indentations for roof tiles with a rounded end. The mold appeared to be clean and free of bubbles in any of the tile molds. There is a bit of a ragged edge at the top of some of the tile molds but this could be cleaned up with careful trimming. The mold is soft and flexible, allowing easy removal of the tiles.
ReviewThe instructions are simple and clear. Mix acrylic paint in water and use this to mix the plaster to be used for the molding process. If there isn't enough tint you can add more to the plaster mix. Use a paint brush to dab plaster into the mold recesses to ensure even coating, and then finish filling the mold, wiping away any excess. When set, remove the tiles.
I used a casting material I found at a local hobby store (the only one left in town) to make the tiles. I used black acrylic paint as a tint base to provide some contrast. For the first set of tiles I used a thin mix which filled the mold easily but produced a lot of bubbles and resulted in a cupping effect on them. For the second set I used a thicker mix and pressed it into the molds. The result was much more even and the tiles looked better. Surface detail I had missed before, two small nail holes, was clearly visible on the tiles.
The tiles will require a small amount of clean up on the edges, but the end product is attractive and was easily made. I have used wall spackling compound in these molds in the past, and fount it was prone to crumbling or cracking, so use care as to the product chosen as the tiles are thin.
ConclusionThe product is intended to be simple, allowing the modeler to make as many tiles as they wish. It does this very well. It is inexpensive, available for $5.99 US, and can be used repeatedly. It allows the modeler to experiment with new techniques. If the tiles don't set well, they can be used as debris in a diorama, so really nothing is wasted. I think this is an excellent product and a great value for the modeler.