Insta-Mold – Is it Worth the Money? See My Review to Learn

Well, hello everyone. I’m a new writer on the blog, and I wanted to make an interesting topic to start. Not the most discussed or known of topics to be honest, and somewhat controversial to some people.

So, for a project I started for Frostgrave I thought about making a small Melniboné themed warband. The base models are the Galadhadrim warriors from LOTR line from Games Workshop. After they arrived, and I inspected them, I really liked them, but the heads, shields, and the elven swords didn’t make the cut for my warband. So, I searched the webs, and I found helmets, and shields, but no swords that made a good impression. After searching in all my past miniatures, and the bitz box, I found a nice broadsword that could make the cut, but I have one and I needed four of them.

So, how did I conjure a solution?

Easy: Insta-Mold!

Insta-Mold

Insta-Mold – called by many names, and carried by many brands. This particular set is from Insta-Mold Ebay shop. It’s is a kind of plastic, really malleable that can be put into a malleable state by just heating water up to just before boiling point, and then dipping it for a bit less than a minute. It’s very useful to copy small parts like weapons, symbols, banners, boxes, or just any small model part. For entire miniatures it is mostly useless unless it’s really well divided into separate parts, and small enough. If you find it morally acceptable – I don’t find it particularly, I just copy small parts that I’ve modified, or done by myself, or if they sell, and odd number for what I need.

Casting with Insta-Mold

As you can see above, I copied the broadsword, and made a copy with greenstuff. I recommend brown stuff. It’s stiffer and less flexible than GS, and looks pretty good once cured. The copy is slightly smaller, and has some problems on the edges, but nothing too great. Obviously you will have to sand the flash – I already cut it on the picture, with small clippers or scissors, but that is easy to do.

As you can see, the copy is quite similar to the original, eerily similar for a cheap mold and cheap casting material.

Casting Results

So, do I recommend it personally?

Yes, but only for people who do lots of conversions. If you don’t do conversions, and intend on copy miniatures, just give up – this won’t work for that. But, if you’re like me – usually make your own weapons, change lots of parts, or do many experiments on minis, it’s a good tool to have. For the price – less than 10€ included S&H to Spain, it’s quite cheap and useful, and since it’s indefinitely reusable (just reheat and re-mold) it’s a good addition to the arsenal of tools and materials of a modeller. You can even use it to copy textures from terrain you make to make copies on all sorts of materials. I tried copying a brick I made with styrofoam and it worked perfectly; and since it’s not too hot it won’t melt the styrofoam.

So, what do you think as a first post? I intend on making more tutorials on the future, showcase some of my warbands / minis of different games, maybe even rule reviews, and AAR’s if I can make pictures of the games I play.

As for what I like, I’m mostly a 15mm, skirmish gamer, but lately I’m getting back to 28mm territory – specially Frostgrave, Open Combat, Mordheim, and really thinking on Age of Sigmar if I find a cheap army. In the last year I dabbed a lot with 3D printing different things for wargaming, which I’ll show in the future if I print something interesting. See ya around, and do experiment the possibilities of Insta-Mold

  • First, welcome to the team!

    A good first post. I’ll definitely have to look at this stuff the next time I need to duplicate something. Wonder if any of the local craft stores carry it.

    Minor suggestion, it would be nice to see the process more. It’s unclear how you did the mold of the sword.

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Thanks Thor!

      Maybe some local shop has it but as said, Ebay has cheap options (and there are more brands, some cheaper even). I thought on putting more picture but I didn’t to overdo the amount of pics in such a small article.

      • Never be worried about having too many pictures, especially when it comes to reviewing something, and showing how something works.

        • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

          Okay then, I know for the next time :D

  • Great first post Karlos. I’ve seen modders use insta mold and others use two-part resin to make molds and I think of the two this looks much easier for quick work. I tried making a green stuff mold my my iron warriors and mentor Legion shoulder pads as they went out of production but never got good results from it, may have to try again with this

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Thanks Joe!

      Two-part resin is much better but you can’t re-use it and its absurdly expensive for small hobbiysts (or people that doesn’t make much money) but for the shoulder pads its pretty useful, as said you will have to clean lots of flash until you get practice with the amount of GS per mould but nothing too difficult or tiresome (and since they are re-usable just try again as long as you have green stuff or brown stuff).

  • Nice little review, thanks for writing and sharing it.

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Thanks, I hope I interesting and better articles with time :D

  • Nice review.
    Do you just put a big blob of your chosen material between the two pieces of instant mold and squeeze?
    How fine do the details on the copy end up? Could you duplicate things like skull icons and still have visible teeth, notches in weapons, etc?

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Not a big blog, I just fill it so there is not much flashing but yeah that’s the idea, fill it and push. The fine detals look amazing the only part that doesnt look too good is where the flash will end, there can be a little warp there. Yes, you can, I copied a really small helmet with really small haris and skulls and both ended up copied so yes, details can be copied easily. You just have to make sure to do a good mould by pushing hard against the object and cover everything

  • Warren Falconer

    I’ve tried this stuff before I felt like it was a nice quick fix to copy that one part you need. I used it for 40k combo weapons and the like. It was a nice cheap balance between scouring eBay and waitin a few weeks and going full blown casting. Great too. To have in the tool box.

    *thumps back into the cave

    • Holy hell! Anyone else see that? It was a rare Falconer spotting!

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Yeah, is a good fix to copy that part that isn’t sold or is sold in too many a quantity, it’s a good solution :D

  • Welcome! Nice first post.

    I haven’t tried this yet but after reading this I’m am tempted to pick some up. I considered it at one time but ended up going with a product called Composimold instead. It’s reusable like Insta-mold but more rubber like. You melt it in a microwave then pour it over your object to make a mold. It makes a nice, flexible mold but it’s very difficult to make a two-part mold with it.

    I’ve also been playing with Tinkercad lately to make some 3D printable parts, but I haven’t printed anything yet. Do you have a 3D printer or do you use an online service?

    • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

      Then it’s mostly the same, with Insta-mould is kinda hard to make two-part moulds but it is possible. I use a online service, Shapeways to be exact, they offer a lot of different materials and for miniature use is not that expensive, if you want to print terrain prepare your wallet haha. Thanks for the comment, I just wanted to talk about this since I tried and a lot of people are curious about it but never try ^^

      • Shapeways is the service I have been planning to try. I just need to finish up something to print…

        Anyway, nice post. I’m looking forward to more!

        • Karlos Miguel Fernandez Perez

          If you just want to try, in Thingieverse you have lots of free 3d models ready to download and print, there’s some Citadel knockoffs, terrain, busts, dice, generic rpg characters…. for wargamers it’s full of resources.

          Thanks, will try making more and improve how I write (and my english, since Im not a native speaker I know I make grammar mistakes). Thanks for commenting!

  • Turkadactyl

    Thanks for the review. I may have to call upon this stuff one day.

  • Good review and an interesting material. I think this may work for bases, too, especially if they don’t have undercuts etc.

    • Yeah, it’s definitely suited for simple stuff. I have to remember to pick some up myself.

%d bloggers like this: