This is the only project I have used Flex Foam-IT! with. I am not an expert. But I’ll tell you how I Made Beast Balls.
I made the sculpt. I applied Sculpey directly onto a styrofoam ball. Do not make any undercuts. Do not get too detailed on the surface. Air bubbles will get trapped and it’ll look crappy.
Once the sculpt was done, I made a two part mold.
The mold was made “Barbarian Rage-Style”. To see how to do this please read my Warriors Guild entry.
I wouldn’t use a one part mold and just cut out the piece. If your two parts don’t come together perfect, the foam will leak out and make a terrible looking seam. Cutting the flashing off can be difficult because you end up cutting the foam ball open.
I had to cut open a little part of this mold to get the balls out. The flashing was terrible just in that spot. The flashing becomes part of the ball. Cutting off the flashing ruins the integrity of the surface. At that point your mold is trash. You must make a two part mold to do this.
Do not pressure cast the mold. Part of the back imploded on this and I had to re-sculpt it in the mold. It’s not an ideal situation. The foam does not require pressure cast silicone.
I didn’t know which foam I wanted to use. So I called Reynolds Advanced and asked for some samples. They shipped some out and I decided on Flex Foam-IT! X (or Flex Foam-IT! 10). I tried Flex Foam-IT 9 but it was too soft and pillowy.
Flex Foam-IT! X grows 7x. I had to experiment with how much to use. My first try was too little.
If you are going to do this you MUST use Ease Release 2831.
If you don’t use Ease Release 2831, you will get bubbles on the surface. And it will look bad.
The 2831 is a liquid wax that dries fast. It creates a barrier on the surface. It’s almost a thin membrane on the foam ball. I apply it with a cheap fan brush.
Tip: Designate a brush just to use for Ease Release 2831. I wouldn’t use it for anything else besides applying the 2831.
The Ease Release 2831 dries almost immediately. It is white and may effect your color if you are using dye for your project.
Okay. Let me step you through this.
1. Coat the mold in Ease Release 2831. Coat the top of the mold as the Flex Foam-IT! will bubble out the top.
2. Build four walls (I used foam board) and rubber band them around the four walls of the mold. Then I put four clamps on it. On the Smooth-On video they use wood walls and two giant straps.
You need to do this because the when it foams out it wants to escape everywhere. Out the seams and the top. Before I used the clamps, it foamed out the seams and stretched out the rubber bands.
3. Measure out your part A and part B. For this Beast Ball you’ll need to use 4 TBSP of A and 4 TBSP of B. It uses a 1-1 ratio. Add dye to part B. For orange I use 4 drops of orange. For this black one I used 20 drops of black. You need to use so much black because part B is white and the 2831 is white. Add part A and mix. You should “whip” the mixture trying to get as many air bubbles in it as possible. You only have 50 seconds to do this. I timed out that it takes 30 seconds to pour into the mold. So basically, 20 seconds. Be quick or be dead.
4. Once the mixture is in your mold roll it around and try to coat the entire surface. After about 2-3 minutes the mixture will bubbles and foam out.
It’s ready to de-mold after 45 minutes. But needs a solid 2 hours to fully cure. After it fully cures, cut off the sprue and trim the flashing.
And there you have it. A Beast Ball is made.
Good luck using this stuff. It is tricky. I used up an entire pint sized kit and never even made one satisfactory ball.
I made about 13-14 messed up Beast Balls before I pulled one good one.
How to apply paint will be the next Warriors Guild entry!
Good luck with your balls.
Got questions? Leave them in the comments section and I’ll answer them.