Crazy molding idea

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I thought of this after I saw hot glue take the exact shape of a action figure when it was applied, it came out as a perfect mold of the torso of the figure, I was thinking, In such a mass amount, sunce a pack of 30 hot glue sticks cost 2-3 dollars, if someone were to purchase say 10 of them, and have 300 sticks, it is possible you could mold a helmet, I'm not to sure if liquid plastics for molding would work well with hot glue as a mold, but hot glue is flexible, hard when dry, and maintains it's shape for a long time.

I was thinking maybe heating this up in a coffee tin over a portable heater in my garage, then paintbrushing on thin layers of hot glue to get into the corners and small areas, then glob it on until a inch or two thick, it dries in atleast 30 seconds and can be worked with right afterwards for your liquid molding plastics, or any other type of molding technique.

I'm not sure if this will work, but I'm thinking of testing it out on a small figure again, I dont have pics since I smashed the glue back into a tube shape to be used for my gun, so it's just an idea until then. But I'm highly doubting about what happens AFTER you mold it.
You'll need some kind of release agent in between the glue and the helm, but I highly believe in this.

I once saw someone stick his hand into a tank of hot wax and somehow get it off in the correct shape.
Hmm hot wax would work too, but it's ,ore brittle and can break apart easily.

I might try this, not to sure where to get release agents at, the last time I did something was use vasaline, but I'm afraid the gel may take out some detail because of it's thickness.......Hmmmm, I'm going to go google release agents and see what types and where to purchase.

Well....Since this only takes 30seconds to 1 minute to dry, I'm thinking spray on cooking oil may actually work, it wouldnt for plaster or silicon because those take longer times to dry, but for a quick mold on and off, it might work.

Wikipedia claims spray on cooking oil is a release agent which can be used for molding, but mostly cooking.

Technically baking a cake is making a mold, your molding the shape of the pan...sooo.....yea.

The only way I can see this working is if a box slightly larger than the helmet is found, the helmet placed inside, and the hotglue poured in quickly.

Or if the helmet is molded in plaster, then hot glue could be brushed in and made thick on the inside, then the actual finished product would be hot glue, this wouldnt break, but on a really sunny might melt unless it is resined to maintain shape.
Imho raw styrofoam formed around model would work better than hotglue. Maybe not. Criticise.

this could work.

but depending on if you have paint or not (and the quality) it may take pieces of the paint straight off! (weathering! :D)

i used to do this with my little figures (warhammer :p) and it works pretty good. thou takeing them off is a pain in the arse..
I would look into the price of it first. Buying all that hot glue, plus the time to heat it, And then yuo have to risk getting the burned fingers,... consider it napalm minus the fire.

For the money say 100 bucks you could buy the liquid plastic two part resin that cures in 20 minutes. And have 2 gallons of it enough to knock out several mold plugs, or a couple costumes. I wouldnt make your helmet especially heavier than 1/4 inch thick. Belive it or not that little bit of weight will bother you if you wear it very long. Trust me Ive done several Cons, and had to wear my vader suit with all its fans, electronics, and everything.
It wears you out especially when you wearing it for hours on end, which sometimes happens.
Im actually working on a cheap way to make durable pep armor for those whos parents dont like them to use resin/fiberglass and such. But hot glue. Lots of it. Right now I'm working on my MKV and I used hot glue for the chest piece. You cant rip it. Its durable, yet flexible. So if your patient enough, you could have a whole suit that would take the abuse of running and such and not break like fiberglass would. Also, go down to the local hobby shop and pick up some carbon fiber rods and place them to prevent excessive twisting. Ill post some pics as I get further down the road on this project.
I was thinking, adam said in his video

"do this right the first time or else you'll waste another 3-400$ to mold this helmet"

if it cost that much to mold a helmet, in hot glue it only cost 10 dollars.

Drgon what type of release agent do you think would work? I was thinking of somehow making the actual finished product hotglue just to take abuse, but I was afriad, using a hot glue on hot glue mold wouldnt work because it would just melt and stick to itself. The only other cheap alternitive I can think of is plaster.

Unless I resin the interior of the hotglue mold, then placing hot glue inside would maintain the mold's shape. this is confusing but it might work, how did you do your chest piece with hot glue I'm curious.

Heres the only thing in the entire freakin intertubes I could find about making something from hotglue, this guy molded skulls for a creepy halloween lamp he made, he used a whistle and plaster molded that, that made hallow skulls from hot glue rather than molding plastics....

THis gives some credit to a helmet being doable, but just a larger scale than a tiny skull.
I might just do this today.

This will work as a mold rather than buying expensive smooth on products just to make the mold, you could then just buy the liquid plastic if it would work 100% for sure.

Otherwise, it is proven to work when having the mold in plaster and brushing, then globbing the inside with hotglue. The finished product would then be hot glue, to make paint stick, you can just spray some spray adhesive or resin over the hot glue helmet.
Well that is true, I guess the only way to make this work is to plaster mold the piece, then surround the insides with hot glue similar to the link I posted.
Hey AoB I know of a book that may help you out if your interested in alternate mold making and casting. Its called "The Prop Builder's Molding & Casting Handbook" By Thurston James. You can find it on amazon. I used to have a copy until I lent it out and it grew legs. Its a very good book that walks you through using common hardware materials to make molds and castings.
A couple years ago, the first time I tried to do some molding for Master Chief, I created a hand armour peice and cast a mold out of plaster of paris. Then, I tried to fill the mold uniformly with hot glue. It worked, kind of. The problem was that the glue would dry before I had time to do another pass, so there were a bunch of valleys going up and down the peice. It was still pretty cool though, it was my first experience in mold-making.

The biggest problem would be getting the helmet to melt uniformly, or the the time it would take to re-heat the cooled glue with the tip of the gun to make it melt together would be astronomically high.

If you heated a large enough quantity, it might stay liquid long enough for you to do something like this, but just using a gun wouldn't work.
I tried this today on a small hummer toy car.

I molded the side of the car, heated my glue gun for 15 minutes to make it extremly hot. I used 1 small glue stick and it worked, after 1 minute of letting it cool, it came out perfectly detailed like the car itself, I dont have pics, but this makes me feel a bit better about hot glue helmets, hopefully I can try this soon. With winter here, messing with hot glue aint going to be easy, it would cool quicker because of the cold air.

I thought of something else, for pep armor, you could reinforce the insides with melted hot glue sticks, it would add density and some better fitting in certain areas.
Not from me. Source:

Commonly known as "Hot Glue" this is an ideal casting medium for creating cheap, lightweight, flexible and very durable armor. For the this demo I will be using the mold for the Collar section of armor. I use this same process for all the other molds and armor parts of the costume.


First thing you want to do before you start injecting the mold is to soak it in water for about an hour. Pull it out and dry it off with a towel. The plaster will absorb some of the water into it and help prevent the hot glue from making a solid bond. Here I have begun to inject the hot glue into the plaster negative mold. Start at one side or corner and work your way across the inside of the mold. It works best if you angle the mold so that the glue will run across/down the inner surface of the mold as you inject it. I usually use 3 to 5 industrial sized glue guns all plugged in at once depending on the size of the piece I am making. This way I can empty a gun fast and switch to the next one, keeping a steady and even motion of glue flow. Don't let your glue guns get too hot, it may cause the glue to bubble and blister.


Here is one half of the mold after it is completely filled with hot glue. Don't worry about excess flowing over the edges of the mold, any overflow can be trimmed away later.


Once it is completely cold to the touch you should be able to pull it from the plaster. Depending on the shape and size of the piece it may take a little bit of tugging to get it out.


Here are both halves of the Collar Armor "in the rough". Now I will trim and clean up the edges using a "Hot Knife". (an electric hobby knife that heats up the blade for easy cutting..... you can buy these at any hobby or craft store)


This photo shows the trimmed pieces ready to be attached together.


To attach the halves I first line them up and place small pieces of Duct Tape to hold the halves together in the proper position.


Now I flip the halves over and hot glue the seams together. Once the glue is cold to the touch I can remove the Duct tape off the back.


That's all there is to it. Here is the final Collar Armor piece awaiting painting.
An excellent release agent to use is; Soap water or Petroleum Jelly as recommended in a Mold making book named "The Prop Builder's Molding & Casting Handbook" from Unless you are using a Silicone mold then no release agent is required. Cooking oil may react to plaster and may cause a fire.
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