Make a Mace: a simple mold making and casting tutorial


Are you pissed that there are no maces in the playmomedieval world? I was, but I'm not anymore. This tutorial steps you through the process of casting a custom mace, from fabricating the original, to creating the mold, to finally casting your very own weapon of minute destruction.

Items needed:

wire (20 & 14 guage). I use galvanized steel wire from the hardware store.
pliers and clippers to work with wire
Fimo or SuperSculpy
modeling clay
sculpting tools (can be home-grown, like toothpicks)
vaseline and small brush
gram scale (not necessary, but very helpful)
silicone for mold making
alumilite and metal powder
little cups, mixing sticks, latex gloves
Xacto knife

Creating the original:

I started with 2 different gauges of wire. I wrapped the thiner wire (20 guage) tightly around the thicker wire (14 guage). This creates a grip that is a good diameter for a Klicky hand. Wrap enough wire to get a nice grip size.

Clip off the excess thin wire. Clip the thick wire to a nice length for a mace. Now use a polymer clay (super sculpy or fimo), or epoxy sculpting compound (Sculp-Epox) to create the mace head and cap the top and bottom of the grip. Polymer clay is easier to work with than epoxy, so I used Fimo and then baked my mace at 265 F for 20 minutes. If I was making an item that I was going to use directly in play, rather than casting, I would use Sculp-Epox.

Next use some paint to fill in any gaps in the wire so when you pour your mold no silicone seeps in between the wrapped wire. Wipe the grip after painting it so it doesn't become too thick for Klicky hands (just one coat of paint could be thick enough to make your grip too thick for optimal klicky-grip-action). Now the mace is complete and ready to be used to make a mold.

Creating the mold:

This will be a simple 2 piece mold. On a piece of thick cardboard, use modeling clay to create the form that will evetually become the second piece of your mold. Do this by embedding half of your mace in bock of modeling clay. Make sure you have an adequate thickness all around the mace, including the underside (depending on the type of silicone, 1/4 inch is probably adequate). You may wish to coat the side of the mace you are going to embed with a very thin coat of vaseline before embedding it to facilatate separation later on.

Once the mace is embedded, VERY CAREFULLY sculpt the edges where the mace meets the clay. Any small gaps, underhangs, or overhangs will be picked up by the silicone when you pour your mold. The cleaner the edge, the better you mold will be. This is the hardest, most time consuming step in the whole process, and I found it frustrating until I learned to view mold-making as a craft just as challenging as creating the original to be molded. In fact, I usually spend more time with this step than with creating the original piece.

Now create some registration bumps, both positive and negative, to make lining up you mold idiot-proof. These bumps can extend all the way to the edge of the block so it makes it easier visually to orient your 2 mold pieces before pressing them together.

Now use cardboard and tape to create a box around your modeling clay block. You can cut away some of your clay to get a goodfit. Use a sculpting tool to blend the clay block in with the cardboard walls so you don't get silicone seeping down the sides and out the bottom when you pour.

Reinforce the bottom with a strip of modeling clay (which will also help prevent the silicone from running everywhere if if does seep down between the clay and the cardboard walls).

Put some vaseline on a small brush and brush the cardboard and clay with a very thick coat of vaseline. This will facilitate separation of the silicone after your first pour, as well as helping to smooth out any bumps in your modeling clay. This is also wise because I have read that silicone won't cure properly if in contact with some types of modeling clay. Note that it may be wise to avoid putting vaseline on the exposed part of the mace, because you want it to remain in the silicone you are about to pour for as long as possible.

Mix your silicone per instructions. It is best to use a gram scale to get your proportions right. Pour it slowly and carefully into your box, being sure that any underhangs get filled. Tap the box to help bubbles rise to the surface. Let the silicone cure per instructions.

Remove the bottom piece of cardboard while leaving the side pieces in place. Very carefully remove all the modeling clay from the silicone and the mace, trying to leave the mace embedded in the silicone. If it comes out, it is not a disaster, just push it back into the silicone once you have removed all of the clay (you will get a cleaner second silicone pour if the mace remains embedded in the first piece of silicone as a seal is created between the mace and the silicone).

Use a small brush to coat the mace, silicone, and cardboard with vaseline. This is extremely important! If you don't create a vaseline barrier over the first silicone pour, your second silicone pour will adhere to it, and your mold will be ruined. Now mix and pour the silicone into the box, creating the second and final half of your mold. After the silicone cures, remove the cardboard walls and pull the two mold halves apart. Remove the mace from one half, and you should have a beautiful mace it is time to reap the fruit of your labor!

But wait...maybe it isn't quite time. If you want your mold to last as long as possible, it may be wise to coat it with silicone lubricant before using it the first time (and every so ofter thereafter). We use Aervoe Pacific, Tool Mates brand. See casting material notes.

Cast the mace:

This part is really quite easy. Dust your mold with a thin layer of metal powder. I just spread a little around, put the two mold halves together, and shake-shake-shake.

Next mix your alumilite (2 grams should be sufficient for a small weapon like a mace). Again, it is best to use a gram scale as it is important to get equal amounts of Part A and Part B.

Pour the mixed alumilite into each half of the mold quickly but carefully (overflow is OK). You can bend the mold to help the alumilite find its way into the nooks and crannies.

Use a poker to make sure you don't have any trapped air bubbles.

Squash the two sides together...your registration bumps should make the two halves of the mold line up perfectly. Press firmly but not too hard, as you want to force all the excess Alumilite out of the cast without distorting the mold.

Allow the plastic to cure. Gently pull the two mold halves apart.

Carefully remove the plastic mace from the mold. Use your fingernails and/or an exacto knife to trim off the excess plastic along the seam.

Now hopefully you have a beautiful mace that you can reproduce as many times as you like. Perfection is very difficult to achieve...we often get air bubbles and such. Look for a casting tips and tricks page in the future.


We have developed these techniques by trial and error. Our first molds were really bad, mostly because we didn't have any clue as to what we were doing. Hopefully this tutorial will help you create nice molds starting with your very first try, but don't be discouraged if your first attempts don't go so well.

O.K., freak, go have some fun! Fill in the blanks that Playmobil® won't fill themselves. Create your own theme! And if you found this tutorial helpful in created something nifty (or mundane, we love it all), please send us a picture! Also, please feel free to send us your own tips, tricks, techniques, pitfalls, etc!

See casting material notes
and Visit Alumilite's How To Section