Tag Archives: DIY

Gothic Rococo Insect mirror number 4 in a series: is the creepiest creepy thing I’ve ever made?

I started casting UV resin in molds a while back.

I love resin, but casting epoxy resin made me so frustrated. Having to leave the molds undisturbed for a day was so hard for my addictive nature! Plus they always get cat hair in them somehow. Using UV resin has been such a great change. So I got a few detailed molds in July.

UV resin insect frame top by Suzanne ForbesI got moth, cicada and butterfly molds. Of course.

And some gem and jewel molds, and some actual crystal clusters in very stretchy sticky silicon.

UV resin insect mirror by Suzanne Forbes details cicada detail sept 2020Because you can quickly and easily layer UV resin, it’s a breeze to add inclusions of glitter, gold leaf, dichroic film and microbeads.

I really love the surprises that happen with casting resin – you don’t know exactly what you have until you unmold. I decided to use a bunch of the cast insects and gems to make the frame for a new Gothic Rococo mirror, and found a small oval mirror to use.

I formed a base for the mirror’s frame out of my usual bulk sculpting materials.

I use tinfoil, crushed and shaped, then stabilized with spurts from the glue gun, then sealed under epoxy clay. It is a fast way to get a lot of volume, and both sturdy and economical, because the expensive (and tedious to blend by hand!) epoxy clay is used only in small amounts. Once the epoxy clay was cured, I painted the whole thing hot pink, above.

Glitter glue gun glue! Hell yes!

Making UV resin insect frame by Suzanne Forbes.As a base for uv resin, it matches nicely and is even faster than resin.

UV resin insect frame left by Suzanne Forbes I went over the hot pink base with ribbons of blue glitter glue, which smoothed itself as glue gun glue does when you apply a lot at once. Then I covered the glue with blue and pink UV resin.

I didn’t know how the UV resin would work over glue gun glue. The interaction of plastics, which contain – surprise!- plasticizers, and resins, which contain solvents, can be very unpredictable. But UV resin, which is a photopolymer, doesn’t contain solvents. It hardens by cross-linking polymerization reaction, not solvent evaporation.

So it’s a different problem. UV resin glues like Bondic are supposed to be material-agnostic, suitable for use on anything. Is it archival? Who knows! UV resin as a consumer material is only a few decades old. I could have used an isolation coat of Mod Podge, but I was basically too fucking impatient.

Instead, I tested covering sections of the glue gun glue on the back and found that once a solid layer of resin was built up, it cured thoroughly without residual tackiness from chemical interference.

Once the whole front of the frame was covered in UV resin, I started applying molded insects and crystals, using the UV resin as an adhesive.

Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020There is no material in the history of the world that bonds more seamlessly to itself than UV resin.

Of course, it needs light to cure, so the light needs to be able to reach most of the resin you’re curing. But I find that if you hit the resin with a well-powered professional nail lamp, the visible part will set and spread the reaction well enough to the remaining part hidden under the thing you’re attaching. Yes, it’s a limited Ice-nine.

Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror with gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020I attached the insects, gems and crystals with layers of UV resin, and studded the resin with mermaid pearls and microbeads.

This is one of the very few projects I’ve ever done that came out better than I could have imagined! It is fantastic to look at. I am glad to have made something beautiful at this dark, frightening time. People tell me beautiful things help them.Gothic Rococo UV resin insect mirror with glitter gems by Suzanne Forbes Sept 2020

Creepy Decorative Arts are my thing to make.

I have made several other Gothic Rococo mixed media insect pieces for household decor; links are below! I also want to credit AfroDisiac of Designs by AfroDisiac, whose work with UV resin and gentle encouragement really inspired me to start working with this material!

Silver lead and crystal insect mirror.

Gold leaf insect mirror.

Gothic Rococo pastel and pearls insect mirror.

Gothic Rococo insect boudoir stool.

 

New Mutants custom Magma: using UV resin on action figure customs!

Magma New Mutants action figure custom by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Magma, Amara Acquilla, is one of the more problematic New Mutants.

Every character is someone’s favorite, but I personally never felt any emotional connection to her whatsoever. Which is funny, given how much I loved the other original New Mutants.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom in Danger Room by Suzanne Forbes July 2020So while I felt she should be represented in my X-Men dollhouse, along with Rahne and Dani and Shan and Doug and Warlock and Illyana and Bobby and Same and Kitty, I figured I’d put her in the Danger Room.

In the Danger Room, her wild powers would be a great visual.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom WIP by Suzanne Forbes July 2020Since there is not yet a commercially available Magma in 1/12 scale, I had to make one.

I used the old Toy Biz Scarlet Witch as a base, since she has the same chunky glove and boot cuffs as the old school New Mutants. Amara’s costume details don’t show when her powers are active actually – the costume “disappears” because of “unstable molecules” like Rahne’s does – but I thought it would be funny to have them and also help signal who she is.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom close up by Suzanne Forbes July 2020I’m not a stickler for anything, really.

Including action figure customizer materials protocols! Many customizers use hot glue to form flame and power effects, if they’re not set up for casting resin. But I used UV resin to form Amara’s head spikes. I sculpted them in my beloved Apoxie Sculpt first, then painted the whole figure with artist’s tube acrylics thinned to the consistency of heavy cream. Three isolation coats of Mod Podge helped seal her paint nicely.

Then I added the resin, mixing three colors and sitting in the sun outside and letting it cure on the fly. This was before I had a powerful UV LED resin curing lamp, so to get fast curing the sun was my best plan. It was messy, because UV resin is goopy and hard to control, and I wound up getting thick drops at the ends. I had to sand them down and re-resin!

Next time I’ll use the technique miniaturists use for getting drips and streams of epoxy resin – a bit of clear nylon fishing line for the resin to cling to and follow along.

Magma New Mutants action figure custom outside by Suzanne Forbes July 2020But this one is close enough for government work, as my editor Margaret used to say when I worked on Star Trek!

Lots of real customizers have done Magmas, do check out how the professionals have visualized her 🙂  I like this one a lot, and this mod using the Carol Danvers head works well. I would have liked her to be clear like the Minimate, but I didn’t care enough to hunt down a clear Sue Storm who would work.

I did buy this amazing Figma base for her.

The crackly lava base is seen here with X-23 standing on it as a placeholder, I’ll have more actual Danger Room shots coming soon! Yes, X-23 isn’t part of “my” era of X-Men/New Mutants, but I love the character, so – don’t care! Not a stickler.

More New Mutants stuff on here:

My Rahne and Dani lovebird custom Marvel Legends action figures

Douglock action figures

Rahne and Dani slash art from the 80’s

The love story of me, P, the New Mutants, and Chris (trigger warning for really a lot of bad stuff)

Christopher Street Day ice cream party with gay X-Men!

How the New Mutants film re-connected me with my queerness