New to group, already have a question

Hello All- I just discovered this group, looks like I'll be spending a lot of time here...
I have one question regarding plaster casting. I am scratchbuilding my
HO structures and have made latex molds for brick but does anyone know of any commercially available brick molds? I am more or less satisfied with the results but there isn't much depth to the Plastruct sheets I used as a master. My thought is that a mold made specifically for plaster might have more relief to it. Any thoughts?
Thanks in advance, Pat Shanahan Chicago
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Shanahan spake thus:

This is an area where I've been experimenting, albeit fitfully, for several years. I haven't come up with a good solution either, but here's what I've discovered along the way.
Most brick sheets are extremely disappointing, either in terms of brick size, depth, as you've pointed out, or just overall realism. Some of the worst is the ubiquitous Holgate & Reynolds stuff, which is much too small, and also is some weird plastic that's tough to glue.
The best brick sheets I've found so far come from the British Plasticard company. About a decade or more ago, I sent away for a sample pack of their stuff, and a few of the sheets were outstanding. I don't know exactly which ones they were, but you might try contacting them (some of the UK folks here should be able to help). They're scale sized and pretty realistic.
It's too bad that one can't get brick sheets which look like the brick walls on some of the plastic model lines, like DPM and even Walthers, which are incredibly realistic by comparison.
The last thing I tried, out of desperation, was making my own mold masters. Yes, this is truly an act of obsession, but you know what? it's actually doable, given enough patience. I cast a large flat slab of plaster, using the shallow plastic cover for a box of stationery supplies. I then cheated, by printing a brick pattern on my laser printer (from a Corel Draw illustration), then transferring it to the plaster by putting the face of the print against it and wetting the paper with acetone, which dissolved the toner and let enough of it transfer to the plaster to be visible. I then used the guidelines to position a metal ruler, guiding my scribe tool (a sharpened metal point). The long horizontal lines are easy, of course: it's the brick lines that are a pain in the ass.
The small sample I made actually made some pretty nice looking brick casts. I used the blue RTV stuff for the mold, then just cast plaster. (Suggestion: to eliminate the inevitable bubbles, wet the mold with rubbing alcohol first.)
Anyhow, I'd be interested to hear if anyone has come up with any other solutions to this problem.
--
Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
wrote:

---------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
Welcome to the group, Pat! You might find something at Linka World:
http://www.linkaworld.com /
Bill Bill's Railroad Empire N Scale Model Railroad: http://www.billsrailroad.net Brief History of N Scale: http://www.billsrailroad.net/history/n-scale Model Railroad Books, Toys, and Trains: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bookstore Resources--Links to 1,200 sites: http://www.billsrailroad.net/bills-favorite-links
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Thanks for the replies Bill & David. The Linka molds look clunky on the product pages but the gallery images look very good, I think I'll give them a try.
I've tried making my own molds twice this past weekend with poor results. Brush applied latex is too flexible and pourable plastic (Smooth-On) is too rigis. In addition, the plastic really heated up and warped the styrene I was using as a master. AARRGH!
Thanks for the help, I'll post my results if (and when) I get this right.
Pat Shanahan Chicago
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload
Pat Shanahan spake thus:

For molds, you really ought to try the RTV (room-temperature vulcanizing) stuff. Once it sets, it's pretty impervious to just about anything, soft & flexible yet plenty rigid enough to cast large sections. Tap Plastics has it (probably several in Chicagoland).
--
Just as McDonald's is where you go when you're hungry but don't really
care about the quality of your food, Wikipedia is where you go when
  Click to see the full signature.
Add pictures here
<% if( /^image/.test(type) ){ %>
<% } %>
<%-name%>
Add image file
Upload

Polytechforum.com is a website by engineers for engineers. It is not affiliated with any of manufacturers or vendors discussed here. All logos and trade names are the property of their respective owners.