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What is a Resin Model?

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  • Written By: Dan Cavallari
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 01 December 2016
  • Copyright Protected:
    2003-2016
    Conjecture Corporation
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A resin model is a figurine of a variety of animals, creatures, humans, and fictional and real characters that are cast in a resin or poly-resin material as individual pieces. The pieces are then assembled to create the finished product. The resin material is poured into molds, where it then hardens to form the individual pieces of the resin model. The models often come in kits, called garage kits, and can be assembled with a simple assortment of tools such as a hobby knife, epoxy, sandpaper, glue, and paint.

Resin is essentially a plant secretion that is viscous and tacky, hardening once it dries. It has a variety of uses, from construction purposes to museum preservation and bowling ball construction. Resin models can use natural resins, but more commonly, synthetic resins and vinyl is used to create the final product.

The origins of resin model garage kits stem from enthusiasts making their own molds and pouring their own resin to create a wide array of model figurines. Today, however, an industry has formed around the hobby, and many companies produce pre-fabricated kits for consumption by the everyday hobbyist. The subjects of these resin model kits vary immensely, from popular horror movie monsters to living and extinct animals in the wild, though no set parameters exist for what figurines can be molded with resin.

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Resin was the choice material because it is generally easy to manipulate and form into molds. It is also easily manipulated via sanding and shaping once the resin has set, and it can be painted to effectively create a realistic tone to any piece. However, it is susceptible to air pockets and can be somewhat fragile once it sets up, so it is essential that the builder be extremely careful when sanding or assembling their resin model to prevent irreversible damage. Small airholes and bubbles can generally be fixed by using a putty filler or even super glue, but because of the inconsistency of the molding process, one may not know an air bubble exists until they have exposed it by sanding into it.

Once a resin model is complete, many enthusiasts choose to create a base for their figurine. This can be a simple wooden base, or it can be a more elaborate diorama to recreate a scene from real life or a horror movie landscape. The goal of most resin model enthusiasts is realism, and so the paint job, assembly, and final placement are all critical for an accurate representation of their creation.

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