Clockwork Automata

So here’s a new piece that I’m making for the Steampunks in Space event I’m taking part in later in the year.   The idea is that it’s an ancient race of clockwork automata that have laid dormant under the ocean for years.   As the event is taking place in a museum I want this to look a little like an exhibit.  I need a space theme, however tenuous, so I’m thinking these robots were perhaps an ancient race that came to Earth millenia ago and are the forebears from which all modern steampunks are descended.  Exactly how that works?  Well, I dunno, use your imagination 😉



This started off as a chavant oil clay sculpture.  I made a plaster mold and then cast it up in resin and fibre glass using a fine gold metal powder.  This is a technique I’ve used previously.  It works quite well. Because the chavant is an oil clay it doesn’t stick to the plaster, so you can easily remove the clay from the mould and it leaves it nice and clean.  A layer of vaseline acts as a separating agent to stop the resin sticking to the plaster.

Once the resin and fibre glass cast is done you have to do a little ‘percussive maintencance’ and smash the mold to pieces to free the cast 😉  The fibre glass is quite tough so it doesn’t damage it.

Here’re some pics of the mould.

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I then poured in the resin with the metal filler mixed in.  Using metal fillers is generally referred to as ‘cold casting’.  Once you’ve poured the resin in, you just slush it about the mould so it covers the interior as it dries. This is referred to as ‘slush casting’, so I guess I was ‘cold slush casting’ here 😉   I did a few layers and then backed all that up with fibre glass which gave me quite a tough cast.

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Here’s the cast out of the mould.  I cheated slightly as I gave it a coat of paint using the same metal filler.  It was a little duller when it came out of the mould.


I also made some eyes out of old deodorant bottles and plastic christmas tree baubles.  The interior will have a bunch of cogs and mechanisms showing.


I also used some chipped paint techniques detailed in my previous post.  These aren’t too obvious now I’ve started covering it in green corrosion but they do give it a degree of texture 🙂

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