Darth Vader Medalion Casting

I wanted to make a medaillon for a friends mom cause she really LOVES Star Wars
and especially Dart Vader.

Step 1: Getting the Rough Shape

For my Darth Vader medallion ( to get a necklacepiece) I used a piece of isolationfoam from my attic.

I used a hotwirefoamcutter to get the rough shape
and an X-actoknive to smooth the edges.


I used a stencils I found on the internet
and drawn it on a piece of paper which I then glued on the piece of foam.

To get the details from the stencils to be shown on the foam I just traced the lines with a pencil.

After tracing every line of the stencil
I took the paper away and carved some parts deeper with a sharp knive.
So I could create some depth and texture.

Step 3: Investment

I wanted to see if putting my piece of foam in some plaster and casting it that way if it would work.

I mainly did this because I wasn't sure if I used sand that all details would be shown that nicely...

I casted it with my homemade foundry (I don't have any pictures of that because I forgot)
but it is just made from an old steel pot with a pipe for extra airsupply with a hairdryer
and as fuel I used charcoal.

Step 4: RESULT

As you can see casting with foam and investment doesn't work.

I think it's because I forgot to put airvents in the plaster and while the foam wa burning away the hot gasses didn't have room to expand and that's why it didn't completely cast that well.

At the time when I made the investments I made 2 others but I am affraid that when I would bust them out of the plaster they would get destroyed.
So I am going to try and burn the foam as best as I can, and try casting them.

the other two I made is a bust of Saurons helmet and a falconhead (because my totem in the Scouting is Falcon)

I hope you guys enjoyed my instructable and my explanation why I failed.
Sorry if my english wasn't that good (it's not my native tongue)



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    9 Discussions


    3 years ago

    Yes, I think you need to "preheat" your mold with the foam inside so it all melts and burns out. Then you could coat the inside with a releasing agent...


    3 years ago

    Your issue may have also been from using plaster as your mold material. I tried this in the past with low melting temperature pewter alloys and had similar issues. Plaster has an initial cure just from drying out but when heat is applied it can give of additional moisture and do a secondary cure. This then causes all sorts of problems as the moisture escapes. The solution was to apply heat before pouring to force the full cure in advance of pouring in your molten metal. This is going from memory though so you might want to look into this yourself. If I remember correctly, it requires applying heat for a long time (several days).

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I made this "failure" a while ago... The other molds I have are much lighter so I think that they are fully dried. I hope when I cast them the pour will be better
    But thanks for the advice. And please leave a vote in the EPIC FAIL contest :)


    3 years ago

    Btw, from what I can see your not using enough aluminum to fill the mold, try increasing the number of aluminum cans used.

    1 reply

    Reply 3 years ago

    I used plenty of cans to fill the mold but the foam didn't burn rapidly enough
    and the gasses from the burning couldn't escape.

    With the amount of aluminum I melted I made 2 other little sculptures.

    But thanks for the advice :D


    Reply 3 years ago

    :D Not a big of a fail after all but still.
    I'm building a new furnace and I will try to make her a proper one so she can wear it on her


    3 years ago

    Excellent learning experience!