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Dice, Dice, Baby (a thread about collecting, making, rolling)


Dr_Dave
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2 hours ago, Munkienut said:

Those are awesome, my favourites of your yet. Perhaps this is a stupid question but do the stuff inside (skulls or otherwise) not cause them to favour certain sides?

 

Not sure, I need to test them. But the skulls are just made of resin, so presumably similar density to the resin they're incased in. So I suspect any biasing would be minimal. You probably wouldn't be able to use them in tournament play though.

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  • 3 weeks later...

The concept behind this set was simple: a black set and a white set, with a matt finish, inked white and black respectively. It was going to an uncomplicated palette cleanser after months of complex pours...


Best laid plans of mice and dice makers...

 

I'd assumed that doing a matt finish would be just like doing a glassy finish, only quicker. After all, you just do the first few polishing papers then stop, right? No! It turns out that getting an even matt finish is surprisingly hard. Not only that, but the black paint tends to stain the white matt in a way that it doesn't on a shiny surface. And so the dice require way more clean up... and then you end up with dirty resin stains on the pristine black inking, requiring more clean up!


It was a whole thing.

 

Anyway, they're done. Could probably do with a little more attention to make perfect, but that's a job for another day. And I love the black one so hard!

 

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PXL_20220710_070232681.SMALL.thumb.jpg.5bdb3b0c86c6620442b028f6ecd823f1.jpg

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This week I wanted to experiment with making opaque, flat coloured dice - you know, the kind you can buy for £5 a set and not spend hours in the middle of a heatwave polishing the ones you made! :)

 

Getting this finish is not as easy as it sounds... alchohol inks tend to leave resin translucent, and mica powder tends to give the colour a kind of shimmer. In this case I ended up using a thick white ink to establish an opaque white base (same as I used for the last set) then added alchohol inks to colour up from there. The result was pretty much what I wanted...

 

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However, it wasn't without issues. Firstly, the white ink left solid flecks that settled on the bottom faces of the dice. Secondaly, I didn't account for the set being cast in a single slab mould. So when the lid of the slab was lowered, the different coloured resin mingled together in places and "stained" the 1 faces. 

 

Here's the less Instagram friendly shot showing the problem:

 

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The second problem is easy to solve, the first one will require some experiments with different white colourings. Dice science! :) 

 

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I got wind that my cousin's kid was getting into D&D, maybe as a result of Stranger Things, not sure. Now, some of my fondest childhood memories centre around playing D&D with my friends over long, lazy summers. It was like an escape mechanism for awkward, shy kids like me at a time when nerds were still hunted for their furs by cool kids and jocks. In D&D, the nerds ruled, and it was awesome!

 

I'm therefore entirely supportive of kids getting into RPGs, and said I'd make her a dice set in whatever style she wanted. She said she'd like a Petri dish set, but in yellow...

 

Here's a peek at how the set turned out:

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Another Petri dish pour. I love the drama of this set...

 

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That's it for me for a while. We're spending the next few months doing a limited run of some old favourite sets with the intention of selling them in the run up to Halloween... interested to see how such a focused production line approach compares to doing it "just for fun". I would imagine I'll find myself staring at ten identical unpolished D20s and begin to regret my life choices...

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I really struggle to get my head around the fact that @Dr_Dave woke up one morning and thought "I'm going to make some dice" and has ended up creating - presumably just casually, freestyle like - some of my favourite looking dice ever.

 

Some of this stuff is just superb.

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  • 4 weeks later...
  • 1 month later...
35 minutes ago, bobontheway said:

Amazing! Ordered a big chonky skull filled D20 for a friend as a present . He’s gonna absolutely love it!

 

Awesome, thanks! :)

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  • 1 month later...

@Dr_Dave Do you have any advice with where to start with making your own dice? I see lots of kits advertised on Amazon but a lot get bad reviews. I want to avoid but cheap buy twice. I’m also keen to get rounded edge dice moulds but these seem rarer than sharp edged ones. Are the moulds reusable, or do they have a limited number of uses? 
 

In essence, I’m sure you went through a process of finding decent materials, do you have any starting tips to avoid any issues you had initially?

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20 minutes ago, erhgiez said:

@Dr_Dave Do you have any advice with where to start with making your own dice? I see lots of kits advertised on Amazon but a lot get bad reviews. I want to avoid but cheap buy twice. I’m also keen to get rounded edge dice moulds but these seem rarer than sharp edged ones. Are the moulds reusable, or do they have a limited number of uses? 
 

In essence, I’m sure you went through a process of finding decent materials, do you have any starting tips to avoid any issues you had initially?

 

We skipped out on buying pre-made moulds, because we heard bad things about them, and went straight to making our own moulds. That's quite straightforward to get going with... all you need is a set of dice (your "masters" to make moulds from), some silicone (we just bought something like this: https://smile.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B08FYFP182/) and a container to make the mould in (we used a metal case for a Ridge wallet, but pretty much anything will do). There are various other things that are useful to pick up, like some double-sided tape, some vaseline, some cotton buds.

 

Then it's just a case of finding a decent tutorial on YouTube. Rybonator tends to be the go-to guy, and has some good tutorial for mould making. I would recommend starting with cap moulds, as they give the best results and are easier to work with.

 

Once you have your mould, you'll need to buy some casting resin (25 quid on Amazon should get you enough for 10 or 20 sets) and some ink, mica, glitter, whatever you want to use to decorate with. Oh, and some paint for the numbers. For polishing, some 800 grit sandpaper followed by "Zona Papers", but I wouldn't worry too much about this at this stage.

 

This will at least get you making vaguely dice-shaped objects. Such a mould will be good for about 10 or 15 sets before you start to get defects. 

 

What you'll soon find, though, is that the results are not exactly perfect... your resin will be full of bubbles, you'll find it hard to sand because your numbers are too shallow, you'll get a lot of voids. At this point, you'll either nod and walk away, satisfied that you've done enough dice making for a lifetime. Or you'll:

 

- Buy a pressure pot and air compressor to eliminate bubbles and get real glassy resin finishes.

- Buy a 3D printer so that you can print your own masters.

- Get heavily into 3D design packages so you can design your own masters.

- Perfect mould making to minimise clean-up after casting.

- Perfect polishing for that all important glassy finish.

- ...

- Profit?

 

Happy to answer any more questions you might have.

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Oh, one more super important point - don't skimp on protection. Nitrile gloves, a decent face mask (we use a 3M one that protects against vapours and particulates).

 

Resin can be pretty nasty stuff, so it's not worth risking it.

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