Hi all. Long time lurker, first time poster. I've been reading a lot and took a little from here and a little from there. The following is what I came up with.....
Sorry, I forgot to take pics of my impressions untouched, but this is them after shaping. I also forgot to take pics of the next step which was to dip then in wax. Not just any wax, modeling wax, 100% bees modeling wax melted to a thin honey consistency. This helped to smooth everything out and also added a little fudge room for shaping post cast.
I made the investment from two part silicon putty. No pic of that either.....
This is my casting. Solid plug of acrylic. Back ground.... One of the ladies at work was talking about her acrylic nails so I started asking her questions about it, then started googling it. Acrylic powder mixed with a monomer creates a hard acrylic that can be milled, machined, filed and polished to a mirror shine. I found if you mix the powder and liquid monomer 1:1 by volume then pour it in a mold, 15 minutes later you have a great cast!
This is my casting after it was filed to final shape and buffed and polished. I use a dremel tool with a mill bit to hog out the shell and a tiny ball head milling bit to clean out some of the more delicate areas. This set is for me, but I have already completed a set for my son.
I used a piece of 1/4 in black acrylic cut to shape, rounded the edges and buffed and polished. I don't think they turned out to bad for my first attempt.
They have powders for coloring the acrylic powder, but I have not tried it yet. I figure a solid color will hide all the tooling marks you can see in these ones from hogging the shells out cause I bought clear. What do you guys think?