How to Make Plastic Soldiers

By Jennifer Lyons
You can cast the soldiers in green plastic, or paint their faces and uniforms like traditional lead soldiers.

Wanna stage a battle with a plastic army? Make your own with plastic casts. The casts can be made using RTV rubber molds. RTV stands for room temperature vulcanizing, meaning that the rubber does not need to be heated to settle. You can use RTV rubber to make molds of lead soldiers and then cast the soldiers in plastic. This way your children can play with historic toys without the danger of lead poisoning. Plastic soldiers are also a fun project for your kids to paint so that each figurine is unique.

Find your parting seam by drawing a continuous line around the soldier, from head to toe. This will be where the mold splits so you can remove the cast.

Place the soldier in a small box so that the parting line is parallel to the bottom. Choose a cardboard or wooden box that is not much larger than the soldier, such as a jewelry box. This is called the mold box.

Block off the bottom of the mold box with clay. Use small pieces of sulphur free clay to build around the bottom of the mold box up to the parting seam line. Make sure the seam is as smooth as possible so that is is not visible on the cast soldiers. Use the tip of a pencil to poke a couple holes in clay around the soldier. These are keys so that you are able to line your mold up.

Spray with mold release. Make sure to throughly spray the soldier, clay and the inside of the mold box.

Mix the RTV rubber. Pour the RTV rubber slowly onto the soldier so that it is completely covered. Allow the rubber to cure until it is solid, about two or three hours.

Remove the rubber mold, soldier, and clay from the mold box as one unit. Flip it over and place it, rubber side down into the box. Carefully peel away all of the clay. Spray the soldier, mold and the inside of the box with spray release.

Pour RTV rubber into the mold box, covering the soldier. Allow the rubber to cure for 24 hours and remove the box, separate the mold, and take out the soldier.

Cast the plastic. Pour liquid plastic into the mold and let it set for at least 6 hours. Remove the plastic soldier from the mold.