This project will no longer be finished, as the results after pouring all the resin weren't the best and I ended up sending everything to the trash out of frustration.
The problems I found working with this polyester clear resin:
- the submarine was varnished with a semi-gloss acrylic varnish, you could see an irrealistic demarcation between the surface of the sub and the "water". I believe this could have been minimized with a stronger gloss coat.
- heat during polimerization attacked the edges of small most plastic parts. The resin was poured in thin layer but this even happened on parts that were barely submerged. The solution might only be to use an epoxy-resin next time, which won't release as much heat.
- The resin in countact with the walls of the mold cured in a very uneven way, it would have to be sanded heavily and polished to acquire that see-through look. I believe the solution would be to use some heavy polystyrene or acrylic plastic to build the mold.
- When tainting the resin with Tamiya paints (or any other), it's difficult to match their opacity, as a single extra drop produces quite a difference.
- It's important to pour each layer before the preceding one has cured completely, in order for them to "blend".
- It's almost impossible not to get some bubbles trapped while the resin cures. Carefull pouring and a toothpick will help getting rid of the majority but it's also important to use less catalyst and let the resin cure very slowly (this will give time for the bubbles to burst naturaly but will also reduce the generated heat).
If you're interest in reading a bit about polymers, these books will provide a solid introduction:
Also, if you want to see how the real Astute was built: