I’ve been through several toy goggle prototypes. I’ve discussed ideas with Amelia (of Airship Isabella), with our own crewmates, and with co-workers who aren’t involved in steam. With all the great ideas and suggestions and experimentation, we still hadn’t settled on how to make them. When we discovered Amazing Putty Mold and Resin Casting on our own, we finally found a winner!
We started using the mold and resin for cameos, buttons, and other projects, and then we thought “why not the goggles?” At first, we were going to make a mold of a plastic bottle cap that had a hole drilled out of the top to use as the “cap”, then use vinyl to make the rest of the goggle piece. However, my first officer had a better idea. He suggested that I make the goggles out of clay as one whole piece. I make a lot of clay trinkets and little models, so sure, why not goggles too? I took one of our unmodded goggles to use for reference and made some small clay goggles out of clay. Then the mold making was a whole new experiment. It took a chunk of wasted putty, and several bad molds before we figured out a better way to make the mold. It’s hard to explain, but how you fashion the mold takes some practice sometimes. But we did it! We found something that works, that we really like.
I made three sizes from small to teeny. We will only be selling the standard small size, but can take custom orders. After the mold was made, it was about 20 minutes of waiting for the resin to set in the mold, then I painted the top part with rub-n-buff, and then wrapped the rest in fabric. I wrap them much in the same way that we wrap the real goggles, but I don’t use leather and I use superglue (and tacky glue). I made the straps out of a combination of the fabric and elastic.
As you can see in the photo below, we went with a flat top instead of the lens-like top. It was easier to make the mold if we left the top open which resulted in a flat surface. It still looked good, so we stuck with it. I might make improvements later on down the road.
Niji the Radical Cat assisted me in modeling the mostly finished goggles. I bought Niji from Radical Works, and she happens to look good in our new goggles! I didn’t close the goggles off with the elastic yet, because I think it’s better to do that when they are bought. That way the person who bought it can have it measured according to the toy they want to put them on. I figure, you can either put them on toys you buy from us, or toys you buy from someone else! In fact, if you don’t want to use elastic, you can fashion the end of the goggles with more fabric, with velcro, buckles or buttons, or whatever you want to do with your new goggles!