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Do-It-Yourself: Casting a Resin King

One of the many enduring qualities of tafl games is the simplicity of the pieces. No matter what size board or what rule variation (with perhaps the exception of Berserk Hnefatafl), a set only need pieces of 3 distinctions: attackers, defenders and a king. This makes it easier to create your own set. It is common to see decorative glass gems as hnefatafl pieces. In the last post, we started to make a Basic Brandub game with these. Let’s upgrade the set a bit with a hand-casted resin king piece.

Tucked away in a drawer, I had an old chess pawn given to me by my best friend in grade school. I’ve had this pawn since I was 7 or 8 years old. It reminds me of my first friendship and being that tafl games are great to play with friends, it was a fitting piece to cast. Obviously, pick an item that works for you and give your set a personal touch.

Chess Pawn

Using a silicone mold making kit, I carefully follow the instructions and made a mold of the chess pawn. This stuff is messy and gooey, so be sure to wear gloves and cover the work area with newspapers. The mold takes about 6 hours to cure, so be patient. It took a few tries to get it right, but the result was a durable mold I can use over and over again.

There are many types of resin to choose from. Alumilite makes a fast curing, beginner friendly resin that works great for small pieces. Like the mold making kit, it’s important to follow the instructions carefully and use gloves while casting the piece.

After about 20 minutes, I had a perfect copy of my original chess pawn that makes a great king piece in the Basic Brandub set.

Chess Pawn Cast

One game’s pawn is another game’s king. Such is life.