I’m having a blast trying out some different techniques for shrink plastic and have found that a really intricate look can be achieved by simply cutting a shape from plain white shrink plastic. As a huge Elder Scrolls: Skyrim fan I decided to have a go at a shrink plastic Akatosh. I started with the Akatosh silhouette created by RocketmanTan on DeviantArt, resized to approximately 5-inches tall. I printed off the image and carefully cut away all the black with a small pair of scissors and a craft knife. I then traced the stencil onto a piece of white shrink plastic and again carefully cut away the image.
A little bit of shaping and the final piece was ready to shrink.
This is where I learned that intricately cut items don’t play nice in the toaster oven. I wish I had some pictures of what this did, but I was too busy trying to fix it to snap any. The entire thing managed to completely twist in on itself with the bottom piece curling up and right through the hole in the centre of the image forming a knot. It turns out, however, that shrink plastic is pretty amazing stuff and with enough patience you can fix almost anything. I spent close to ten minutes repeatedly returning the piece to the oven until it started to soften and then removing it and carefully trying to untwist the work. Eventually I did get it untwisted but finally gave up when it came to straightening the sides.
I think with enough return trips to the oven I could have eventually straightened it out, but it would never quite be perfect due to the extra stretch the plastic endured from twisting.
Instead I opted to start again, this time leaving more plastic around the outside of the image in the hopes that this would help prevent the plastic from twisting in on itself.
I’m pretty pleased with how this turned out. People I have shown it to think it was either laser cut or 3D printed. But no, it was just a piece of plastic in my toaster oven.