I started hearing chatter about ICE resin and ran out of my usual EasyCast at the same time, so while compiling a massive Fire Mountain order I decided to try it out.
I’m still not too sure how I feel about it, but I’m leaning towards dislike, or at least apathy.
+ It is very, very clear, which is nice. Some of the other resins I’ve used have a tendency towards yellowness, but this was crystal clear.
+ It had completely hardened in about 12 hours. I could still mar the surface with my fingernail, but fingerprints would wipe off without leaving a mark. I don’t know how long it takes to completely cure, since it was an initial coat and I went over it with a different brand.
– The resin portion was very thick, and was difficult to measure out accurately. Hardener was more fluid.
– Working time was only about half an hour; I prefer a longer working time because I do large batches and paint most of my pieces with a paintbrush. I typically do any thicker pouring while the mix is fresh and fluid, and then paint with it once it thickens up a little (fewer puddles that way). This set so fast that it was too thick to paint on.
– It’s advertised as being more bubble-free. I had fewer big bubbles while I was working, but many small and horribly persistent bubbles. With EasyCast breathing and puffing on the resin works perfectly for getting rid of bubbles; didn’t work as well with the ICE. When I left the pieces for the night they were all mostly bubble-free, but large bubbles appeared at some point during the night and I found them the next morning, after it had already set. They were deep, rather than close to the surface, and a real pain to cut/sand out. Good thing that resin re-coats nicely!
– Has a really strong odor. The fact sheet said there were no real risks for inhalation unless heated to a high temperature, but even with ventilation it made me feel light-headed and gave me a headache.
Overall I don’t think I’d buy it again. I might use it if I was in a hurry and needed to get a project done a little faster, but the bubbliness really bothers me.
I went to Michael’s and bought another package of EasyCast. This batch looks really clear (my last one was a bit yellowish), so I don’t know if the batches vary of if they’ve changed their formula. EasyCast barely smells and using it never bothers my head or skin. I can’t stand to wear gloves while I work, because then I don’t know when there’s resin on me and I get it everywhere it shouldn’t be. I used Envirotex Lite once, and that made my skin feel very sensitive (reeks as much as the ICE, too). Ahhh brand loyalty. :)