It sounds completely ridiculous, but hear us out, because you can legitimately transform a styrofoam object into a solid aluminium one, and all you need is some sand, some scrap aluminium, and a whole lot of heat.
In the video above, by Grant Thompson aka The King of Random on YouTube, you can see the whole process, and even if you're not ready to try this at home (seriously, you really need to know what you're doing to attempt this) it's fun enough just to watch.
First, Thompson buys some foam board from the hardware store, and builds a 3D model pistol, by cutting out a pattern and gluing it all together. Next, he fires up his home-made mini metal foundry and starts melting the solid aluminium 'biscuits' he made from discarded cans in this previous episode. While they're cooking away, he fills a big plastic bucket with sand, and attaches a thick, foam handle to the bottom of his pistol model. The pistol goes in the sand, front-first, and is completely covered in sand so only the tip of the foam handle is exposed.
Next, you've got to manoeuvre this sand so there's a 'volcano' of empty space around the handle, which will help funnel the molten aluminium in the right place. And in goes the super-hot liquid metal, and out comes a sold aluminium replica. "The foam at the bottom vaporises in an instant and the liquid aluminium rushes in to take its place," Thompson explains in the video above. After 10 minutes, the metal will have set, and then you can get to filing back any jagged edges to make it look perfect.
Thompson also uses the technique to make a little replica sword and it's so cute, now all I can think about is if there are any life situations that would warrant me having one of my own.
Watch below to see Thompson make those 'aluminium biscuits' using recycled cans. Suddenly all of my hobbies don't feel adequate anymore.