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"Is casting and mold-making really this easy?" Topic


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Killerkatanas Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 3:42 a.m. PST

Hello all,

I was watching a few videos over on You-Tube about spin casting and making molds.

YouTube link

YouTube link

After watching them, I thought "this looks to easy."

For all these years I thought that to make a mold would require a very difficult process of making a two-part mold, and having to get the seam just right so that the figure could be cast.

According to this video, mold-making material can be bought in ready to use, circular, spin cast-ready disks. You then put this in a thick-crust pizza pan, set your minis in it, clamp the top and bottom down, and throw it in the over at 320 degrees for two hours. Once this is done you then cut the gates and vents.

Is it really this easy?

Green Tiger Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 3:56 a.m. PST

Pretty much.

GildasFacit Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 4:23 a.m. PST

Except for the fact that the mould may pour badly and leave undercuts and voids that wreck the castings and/or the mould. Figure design is important and its placing and orientation in the mould are both important factors in quality.

Black Hat Miniatures07 Jan 2016 4:48 a.m. PST

Yes, but the learning process is in placing the figure and learning to cut decent kiss-gates and getting the venting right…

It takes a lot of practise to get these things down pat.


Mike

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 4:52 a.m. PST

Casting figures, easy.
Casting quality figures, a lifetime to learn.

If someone asked my advice I would say take your time at each stage to get it right. There are no short cuts.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 5:08 a.m. PST

yes it is easy now after 30 years of practice!

Dark Knights And Bloody Dawns Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 5:32 a.m. PST

yes it is easy now after 30 years of practice!

Tell me about it… I gave up on pulling my hair out years ago so now I just sigh and drop in the recycle pot.

Personal logo BrigadeGames Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 6:58 a.m. PST

"Casting figures, easy.
Casting quality figures, a lifetime to learn."

Yep.

Same goes with molding.

Personal logo Baccus 6mm Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 7:35 a.m. PST

It's like saying that painting figures is easy. Brush plus paint plus reference material = end result of beautiful wargames army…or not.

'It ain't what you do, it's the way that you do it.'

GeoffQRF Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 8:48 a.m. PST

It's a bit more of an art than a science.

Sho Boki07 Jan 2016 10:19 a.m. PST

Painting figures IS easy.
Sculpting figures is easier to do but takes more time.
Making good moulds is much harder to do.
Casting with good moulds and proper equipment is easy again.

After years of practice of cource.

Syr Hobbs Wargames Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 10:46 a.m. PST

What Geoff said, there is an art to creating and casting.

Old Glory Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 11:10 a.m. PST

We can show you how to make a mold and spin cast in one hour --then you will spend the next 30 years pulling your hair out.
Regards
Russ Dunaway

GarrisonMiniatures Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 12:25 p.m. PST

You can put money on the figure that cast perfectly the last 50 times and put back in the pot refuses to fill properly when you get an order for the thing…

headzombie Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 2:14 p.m. PST

As the creator of those videos, I can say it's that easy for me, but I have been doing it a decade! It is more art than science but not super hard if you are mechanically minded and good at troubleshooting.

Killerkatanas Inactive Member07 Jan 2016 2:53 p.m. PST

Headzombie, thanks for the informative videos and to everyone for the feedback, especially from those in the industry.

So what I want to know then is what happens to the figure that is cooked in the mold at 320 degrees for 2 hours? I assume it melts and then reforms during the cooling process?

If someone was to make a sculpt (out of green stuff), is this the method that is used to make a mold for them? Is the figure (made in green stuff) destroyed by this process?

Can the molding material, that was shown in the video, be purchased in blocks, or be cut into squares, so that a hobbyist could make a mold for a figure and then "gravity" cast (or dropcast) them? A mold much like Prince August has.

Reason I ask is because I modify and convert figures all the time. My last project was 25mm LOTR Dunland cavalry. I modified 24 Anglo-Saxon cavalry figures and horses with lots of fur and other details. It would have been easier to just make one and then mold them.

Personal logo Ironwolf Supporting Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 4:34 p.m. PST

great video, funny part. "I know where everything is…. I swear." lol

Leon Pendraken Sponsoring Member of TMP07 Jan 2016 6:34 p.m. PST

As others have said, it really is an art in many ways. Each mould will have it's own 'personality' for want of a better word, and you've got to know each one to get full, quality castings every time. Even then it often doesn't go perfectly anyway!

As to your moulding question, the white metal has a melting point of over 200 Celcius, so it wouldn't melt at 320 Fahrenheit (160 Celsius).

The moulding temp can be varied depending on what you're moulding, and the sculpts will usually survive mostly intact. The bigger problem for the sculpts is the amount of pressure they're under, so anything with a weak/incomplete armature, or superglued arms, or generally 'sticky out' bits can break easily.

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP08 Jan 2016 2:41 a.m. PST

we use low temp silicone rubber for metal moulds and it is cooked at 100 deg, so we can use plastic and green stuff without a problem.
the pressure is a problem for fragile parts, but if you make the moulds ok things can survive the process only to be broken getting the master out of the mould, if the mould is ok then you can use the first few casts as masters for the next mould and not use the broken master, some masters survive quite well, other damaged beyond repair!

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