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"Casting with prince August molds" Topic


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1,225 hits since 6 Sep 2016
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Comments or corrections?

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 6:39 a.m. PST

Sgt slag brought up casting my own miniatures using prince August molds in my inexpensive skeleton warriors thread.

My question is threefold

What supplies are necessary for safety, including location,?

How prevalent is lead rot after painting in models made with model metal versus the lead free?

The skeleton mouldscare advertised as 25mm. Will these mix in ok with 28mm, or are there 28mm moulds available

daler240D Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 7:38 a.m. PST

safety: an oven mitt or pad, goggles, ventilation. I use the kitchen stove with an open window and the stove fan on.
prince august model metals are awesome and easy to work with. I have had no degradation of any sorts after 4 years since casting, even with some that are still unpainted.
not sure about the molds you refer to, but the only only advice I can give is to make sure powder the molds for best release. I recommend the starter kit from them, has everything you need to get started and the quality is very good. good people to deal with.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 7:50 a.m. PST

Can you heat the ladle on a regular stove or would I need to get something specialized?

shaun from s and s models Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 8:07 a.m. PST

you can heat the lead on a domestic stove easliy

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 8:08 a.m. PST

Ok. Cool so I could do everything in my kitchen. Sounds like fun.

Personal logo Toy Soldier Green Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 8:50 a.m. PST

I had a lee pot, molds and molds, ton of metal and a VERY LOW success rate. 8 times out of 10 the models went right back into the melting pot. After a decade I gave up on 25mm scale drop cast soldiers and moved back to 54mm. That size has a much higher success rate.

Personal logo Bashytubits Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 9:20 a.m. PST

You do not want to melt lead anywhere that does not have GOOD ventilation.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 9:25 a.m. PST

Then I'll get the pewter bars

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 9:28 a.m. PST

Pretty much all of the metals offered by Dunken Co. are lead-free. All metals will emit hazardous fumes when melted… Good ventilation is always necessary. Metal sickness is life-threatening -- ask a welder.

With the Model Metal figures I still have, which are more than 10 years old, I have not had any lead-rot. Honestly, I've been collecting mini's since 1981, and only those Grenadier lead figures, have shown any rot -- though even these are very limited in scope.

For melting, I had a unit like this: Hot Pot II Lead Melting Pot. Worked great, in the garage. I used leather welding gloves to protect my hands -- overkill, but safe, nonetheless. I also had a plastic face shield that flipped up. As long as your molds are completely dry, when you pour molten metal into them, they will be safe.

I used boards, and rubber bands, to hold the mold halves together. Make certain you do not over-tighten any clamps you may use, as they can deform the rubber molds.

Regular talcum powder is all you need for mold release agent. DO NOT use any spray release! The only liquid you should add into a mold, is liquified metal.

I used mostly Model Metal for casting -- it does work much better than pure lead, much higher success rate. I would throw back numerous castings because it takes the molds a few castings to warm up. No big deal, really. My success rate was upwards of 50%.

I'd suggest starting out slowly, with one mold, and just a simple ladle used on your kitchen stove. See if you like it. Then progress from there. Follow the directions on the Dunken site, or Prince August's site. Be sure to tap the mold repeatedly, after pouring, to help the metal flow into the small recesses (a vibration table would be fantastic, but more money… check the Internet for plans on building one for <$50). Cheers!

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 9:40 a.m. PST

I guess I will try to commandeer my friends garage then? I live in an apartment and don't want anyone being sick.

Goober06 Sep 2016 9:53 a.m. PST

As to size – they will seem small. Even the 28mm moulds will seem small next to modern minis.

The key to a good cast is getting the temperature of the metal right. The indicator for me has always been a slightly smoking matchstick.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 10:14 a.m. PST

That's fine I can mix them in.

Personal logo Sgt Slag Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 11:27 a.m. PST

If you have an exhaust fan, above the stove, turn it on Hi, and you should be fine. The key is to avoid having your head directly over the pot, where the fumes will rise to your face. That is where you will be in trouble. Opening a window, nearby, will also help. Just avoid putting your face directly over the fumes rising from the pot. Same thing welder's do: they avoid putting their face directly above the weld because the smoke would rise into their face, and they would breathe the fumes. Cheers!

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 11:33 a.m. PST

How long does dunken take to respond to inquiries normally?

John Leahy06 Sep 2016 11:37 a.m. PST

I have had the molds and been casting since the early to mid 90's. No lead rot on any figs. I own most of their 25mm fantasy molds. Some of their Naps and ancients ones along with a few 54mm ACW. Some molds seem to work better than others. Most of the Orc molds always worked well for me. I use those Orcs with my GW plastics and they fit in just fine.

I use a big metal pot on the stove.

Thanks.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 12:05 p.m. PST

John, which of the undead molds are the best, or do they all work relatively well?

martin goddard Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 12:09 p.m. PST

Marcus
Justa few thoughts
cast on a big pice of wood. Do not want to mess up any work surfaces
Have bucket of water close by to throw your hands into or splash on your skin (grim but best to be careful, there is only one of you!)
You must melt the meal to way above its melting point so that it flows into all parts of the mould.
lead rot should not be a problem but try to get a consistent metal. ie find a manufacturer who will sell you a few bars of metal rather than pay the huge cost of small bits from a hobby supplier.
Best heater would be a good quality camping stove such as a coleman gas pump type.
make sure the moulds are warmed and dry before starting.


i do have the Romanoff casting book which recommends starting with a good pair of asbestos gloves (crickey! better get some of those…not)

martin

good luck

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 12:19 p.m. PST

How would I heat the mold?

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 12:19 p.m. PST

Without burning it I mean.

Hal Thinglum Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 12:37 p.m. PST

This brings back memories from the early 1980's when I purchased 25mm molds from Joel Haas for my Sudan and Zulu War Projects. Got the knack of it quickly although I regret initially melting lead in the kitchen due to the fumes and my family. Not very bright on my part. Once I got out to the back yard and the garage with the doors open, it worked great. I'd estimate my success rate was over 75%. Some very nice poses as well. I wonder if the Joel Haas molds are still available. They came in very handy as I needed 2500 25mm Zulus for Isandlawana and lots of Dervish. Don't remember burning myself although I recall rubber bands popping once inawhile.

Brian Smaller06 Sep 2016 12:51 p.m. PST

I wold add one more safety tip when drop casting. Wear decent footwear. Back in the 80s I was casting some French infantry and managed to fumble the pour and can tell you that liquid metal and thin sneakers are not a good combination – in fact only slightly better than no shoes at all.

phssthpok06 Sep 2016 12:52 p.m. PST

I have cast hundreds of figs from the PA molds. Use the Model metal for the 25mm Figs. I've used scrap lead weights with no rot problems but you will get better detail with the model metal.It may be necessary to cut vent channels in some cavities; use an xacto knife, cut a small V channel from the area where the air pocket forms to the edge of the mold. Make sure it angles upward to the edge from the position the mold is in when pouring otherwise the molten metal may just run out thru it. The channels should be as narrow as you can cut them, they only have to let the air out. Good ventilation is also helpful at controlling the talc dust when you knock the excess from the mold, slap the two halves together. I use the hot pot from the beginners set and arrange the mold haves around it(about 2" away) standing upright with the cavities facing the pot as a way of pre-heating them.

Bill McHarg Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member06 Sep 2016 1:17 p.m. PST

I cast either outside on the deck or in the garage depending on weather. If its even a little misty, do NOT cast outside. Water and molten metal do not mix well. I use a $40 USD electric hot plate. Works great. If you need talcum powder without any scent, check out a dive shop or order it from a dive shop online. They use it for putting on dry suits, apparently. When I first start any casting session, I get few good casts. When the molds warm up, and I am rotating about 4 molds at a time, the success rate picks up.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 1:33 p.m. PST

I would be doing 1 mold at a time, outside, in Florida, to start. I will eventually get more molds.

What's the most inexpensive hot plate y'all can suggest? I'm on a tight budget ATM.

Kropotkin303 Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 1:42 p.m. PST

As far as Prince August Skeleton moulds are concerned the first mould gives true 25mm figures. Probably too small for your liking. They work well with Minifigs Valley of the four Winds figures though.

link

The later moulds are larger in scale. Perhaps small 28mm

link

link

link

If you think that sleletons would be smaller than the equivilant sized human some of these moulds work well.

I have enjoyed casting them, but some can appear very flat, but they mix well. The larger Prince August would go well with Grenadier I think.

Safety Point: When casting in the kitchen or where-ever, keep a bucket/sink full of cold water in case you pour hot metel on your hands . Wear stout clothing and boots.

Have fun. Prince August are a very good brand, I've always casted well with their moulds. Just let them heat up for a few casts. Also use "modern" metal as lead gives poorer results.

All the best.

Lord Marcus06 Sep 2016 1:48 p.m. PST

Are there any other good brands with skeletons?

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 7:33 p.m. PST

You can heat the molds just by pouring a few casts and throwing the miscast figures back in the pot.
Expect your first few to be incomplete. Then when the mold heats up, you should be fine.

Winston Smith Supporting Member of TMP06 Sep 2016 7:35 p.m. PST

Btw, I got a small one element "stove". Very cheap. I used it in my workshop, and didn't have to worry about the stove I cook food on. It's also easier to set up a fan.

Militia Pete Supporting Member of TMP07 Sep 2016 3:23 a.m. PST

I have some Nappy Prince August troops that I did over 25 years ago. No lead rot. I did these as a kid and certain molds did better. All you need is a xacto knive to clear the mold lines. Make sure you have clamps, ladle, clamp boards, talcum powder. Prince A should still sell these in a kit. I sold all of my molds years ago.Get the model metal. Dutkins in Cherry Hill N.J. turned me on to them and I bought a bunch from them back in the day. Use of stove is ok, just clean up any spills.

Lord Marcus07 Sep 2016 7:26 a.m. PST

Just ordered a custom starter kit from prince August directly. Was oddly cheaper than going through dunken

Timbo W07 Sep 2016 3:23 p.m. PST

30 years or so ( Blimey!) for my faithful old axe orcs, spear orcs and sword orcs and no lead rot yet. Wonder how many times they've been shot to bits by elves,, chopped up by dwarves or skewered by knights…

Lord Marcus07 Sep 2016 8:32 p.m. PST

Whelp. I will be posting about my adventures in casting when the order FETs here from Europe

Ghecko12 Sep 2016 6:24 p.m. PST

I have cast hundreds of 25 mm PA Nap figures using PA molds. The posts above say it all. Just be careful to not spill some red hot metal on a melamine kitchen bench top as I did. Twenty years on and I am still hearing about it….

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