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"Mold Layout For Single Minis" Topic

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setsuko06 Aug 2021 1:42 a.m. PST

I got such great advice last time I posted, so I'll try again as I'm getting closer to try to get my first minis cast in metal:

1) Mold Layout

My first set of minis is going to be mostly geared towards RPG and fantasy skirmish game collectors, so selling them as singles rather than sets is probably the best way to go. How should I think about mold layout? Let's say I have around 12-14 minis to begin with. Is it worth just making molds with one of each, and end up with lots of extras of the minis that turn out to be less popular? Is there a better way if you don't have a big budget, as making an individual mold with 6-8 copies might be overkill? I won't do the mold or the casting myself, but do it through a moldmaking company.

2) Bases

I'm more used to integral bases rather than slottabases myself, so I'm thinking of just doing integral bases for my minis. Is there anything I should know about that part? I'm thinking of just keeping them not too big and not too thick, like maybe 1.5-2 mm or so.

IUsedToBeSomeone06 Aug 2021 2:44 a.m. PST

I would make a single mould with one of each to begin with until you know what sells.

Get 12 of each run off and keep those as masters for production moulds when you want to come to make them.

Once you know which are the best selling figures you can make production moulds for those ones or put 2 types of figures in a production mould.

Integral bases of 1.5-2mm are fine. Square bases are slightly easier to cast (in my experience) than round ones but either are fine.


setsuko06 Aug 2021 3:48 a.m. PST

Thanks. So in this case it might be better to aim for a smaller range to begin with, but one where I have more control over the amount of minis spun.

Master Caster06 Aug 2021 7:05 a.m. PST

Increasingly over the years I use sections of Teflon rod as spruce formers when vulcanizing molds with mixed figures or parts. The same Teflon formers can be used to block any particular cavity when casting. Teflon will not melt or be deformed by molten metal at the casting temps we use. This saves wear and tear on any cavity you don't want or need castings from. Don't know if the casting firm who does your castings will use this system, however.
Re bases, for me squarish bases with slightly rounded corners are best. They can easily be vented properly and since you don't have square corners that need to consistently fill you'll have fewer rejects.
Toby Barrett
Thoroughbred Figures

marmont1814 Sponsoring Member of TMP06 Aug 2021 2:12 p.m. PST

As you are not selling in packs I would put them on one mould as said before until u break into the market – a little advice sell all the 12 or 14 min as a set as well

setsuko07 Aug 2021 1:43 a.m. PST

Thanks for the advice! And yes, I'll do discounted sets as well, my feedback from posting the greens have been very much towards people either wanting to pick up one or two or wanting ALL OF THEM, so I'll try to please both camps. :)

citizen sade07 Aug 2021 3:58 a.m. PST

I hesitate to open this can of worms, but integral bases are not to everyone's tastes. They can be a PITA for those who want to use scenic bases etc.

The best compromise I've come across is the one Dragon Bait used for later releases. This was lugs on the feet of the figures and separate metal dungeon-style flagstone bases. These fitted in with the integral ones in the initial release.

setsuko07 Aug 2021 6:41 a.m. PST

Yeah with integral bases I don't mean an entire square 20mm x 20mm base or something like that, more the small "mound" under the feet rather than a slottabase. It's still not perfect for those using, say, custom resin bases, but is surely is a divisive issue where there are just as many people hating on slottabases.

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