April – First Casting sessions 2021

Today’s Castings ready for trimming and filing …

Today’s casting session outdoors in the garden sunshine worked much better than one last week late afternoon with a chill in the wind.

These are mostly 45mm – 50mm Flats from old metal Schneider moulds.

The metal Schneider type home casting moulds do not work so well or the metal run so well if they lose too much heat between each cast.

Last week’s casting session – colder weather – and some scenics

I am keeping some of the miscast ones to see if I can repair muskets or rifles and swap missing heads with …

Pound Store Plastic figures.

Schneider mould 69 – colonials and highlander

Schneider mould 56 – settler and natives

Schneider mould 70 – charging colonial officer and bayoneting soldier

Schneider mould 80 – peaked cap kneeling and standing firing

Mixed in amongst last week’s castings you can see some flat scenics, which did not cast fully – low brick or stone wall, wall and hedge section – and a successful churn. Five bar gates are as tricky as cannon wheels!

I was also testing out an old silicon home cast / home made moulds that I bought a while ago for a Britain’s American infantryman in 54mm. The 50mm little Indian infantryman is an attractive figure, again randomly acquired.

Now for a trim and tidy up …

Meanwhile back at the Flat 2D ranch …

Alan Duchy of Tradgardland blog has been doing some unusual small Flats skirmishes of late such as these:

https://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2021/04/lurland-skirmish.html

https://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2021/03/forgotten-sons-of-semi-flat-homecast.html

https://tradgardland.blogspot.com/2021/03/afrika-palms-and-portuguese.html

Spot the same Schneider figures I cast this afternoon! Reinforcements?

Blog posted by Mark Man of TIN, 14 April 2021

8 thoughts on “April – First Casting sessions 2021”

  1. Hi

    I have done some casting, many years ago, using Prince August, and did a few moulds using Tirranti system, have a spin caster as well.

    I ‘re melted the failures!

    Regards

    James

    P.S. Alan and yourself have very interesting blogs, liked your H.G. Wells .

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    1. Thanks James for your kind comments about my blog, my H.G. Wells posts and Alan Gruber’s blogposts. I melted the failures of the last two sessions too, although some of the shortened rifles are I think repairable. The plastic head swap will be an interesting challenge.
      I have a range of Prince August moulds as well which I have featured in the blog. I have yet to do my own Tiranti moulds as we have a family / household allergy to some epoxy resins and casting rubbers.

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  2. Glad fair weather prevailed and fair castings produced. I look forward to seeing them painted up and in action. Indian mould is unusual, hadn’t seen him before.

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  3. Hi Mark
    Excellent work. I have done some silicone/resin castings which were hard to do. My failure rate was 50%. Yours look so much better. Have you ever done full figures, eg not flats ?? I would be very interested in hearing more “technical” details of the processes you used.
    Regards Tony

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    1. Thanks Tony – my failure rate must be close to yours, but you don’t get to see it as I don’t picture the failed ones that are shucked out of the mould and straight back into the casting ladle. The ‘90% + there’ ones (short rifles etc) I keep for repair.

      Flat, semi round or full figure, I find moulding them much the same although with Flats a little metal goes a long way.

      It takes a while to warm the moulds up, and metal moulds get very hot very quickly. A hairdryer comes in handy or putting them on the edge of the single hotplate. I find with the three figure metal moulds that it is often best to pour the trickiest figure ones first with the fiddliest weapons etc. First with gravity moulds (rather than the spinner type.) Metal moulds have their own reasonably good built in venting.

      Some of the silicon moulds are crisper in detail although these Schneider moulds have good detail if you get the metal mix right. I use release powder (not quite talc?) on the silicon moulds but not in the metal ones – some people I believe use candle black or graphite.
      If you shuck open the metal moulds fast enough, I find the figures don’t tend to stick to the metal moulds.
      I have been buying metal moulds at random and sometimes they are well worn which causes more flash than silicon moulds.
      Some items are harder to cast, such as the five barred gates or the hedge sections with two pour holes etc. These must have some knack to them to discover.

      I cast outside to avoid fumes which limits the days I can do this. Cold days the moulds and the metal in the hot plate struggle to keep their temperature. Possibly going to be wet days are also no good as any moisture meeting hot metal it explodes everywhere. I tend to kit up in steely boots, long trousers and long sleeves, thick craftsmen apron, thick gardening gloves and safety goggles – even in summer. There is a great description by Donald Featherstone doing his first home casting using plaster of Paris moulds (notoriously dangerous if not thoroughly dry) completely garbed, wrapped up and protected in an unpublished BBC radio talk by Don from the 1960s BBC written archive – I have passed this transcript on to John History of Wargaming Project for future publication. He obviously relaxed – there is a lovely photo of him in suit and tie using his wife’s oven to cast using a saucepan – https://manoftinblog.wordpress.com/2016/05/27/typecasting/

      Prince August do an increasingly varied range with some good starter sets and range of metals. I don’t think their shipping is too excessive coming in from Ireland /EU. I believe they also have an eBay or online presence in the U.K.
      https://shop.princeaugust.ie

      There is a home casting group on Facebook.

      The metal home cast moulds are far more prevalent in the US and Germany / Europe – (can be expensive shipping) I pick up moulds online on eBay UK and sometimes / rarely in junk shops. People collect the metal moulds to display which can bump up the prices.
      Hope you are inspired to have another go!
      Mark

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      1. Mark. Thanks for the very useful information. I think I now have the inspiration to have another go although I will wait for better weather first !!!!! Regards Tony

        Liked by 1 person

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