More Homecasting

Getting back into casting my own figures in metal, rather than Fimo / Sculpey Polymer Clay, after a break of several years is proving interesting.

It hasn’t all gone to plan. Moulds, especially metal vintage ones not used for a while, need to be “run in”. Warming the moulds gently helps the metal flow too.

Moulding disasters get put straight back into the melting pot or melting spoon.

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Schneider Settlers and Indians – Back into the melting spoon together …
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Rough, but useable 54mm castings from old metal moulds in need of a bit of trimming and filing. Faces are a bit blank. 
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An attractive WW1 / early WW2 British infantryman marching, c. 54mm height

 

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Rough raw castings of Prince August 40mm Cowboys and Indians designed by Holger Erikkson

Lovely to know that these ‘HE’ or Holger Ericksson figures (cast from moulds sold by Prince August) are still popular many years after they were first carved by Holger Ericsson (1899-1988) as shown here http://www.tabletoptalk.com/?p=572

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Schneider type moulds for 30 to 40mm flat 19th century British infantry.
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Straight out of the mould, clipped but not filed yet – 40mm PA5 modern 1950s infantry marching (Holger Eriksson / Prince August moulds).

Lots of filing and trimming awaits … and lots of imagi-nations skirmish game ideas.

Casting using the vintage metal casting moulds is definitely trickier than the silicone rubber moulds, but a few tricks picked up from the toy soldier forums  such as warming the moulds first does help with the metal flow.

Blogposted by Mark, Man of TIN blog, January 2017

Home cast antique and gilt paint finishes

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A very long time ago as a child I was bought a jumble job lot  of toy soldiers, mostly plastic but amongst them was this trio of metal soldiers.

I painted their hats, coats and boots but never finished them. I had no idea what they were, who made them or what to do with them as they were 40mm tall, bigger or smaller than my other figures. So no real use or match. On their base I could just make out the letters HE which meant nothing to me at the time.

Fast forward to ten years ago: poking around a craft shop on a trip to Cornwall, I discovered a tiny cache of Prince August moulds for making traditional toy soldiers which I bought straight away.

I had seen as a child intriguing adverts for this company in modelling magazines but the dangers of hot metal and shortage of pocket money as a child  meant that I never bought any.

Looking through the Prince August  online catalogue, I recognised these strange random trio of figures, their designer’s name HE (Holgar Eriksonn) and sent off for some PA moulds to find out at long last how they worked. And to give this three man patrol  some company  to pick on of their own size.

http://shop.princeaugust.ie/h-e-40mm-scale-military-moulds/

I found these figures are Prince August PA17 Musketeer, PA23 Musketeer standing and PA24 kneeling.

Playing around with paint finishes

There are many possible finishes for these shiny Prince August castings.

One suggestion is pewtering, an idea from their cast your own chess sets ‘antique finish’. Black acrylic paint is painted over the figures, then fairly quickly wiped off with a cloth or kitchen roll before fully dry.

Another alternative is the simple gilt or gold paint finish.

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I tried out the gilt finish on another home casting, an American sailor drumming,  from a metal mould of a different much older (American?) manufacturer.

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The older type of metal home cast moulds (usually German or American origin) have much more flash and casting lines, requiring more time and filing to clean up than a modern rubber Prince August mould.

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Another gilt finish home cast Schneider mould figure in my collection with mould half.

 

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This is a 1910-20s gilt finish early British lead toy soldier in my collection (Photo / Figure: Man of TIN)

Sometimes I find stray home cast  figures in junk shops and online lots that are quite crude, often overpriced such as this cowboy type figure from another metal mould (in this cast in quite soft and bendy lead).

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They have a simple charm and many conversion or paint possibilities.

I have now tracked down a three figure (Schneider?) mould No. 56 of this cowboy and two Indian figures to produce more. At some point worth casting enough for a Close Little Wars home cast skirmish of settlers versus natives maybe?

Plastic Postscript 

This “fake pewter” or “antiquing”  technique can also be tried with some success on silver plastic figures from pound stores.

Compared to the original plastic figure:

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Posted by Mr MIN, Man of TIN, June 2016.