Home Forums General General Metal vs Resin casting

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  • #150833
    Thomaston
    Participant

    Not that I’m about to start my miniature casting empire, I’m just curious. What’s the pros and con between the two medium? I could think of a few like details and mass but what about cost, difficulty, etc.

    I’m guessing resin is a little more expensive because the majority of producers still cast in metal. Am I wrong?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150834
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Resin is cheaper.

    Well potentially…
    But almost certainly.

    Both require the original model we will call this the green.

    Metal casting.

    The green goes into a master mould and a metal master is made.
    Let us assume your mould size can hold 20 models.
    You then spin the master mould mould 20 times so you have 20 masters.

    You then create a production mould that has these 20 masters in it.
    This means each time you spin the production mould you get 20 metal models. (each spin of the master mould only yields 1 model, the original green)
    You need a vulcanizer to make moulds and a spin casting machine to spin the moulds.
    Plus a melting pot and stuff.

    This requires the green to have a master mould and then a production mould.
    Moulds cost me about £70.00 each.

    Resin casting.

    Same kind of principal, only moulds are much cheaper to make.
    Also you don’t need a vacuum chamber or a pressure pot to resin cast but it does help.
    No spin casting machines either.

    That is a very very crude over view.

    Metal is easier to mass produce, costs more to produce, costs more to ship.
    Resin miscasts are wasted, metal miscasts you put back in the melting pot and cast again.

    #150835
    Mike
    Keymaster

    PS: For big terrain or big figures, metal casting is bonkers talk.

    #150837
    willz
    Participant

    Cheers for the post Mike interesting and informative all I have to do is convince Mrs H to allow me to convert the garage into a workroom and casting studio, get a sculptor and then I can start producing my own figures.

    #150838
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Ha.

    That was just a quick over view, if you have any particular questions please do shout.

    #150843
    Thomaston
    Participant

    What about the price of metal and resin itself?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150844
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Depends, on what sort of metal, what sort of resin and how much you buy and where you buy it from.

    In my limited experience though, the same item made of resin and metal, the resin one will be cheaper in terms of materials used.

    #150851
    Just Jack
    Participant

    Very informative post, Mike, thanks for the explanation.

    And great news, Thomaston.  Does this mean I finally get my modern special forces operators in standing, kneeling, prone, walking, running, throwing a grenade, taking cover, pulling his sidearm, lightly wounded…? 😉

    V/R,

    Jack

    #150853
    Blackhat
    Participant

    You can make drop moulds exactly the same way as resin casting and then cast in metal using them.  You’ll need to use an RTV rubber that withstands the temperature.  I have a number of metal drop moulds for pieces that are too big to go into  normal spin mould (like car chassis) all in 54mm..

    Prince August is a good place to start for moulds and drop casting metal if you want to play with it.

    Mike

     

    Black Hat Miniatures -
    http://www.www.blackhat.co.uk/

    #150855
    Thomaston
    Participant

    If my curiosity grows I might take up resin casting as yet another hobby. Too bad for Just Jack, I’m thinking more for terrain, since that’s the thing I enjoy making the least.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150856
    Mike
    Keymaster

    I’m thinking more for terrain, since that’s the thing I enjoy making the least.

    Happy to help with this if the need ever arises.

    #150864
    Thomaston
    Participant

    I don’t know how small I can cast resin. I’m thinking small rock outcrops (instead of using woodland scenic plaster moulds) and 3mm/6mm houses.
    Mike do you think it’s viable to cast something very small like Brigade Models’ small scale buildings in resin?

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150865
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Yup.

    Fiddly but definitely achievable.

    #150868
    Thomaston
    Participant

    You know, now I’m wondering if it’s possible to cast using UV resin. More expensive for sure.

    Tired is enough.
    R-rated narcissism

    #150869
    Mike
    Keymaster

    Not sure it will be?

    I am guessing, just a guess mind, that the UV will not penetrate a mould full of resin to cure it.

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