Home Forums General General Metal vs Resin casting

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    Avatar photoDeleted User

    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?

    Avatar photoMike

    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.

    Avatar photoMike

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

    Avatar photowillz

    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.

    Avatar photoMike


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

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    What about the price of metal and resin itself?

    Avatar photoMike

    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.

    Avatar photoJust Jack

    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…? 😉



    Avatar photoBlackhat

    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.



    Avatar photoDeleted User

    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.

    Avatar photoMike

    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.

    Avatar photoDeleted User

    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?

    Avatar photoMike


    Fiddly but definitely achievable.

    Avatar photoDeleted User

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

    Avatar photoMike

    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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