resin toy soldiers 1:32 54mm FIW SYW
New molds and resin castings
18 Jul 2017 / Nino /

A few months ago, after producing a few batches of resin figures for me, my resin casters decided to retire from business. This came as something of a shock to me. I tried to locate an alternative source, but unfortunately to no avail.

In the event, I resorted to becoming my own caster and purchased my casters’ equipment, luckily amounting to only a vacuum chamber and a pressure pot facility. I went through some quick training, and put myself at work…

The first issue I had to face was making the molds. My resin casters had produced my figures out of single-part rubber molds using my assembled white-metal prototypes as masters. With this technique, the metal master is fully enveloped with RTV rubber, which is then cut along the master’s parting line(s) so that the master, and then the resin castings, can be extracted without damaging the mold (damage will sooner or later occur, though, and just about 30-40 castings can be reasonably expected out of one mold).

Needles to say, this technique requires a lot of ability and experience. My resin casters were very skilled at this, but having to do it myself, I found it too much of a challenge and eventually decided to simplify the process by casting the body and the arms with the weapons as separate parts. Of course, some assembly is required now, but the extra work is more than compensated by the much simpler mold making phase, and by the consequent prolonged mold life and reduced casting scrap rate.

Having sorted out the molds, the next step was casting the resin. Thanks to the pressure pot facility now available to me, this posed no problems and went fairly smoothly…

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Here are the very first resin toy soldiers entirely produced by myself. In order to better bring up the fine details of the sculpt, I decided to cast these figures in gray as opposed to black resin, and I am rather pleased with the results…