Wednesday, October 11, 2017


With the end of the 1st Quarter now past, I have a bit more time to post on what I've been up to, but I have to finish this soon as I have yet another graduate paper to write.

With the problems of getting the weapons and heads to cast from the Prince August molds, I went ahead and bought a thermometer to test the metal temp. Yep, the pot does not provide a consistent level of heat. My target tempt is 590 degrees, Fahrenheit, which the pot does get to within about 8 minutes. Casting was ON LIKE A BOSS!

However, an hour into casting, with no adjustments to the temp dial, the temp was down to 430 degrees and casting issues cropped up again. I had to fiddle with the temp dial to get it back to the correct temperature.

 My nearly empty pot as I fire it up. Notice the poor trooper who failed to pass muster
 And the shipment arrives...40 bars of Model Metal from Prince August. It's casting time!
 Cream rises to the top of freshly produced milk, scum rises to the top of freshly melted metal. It must be cleaned off and the process is continual throughout casting. Talc, dust, and other contaminants remain at the top and must be scooped out. This is the tedious part for me, and there's always a little bit of model metal with it.

Notice the thin slivers of metal in the lower left. This is where I cut a vent to help that mustket cast properly. Normally, a vent should lead more directly towards the top of the mold, but I wanted the flash to come off the tip of the bayonet, so I cut down and away before bringing it back to the channel. Usually, there's little to no metal in those two channels on the sides.

I've also vented several of the heads in the various molds, to get them to cast. Those pictures were too blurry to include in this post, though. The casting temperature of the metal needs to be between 572 and 608 degrees, according to the documentation and a Celsius to Fahrenheit calculation.

The metal still needs to be a liquid within 30 seconds of the pour, in order for it to get to all the details in the mold. Tapping on the mold can help, but not always. Sometimes, a large pocket of air is trapped in the mold cavities, and a few raps on the mold will cause the metal to displace the air. This is visible, if you know what you are looking for. Thus, molten metal at too low a temperature will harden within 5-10 seconds (at the top of the mold, which means it hardens sooner than that inside) and that is not enough time for it to get where it needs to be, thus causing items to not cast properly.
And after about 90 minutes, we had the command groups for one of the armies completed. You can see a portion of that effort in the top of the picture, but we did finish 16 officers, 16 drummers, and 16 standard bearers.

A couple days later, we had another casting session, with Brent again assisting by removing the figures from the molds and cleaning them up and with myself doing the casting.

I've no pictures from that, which I thought I had taken, but we have about 50 infantry figures, in addition to the command groups, cast so far. I've more metal and molds incoming, which should arrive this week.

However, I have parent-teacher conferences all week, after school, which means no casting as the light is gone shortly after I get home. All of my casting is down outside on the back porch, so we can use the light of the sun while it lasts.

I will be casting a bit, this weekend, regardless. I need to get all 220+ figures cast before the end of November.

Since the new SYW cavalry molds are unlikely to be released in time. And since I do not want to waste money on buying the old molds, cast and paint the figures for the event, and then remelt everything when the new molds are released, I am probably going to skip the cavalry for the convention game. I'll look for a tabletop teaser scenario that lacks cavalry and modify that for my games.

This will save me money and painting time, to be sure.

On the other hand, I have no figures for generals and notable leaders. I may go with Front Rank AWI models for this, for the event, but I would really like to see a Prince August mold for leaders/generals.


  1. Excellent work. I will be back on the stove hob tonight to thrash out some more British Dragoons.

    1. Thank you. I will be posting pics as I get to the painting.

  2. I use old figures and off-cuts for casting , think the Goddess of casting can be fickle some times you have a good session sometimes bad . I use an old gas camping stove and a ladle balanced on it . From my blog and

    1. I try to keep the variables between casting sessions to a minimum, so I can correct any inconsistencies.

  3. Justin

    You seem to be getting good casts with the Model Metal - it's a pity it is so expensive.


    1. It's about #1.20 a figure for the Model Metal, which is better than many 28mm figures, metal or plastic. I make sure to buy it in lots where I receive a quantity discount. The recent 50% sale was also helpful as I bought metal with each mold purchase.

    2. Justin

      When I started this project the underlying desire was to recycle old figures, and I would say that over 90% of my armies are cast from unwanted figures, and offcuts. I use Model Metal for the heads, as the extra detail really shows.