Home Castings

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6 thoughts on “Home Castings”

  1. please note:

    Home castings are made using the gravity, or ‘drop casting’ method, where melted lead is poured in to a rubber mold from a hot ladle. Please see the Making Toy Soldiers page for the details of casting.

  2. Drop Casting is difficult because you are counting on gravity to fill all of the detail areas of the soldier, hands, helmets, instruments, etc. and these are the areas where air pockets are most likely to form, causing a loss of critical detail and an unusable casting. So you remelt the lead soldier and try again.

  3. Nearly all Toy Soldier Manufacturer’s, whether they make painted finished soldiers, or kits to be painted, cast the figures using the machine casting, or spinning method. These machine casting molds are generally round, with the metal pouring hole in the center of the rubber mold. The casting metal, whether pewter, lead, or alloy is poured from a reservoir in the center of the machine into the mold as the mold is spun, like a vinyl record in a record player. The centrifugal force of the spinning mold drives the molten metal into the far crevices of the mold, forcing out any small air pockets. The machine made castings are usually multiple figures arranged around the outside of the record, and unless a problem occurs with the process, they cast perfectly with each pour of molten metal.

  4. how do you make your molds or are they off the self

    • For the scratch built figures, I carved the originals from two part plumbers epoxy, then old glory miniatures vulcanized the rubber molds for me and then machine cast the pieces.
      For the figures I made by home casting, I purchased those molds from Dunken Mold company. They sell the black rubber mold for pouring lead alloy into and make the casting.
      After carving some simple masters of my own, I gained great appreciation for the artists who do this professionally!
      My favorite American Kit company is Imrie-Risley. Their artists carved the masters, made the molds and machine cast the figures ready for us to paint.

  5. You can see the full proceedure for casting toy soldiers in the ‘making toy soldiers’ in the categories on the left side of the page.

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