Saturday, December 29, 2012

40mm Zinnbrigade conversions

  Over the holidays I came across a blog that mentioned converting Zinnbrigade figures using Little Britons heads.  Zinnbrigade figures are 40mm homecast figures and Little Britons are a line of unassembled figures from the Shiny Toy Soldier line found at the Spencer Smith miniature page.

    I have many of the Zinnbrigade molds, and last year I came across in a job lot of old toy soldiers a bunch of heads with plug bases. What's more several of them seemed to be 40mm. At the time I was experimenting with mold making, and so made a mold using a couple of the heads.  After molding a few of the heads and attaching them to some of my Zinnbrigade figures to see how they worked, I put the figures aside and went back to casting 15mm figures.

       The story on the other blog peaked my interest and I dug out the figures I casted. One reason I started out with Zinnbrigade figures was the possibility of using them for Little Wars. After looking at the conversion figures, and the fact that the "Little Britons" line has a 4.7 cannon, it might be time to revisit these figures.

3 converted Zinnbrigade figures with  original
close up of an original and converted figure 

Thursday, December 20, 2012

First series done

I have finally completed the first series of molds using the newest RTV rubber. I was able to produce 15 molds.The cost of the rubber, including shipping & handling was around $50.00. That comes to a little over $3.33 per mold. That is better than the nearly $12.00+ per mold with the previous rubber used. Still, some of the figures are pretty useless. I sent a batch to the person who lent me the original master figures to get some independent feedback.

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

New Recruits

After some more work on the molds, while not perfect, most present usable figures. He are a couple of photos of quickly painted samples, one of Napoleon, and a couple of Mounted British officers. The helmets should have spikes on top; the originial didn't have much of one to begin with.

Saturday, December 8, 2012

To Tell the Truth

    If you have a blog that you tell people how to do something, say make toy soldier molds, and by following your own directions, the project appears to be an utter failure, do you come clean and write of that failure?  That is the situation I found myself in earlier today.

  As I mentioned earlier, I had been producing 2 molds a day. On Friday I finished the molds for the selected figures, a total of 12 molds. This last week I had been getting out of bed 1/2 hour earlier than normal (at 4:00a.m. instead of 4:30a.m.) to pour the mold halves. It seemed well worth it to finish these molds.

What's more, on arriving home from work the much anticipated metal was in the mailbox. I quickly got the dog out for her walk, then settled in to start the casting.  As the metal melted I prepared the first 3 molds for casting.  The first casting didn't come out, as usual. However, as the afternoon wore on,only a couple of usable figures were produced. Even vents cut into the molds didn't improve the results.

 I called it quits after over an hour of failure. I went to sulk over this turn of events. I figured in the morning I would try again, using only 3 of the molds that looked best. Meanwhile, I enlarged the opening hoping that the increased metal would help.

Saturday morning was another dismal failure; this time a couple of figures, but not worth the effort. I ran everything through my head, why are these figures failing when I had reasonable success before? I did not want to think it is the rubber, as the new rubber is easier to use than the last couple of rubbers. I started thinking of different metal, so I googled the toy soldier companies that deal in molds and supplies. While doing so I came across a video by Prince August Co. " Proper venting of molds". After watching this video, I realized I had not vented the molds properly.  After venting the 3 molds I had tried that morning, I once again heated up the metal. In the first run, two out of three molds produced usable figures. By the end of an hour, I had a nice little stack of usable figures.

 Of course, one must understand the figures are usable to me for my wants; if one knows the detailing of Peter Laings, and then realize that there is less detail on my figures, it will become obvious that the is no money to be made from my production.  And as I mentioned in an earlier posting, if you are seriously thinking of making your own molds, there are websites with better information than this.

Thursday, December 6, 2012

30mm Wollner Austrians

I am trying to figure out how to post photos to this blog so I figured to use some newly acquired figures as my first effort. They were advertised as Wollner Austrians, although I think they might be recasts by Kober. I don't know much about Wollners, but they do look pretty new.  These pictures were taken with a cell phone.

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Today's progress

In the last couple of days I have managed to produce 2 molds a day. If I can keep this up my planned molds will be done by Friday. Now if the casting metal on order comes in by then, Saturday will be used for casting.

My next project is to figure out how to take pictures and post them on this blog.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Peter Laing mold making

The newest project I am working on is making molds of old Peter Laing figures. I have been casing toy soldiers off and on for close to 30 years. I also tried molding some 20 years ago, without much success.
   Like most wargamers one of my earliest books was "Little Wars". Of course the artwork caught my attention.  So when I found out that Peter Laing had Victorian Parade figures, I started looking for them. Off and on for a couple of years the search went on without luck. Several people kindly gave me Peter Laings from different periods and I found some on Ebay; however the Victorian parade figures eluded me. However, I eventually managed to trade some of the PL figures for Victorian parade figures. However, I got mainly individual figures.  Obviously at that rate I woulld be dead before I could ever get enough figures for units. What to do? This led to my decision  to make my own molds.
    In the last half year I have made about 10 molds, with various success. It seems with each mold I learn a little more. In the following blogs I will show the making of the newest molds.  These molds are to cast figures for someone I have traded with in the past year. I don't see this as a "how to" blog, as there are better sites on how to make molds. It's more of a " don't make the same mistakes i made" blog.

Saturday, December 1, 2012

The reason why

Why  am I making this blog? Simply so I can stop boring people w who have absolutely no interest in my hobby, mainly my family. When I bring up what my newest project is, they humor me by listening, when they could really care less about 15mm Peter Laings, my newest Ebay find, or some fact of a little known war. First clue is the glazing of the eyes.

But the final straw was when I found myself going endlessly on in emails to someone I  know only from trading figures about my newest project. He graciously answered my emails and by his response actually read them. I think that he might want to use his time in another way, hence this blog.

For now on I'll try to keep emails to the business at hand, and family gathering in catching up to what's going on with my family's lives. If anyone acts like the want to know what's new with my hobby, I shall direct them to this blog.

I can now tell millions about my hobby; maybe someone will actually be interested.