Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Homecasting Experiment

        The new casting stove came in today, and with it 3 ingots of 10oz low melt metal.  I decided to try to find out roughly how many 15mm figures I could get out of 10oz of metal. Years ago I did the same with a pound of metal and a Prince August 25mm Napoleonic Prussian infantry mold. In that experiment I got over 40 figures.
       For this experiment I cleared all the scrap metal away from the work area to avoid the temptation of adding more metal. I would also use only one mold, that of the goose-stepping Germans, which has proven to be my best mold to date. Of course this would slow things down a bit as I had to wait for the metal to solidify between pouring and occasionally let the mold cool off for a few minutes.

    The new oven works as expected; one has to remember a new stove tends to smoke as it burns off excess oil! I also brought down a chemistry scale to get ballpark figures on the usage. It was a successful casting session. I used the entire ingot, occasionally adding the pouring spouts back into the pot. In the hour I produced 25 usable (and probably the best) casting. The 25 figures weigh around 2 oz.  The excess metal from the spouts and spill over weighed in at 8 oz. Sometimes it's necessary to skim the metal as slag(?) forms on the top and weakens figures if it gets in the mold. I skimmed this off and made a pile of it, which weighed in at 2oz. As the total came out to 12oz something seemed wrong, but weighing the other ingots showed they also weighed 12oz, so obviously an additional 2oz is added to account for slag.

  So if my math is correct there is the possibility of getting 125 infantry figures out of 1 ingot of metal, which costs around $8.00. That comes out to under  7 cents a figure.  I am now thinking of instead of using the scrap metal, spending the extra money on good metal.


  1. Sounds as if you have had an excellent time - well done.I look forward to seeing some of these castings in action hopefully very soon ...

  2. Hopefully I'm on the right track to casting quality figures. Most of the newest recruits are being shipped overseas to serve in other armies; these are being send to Ian Dury as thanks for giving me the goose-stepping German figures I used to make the mold..

  3. It's a lesson I hope to remember.