I've been running my own little business for a while now - Fox Box
. It started out as a bitz company specialising in Orks and whilst I don't intend to stop selling other kits as bitz I started to get interested in making my own parts. Lacking the knowledge and equipment to do my own casting I had a friend
help me with casting. That was all well and good until I moved away from Edinburgh. No longer could I walk to his flat and pick up copies.
So over the last few months I've put together my own casting rig:
It has a vacuum pump for pulling a strong vacuum and a hefty compressor to quickly bring it up to 60 PSI. As long as I design my mould correctly, use the right amount of resin, and don't dilly dally I can get perfect casts. That is to say no bubbles, no blisters, barely any mould lines (and often none at all - it depends on the mould design).
Here's the first mould I made, a copy of a sculpt I did:
It worked but turned out to be needlessly cautious. The amount of sprue is totally unnecessary for my technique, that sort of kidney.
Here's a copy from that mould:
Here's a shot of a couple of copies from a different mould design:
They were cast together in a single mould but it has its own issues (extracting from it is time sensitive - too soon and stuff bends, too late and it snaps) so I'm planning on creating a replacement for it in a bit.
More recently I've been attempting to scale up the copying of these parts:
The problem with casting is that I can do lots of resin at once, assuming I have moulds for it. Unfortunately my pressure chamber is round. It's a bit tricky to tetris stuff together and it slows things down. That might sound like a minor annoyance but 30 seconds makes all the difference when the resin only has 2 - 4 minutes until it starts to cure (the range depends on a variety of factors including temperature). If I want to degass the resin and then put pressure on it I need about two minutes, sometimes more, sometimes less.
Sooo, if I'm faffing about pouring resin into lots of little moulds that can easily take a minute to a minute and a half. Erk!
The solution? As with many other things in life, the answer is cake
Well, there's also the side effect of how firmly the silicone and parts were stuck in there:
I've yet to put together moulds for the heads and weapons but they should be comparatively easy.