Sunday, 13 October 2013

News from Scotland - metal casting practise

Thought it might be interesting to post up some of my brother's progress in his metal casting with Prince August moulds...

This 3 piece mould kit from Prince August produces a 54mm , 10 piece, white metal model kit of a 10th Hussars ( Prince of Wales Own) Kettle Drummer...

Although no specific date is given, the drummer is wearing a busby which was replaced by the Shako somewhere around 1812/13 and it was not uncommon for both styles to be worn by troopers in the same unit at the same time. This also applies to other uniform changes of the time, particularly the colours of the uniform trimmings. This model would be OK for a Napoleonic scenario.

It took some time and multiple failed castings to get the hang of it. The Lee production pot was a great help especially combined with a multimeter with a temperature probe which allowed me to play around with different temperatures as well as just getting used to the Lee pot.

The best castings were produced when:-

The moulds were preheated either by casting or by heating in the oven
The metal was in the range 320 - 395C when poured.
The insides of the moulds were well dusted with talcum powder.
The moulds were properly aligned and firmly clamped.
The mould was vigorously 'tapped' for 10 - 20 seconds while the metal was still liquid.
The casting was allowed to cool down properly before de-moulding.
Additional vents and reliefs were cut at critical points in the mould.

The moulds were quite good quality although the location of some of the sprues and the orientation of the pieces was questionable and in some cases ( especially the drum covers) they couldn't have located the sprue in a worse place. Even with a perfect casting, a lot of otherwise unnecessary work is needed to remove the remnants of the sprue right at the spot where the drum is supposed to locate. If they had just turned the covers upside down when making the mould there would have been no problem.

A descent start, I think, into metal casting and, based on the results from this second hand mould with some minor wear/damage, I'm confident that I can get some good castings from a new mould. I rather fancy the Prince August 54mm Napoleonic Cannon. (I might be able to flog some to that Molaterian rabble).


Nice stuff! I do like the Prince August stuff though I do find their catalogue of soldiers somewhat limited (and expensive). However, they do provide a great way to start your investigation into metal moulding with their range of 'beginners' kits.

Ian's done a lovely job here, particularly with documenting the process. His experience gathered from this practise casting means that when it comes to producing a metal 'Harry' he will be able to create the most efficient mould arrangement.

...So I better get my skates on and provide him with something to mould! :)

(And yes, Molatero would be very keen on acquiring some new cannon!)

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