Wednesday, 22 April 2009

Ready to go?

Well finished the last officer, so he'll be off along with his chums to populate a production mould. Then its time to do some painting, suspect the blog will be quiet as a result for a while.



Saturday, 18 April 2009

Casting Figures

First, thanks for the positive comments about the Hussar's, its nice to get some feedback. I note that several of you appear to be suggesting that you would like some of these figures yourselves. To that end I thought it would be worthwhile putting up a post about the ins and outs of such a move.

For those of you that have followed this Blog from the start, this is very much a personal exercise in attempting to make figures in a style which I can't get commercially. At the same time I'm enjoying learning how to sculpt as an alternative to painting all the time.

A while back I decided that I wouldn't continue with much "drop" casting as, for the number of figures that I want it takes too much time and is pretty dull work. I've therefore gone down the route of using a professional casting service and proper "production moulds" just the same as commercial ranges. I must admit I've been pleased with the results.

In cost terms its not too bad, a bit of a luxury, but acceptable if your getting a reasonable number cast. The "capital" cost of the mould being spread over a number of castings.

However in normal circumstances getting figures cast in a commercial way is a two stage process, you first make a "master" mould and then use this to make castings to populate a "production" mould. You can normally get 16 figs in a production mould. Obviously getting two moulds made in this way costs more, and thus unless you're casting a lot of the same figure (100+) then its quite expensive. Now for a commercial range that's fine, but given that I'm making these for myself I need to think carefully about what I put in any given mould.

For the hussars I had intended to only make one production mould, containing 13 castings of the basic trooper (for which I already have a master mould), and 1 each of the two officers and the trumpeter I'm currently working on, making a total of 16 and filling the mould. Because I only intend to have one each of the other types, I can skip the master mould cost and just put the masters I'm currently making into the production mould. This is a significant saving for me, when you consider I'll probably only ever want a limited number of hussars.

In this format two spins of the mould will give me a unit of 24 troopers, 4 officers and 2 trumpeters along with two spare troopers for casualty figures or such like, which is ideal for me.

Sorry bit of a ramble all this, but I wanted to make it clear the limitations of my current approach.

Now having said all this, cutting to the point.

I have no objection to getting extra figures cast up if people want them, the moulds will be there anyway, so it doesn't make any difference to me, I just need to ask the casters for more figures. For information I think the cost (based on some "back of an envelope calculations") would likely be comparable to commercial ranges like elite or connoisseur. However, unless a lot of people do want the figures it isn't going to be worth my while making up additional moulds, so you'd be stuck with getting figures in the format I've outlined. Obviously if a lot of figures were required then I could rethink the mould format and this would give more flexibility. But as it stands I'm afraid "5 officers only" as an order wouldn't work for me, as hopefully you will be able to see.

If I do go down this route, to be clear, I'm not interested in making any money, just not costing myself anything for doing somebody a favour.

Anyway, I'll await some reaction to this post and reflect accordingly.

Thursday, 16 April 2009

Steady lads!

Well here is the first officer figure, a conversion from the basic trooper. I intend to use this as both an officer and with a little bit of arm bending and hand modification as a standard bearer as well. For the number of figures I need it isn't worth actually casting both variants, so I'll just cast this figure as is and then modify the required number post casting for standard bearer duties.

One more officer to go and they can go off to the casters for the production mould.

Friday, 10 April 2009

Sound the Charge!

I've now finished the trumpeter master figure as well. I was able to re-use the original legs and saddle from the Hussar figure as they survived relatively intact from the previous master mould. (You can see the "donated parts" in the photos, as the moulding process dyes the greenstuff darker). The upper torso etc is all new however.

I'm planning a couple of officer conversions of the basic hussar (which should be more straightforward than this figure). After I've done that they'll all be going into a production mould.