Author Topic: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?  (Read 17793 times)

Offline Big Boris

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Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« on: December 14, 2011, 10:00:28 AM »
OK, keep it under control, no flaming GW here, I'm just interested in the number one issues with Finecast-style spincast resin as it's something I'm going to have to try to learn how to do successfully in order to get these dragons out.

So, here are the issues i'm aware of, excluding price as that doesn't come into it.
1) Airbubbles (and miscasts due to trapped air)
2) ripped out chunks of mould (GW were using the softer silicon moulds, I'm going to be using something with higher tear strength but which will still not be as good as black rubber in my opinion based on previous experience.Same moulds that WG may be switching to)
3) Mould slip?
4) Extreme amounts of spare venting, flash, etc.

Are these the main issues or is there something else plaguing those finecast things?

I'm not interested in scathing opinions of GW policy etc, I just want cold hard technical assessments of the castings that have been produced as spincast resin so I can be very much aware of what to look out for and try to eliminate it from the outset.



Offline Mr Marshall

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #1 on: December 14, 2011, 10:53:58 AM »
The other big issues that people seem to have with it are

a) softness, its a very very soft resin, modeling knives will cut it like butter.  This leads to things like staffs, sword blades etc being very bendy - not quite mageknight bendy but close

b) price - the normal complaint, switch to a cheaper material and charge more for it.

Also a lot of people had never experienced resin models before, so a lot of backlash was because it was different.




Offline caerban

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #2 on: December 14, 2011, 11:08:46 AM »
I'm basically backing up the comments of Mr Marshall here but:

Resin choice - I don't know enough about the technical issues invloved so perhaps the type of resin used was forced upon them by cost restrictions or by the nature of spincasting with resin or whatever but the quality of the resin seems to be a big issue and it's the one thing I can comment on having handled good quality resin stuff (the Dragon, HF's resin casts, Fenris' stuff in general) and Finecast. It feels flimsy, it bends near as bad as vinyl with the mildest application of heat (a warm sunny day makes a flimsy cast feel even less substantial). It kinds feels cheap and nasty. I think that's part and parcel of the problem people have been having with miscasts and warping. With a figure as substantial as the dragon I think it would be a mistake to go with too flimsy a resin. I honestly think correct resin choise is probably a key factor.

I wonder too if a lack of technical experience (coupled with the pressure of somewhat precipitous release schedule) has also led to early demoulding leading to further problems of shape warping. I think correct duration in the mould is even more vital in resin casting.
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Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #3 on: December 14, 2011, 11:13:15 AM »
Well, price is not a factor here, I'll charge what I need to make a profit on it but not until down the line - primarily this is just a means of getting a few of the finicky dragon parts out quickly and saving Ian some of the nightmare workload he's currently facing from all the dragon heads, tails, etc. So the price in this particular instance has already been paid for by the people in the dragon queue, i just* need to develop a good spincasting method to get things moving. The parts in question aren't exactly thin - apart from the Dragon's teeth! (And if they piss about much more, they'll be done in metal. That'll learn 'em.)

To begin with, I'll be attempting to use the same resin Ian has used so far for the Dragon, once I can get hold of a sample amount, or get enough funds together to buy some in.


*Obviously there is more to it than the word 'just' can convey, or everyone would be doing it already.

Offline zemjw

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2011, 11:34:41 AM »
There's a casting group over at yahoo that has been going for years - http://groups.yahoo.com/group/casting/. It might be worth asking the question over there as well.

My personal finecast experience is down to one figure - Malagor the Dark Omen(*). Five or six attempts in, I still haven't got a complete figure, and am now resigned to sculpting the fingers that have been missing on every model  :(

Vents are definitely something to watch. Malagor seems to have loads where they're not needed (big support structure around his staff), and none where they are - very fine fingers on his left hand, which is where the main problems have been

* This was bought just last week, as I decided to wait until the teething troubles were fixed. They ain't fixed yet :(

Offline Thantos

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2011, 07:00:31 PM »
Have you spoken to Ed Fortea, Andy? Hes pretty much mastered spincasting resin, and its the hard plasticy resin, not soft stuff. GW could learn a thing or two.
Nice guy too, may be able to offer some advice ... or as an outsourcing option. Hes very good value .. i have a price thingey here somewhere....

Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2011, 07:05:19 PM »
He's stopped answering my messages, unfortunately!

Offline Gangrel

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2011, 07:24:06 PM »
OK, not being a GW junkie I have no axe to grind, but issues I'm aware of from my VERY few encounters are waaaaay too many vents; more than would ever be needed on a mould for metal minis. Cloaks and similar plane surfaces being thin to the point of being transparent/holed. The detail being so soft that a long fingernail can scratch it  off. In addition to the number of bubbles & gaps in casting.
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Offline weareblind

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #8 on: December 14, 2011, 07:28:14 PM »
The detail being so soft that a long fingernail can scratch it  off.
For me too.
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Offline Beastlord

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #9 on: December 14, 2011, 11:19:09 PM »
I have only one finecast miniature, but for me the main issues are:
-The amount of cleanup required (vents, flash, mouldlines) compared to Hasslefree or McVey.
-The softness of the resin - its really bendy!
-The difficulty in finding a half decent cast in the shop....
-The fact that it seems to be so much more expensive than metal - Finecast prices are comparable to the McVey minis I have and they cannot compete on any level... I dont understand how that works  :shrug:
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Offline Sir Chiddlington-Smythe

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2011, 08:46:37 PM »
A friend bought me a fine cast mini and one thing I found which no one had brought up yet is the paint doesn't seem to want to stick.

Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2011, 10:05:35 PM »
You should have washed it in warm soapy water, with a toothbrush, to remove the surface layer of residue. Resin is pretty annoying in that respect.

Offline Wanderer

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2011, 12:33:19 PM »
I've picked up a few out of interest as they've developed their processes, and watched the stocks run through in store to see the changes being made to their moulds over time. To start off with they tried casting them exactly the same as you would  metal mini, with the same vents. The main problem with that was that air bubbles stick in the extremities, chins, weapon tips, edges of detail, and so on, as well as collecting all the way around the mould join. As they've developed you can see many additional vents being added to the extremities, and larger flow channels being added in other areas you wouldn't see on a metal mini or even a plastic sprue (I'm guessing they're just to get the resin moving and shift the stubborn air bubbles around the circumference of the model), they still haven't achieved perfection though and you still see bubbles, especially on blade edges or other thin details but also the odd large one around the mould line of the main bulk of the model.

The downside of all the additional vents is that they can obliterate the very detail they're trying to save, and I've seen that on a few Finecast models now where they look almost hairy with all the vent flash...

Another issue with Finecast for me is that they've knowingly chosen a material that has issues as soon as the temperature gets to 32c based on cost. That sort of temperature is not all that common here in the UK but is in plenty of the places around the world where they're trying to hawk the stuff...
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Offline Gangrel

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #13 on: December 16, 2011, 12:46:33 PM »
BTW is Finecast centrifugally cast? When it was launched a lot of people were talking about it being some form of injection moulding.
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Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #14 on: December 16, 2011, 01:00:55 PM »
Yes, it is.

Offline Gangrel

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #15 on: December 16, 2011, 01:14:53 PM »
Yes, it is.

Fair enough then. The injection moulding rumours probably arose from the fact that those sprues look more like injecton moulding sprues than the metal channel on a traditonal metal figure.
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Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #16 on: December 16, 2011, 01:18:51 PM »
GW massively overvented all their metal moulds to ensure they could get a good cast every time, even if it wasted a lot of metal, etc. Reckon the frame is there on the finecast stuff to absorb excess air and someone thought they may as well use the  plastic frames they had easy access to rather than cut it in each time, style of thing.

Offline Sir Chiddlington-Smythe

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #17 on: December 16, 2011, 07:15:19 PM »
You should have washed it in warm soapy water, with a toothbrush, to remove the surface layer of residue. Resin is pretty annoying in that respect.

I guess what with everything else it was the straw that broke the camel's back. If I wasn't so annoyed already I probably would have gone to the trouble of doing this.

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #18 on: December 17, 2011, 09:47:36 AM »
Yes, it is.
Are you absolutely sure? I have a warlock sprue here that has a distinct pour line as if the sprue was stood on end, its perfectly concaved so by looking at it lends me to believe it couldn't have formed if the sprue was on its side.

Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #19 on: December 17, 2011, 10:16:04 AM »
pretty damned sure, yes. GW invested a lot of money in their spincasting rig and weren't about to bin it. The whole idea was to achieve the Holy Grail of spincasting plastic. of course, they should have just gotten some plastics experts involved, like Ed from Trollforged, but they were instead reliant on people who just knew a lot about resin.

If they weren't spincasting, they wouldn't be buying spincast moulds from the company that I buy them from...

Got a pic? I suspect that what you call a pour line may be just trapped air or not enough resin put into the mould, etc. Don't know though, without seeing exactly what you mean.

Offline Gangrel

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #20 on: December 17, 2011, 01:02:21 PM »
There certainly seems to be something odd about whatever it is they're doing. Figures have been altered to have less undercuts, as if the moulds are less flexible than the usual centrifugal ones. Somewhere out there there are sites with metal versus Finecast comparisons of the same mini. Some of the changes are quite significant.
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Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #21 on: December 17, 2011, 01:30:16 PM »
Silicon moulds do not like undercuts at all. GW have been using soft silicon, which has even less tear strength than the ones I occasionally use - anything that is undercut stands an extremely good chance of ripping out of the mould unless handled extremely carefully and tenderly, and even then it'll still do it.

You can drag a fingernail along a silicon mould and leave an impression. In my opinion, they aren't very good for mass-production - not on the scale that GW must employ them at least, which must be many hundreds/thousands times greater than any spins we do at Heresy. I am expecting to get maybe 20 or 30 spins out of the dragon moulds in resin before they start messing about. But then I only have to get 200 dragons out of them in total, so I can make several sets of moulds and do the job, eg a mould with ten dragon heads on, so only 20 spins needed.

This of course, is once I've found the money to buy a new vulcanising press that will take a bigger mould can, and a new bigger, deeper mould can. looking at circa 5,000 to find there, so it will depend on house selling.

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #22 on: December 17, 2011, 05:24:39 PM »
yeah, not a very good one though.

Offline Big Ned

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #23 on: December 17, 2011, 06:38:47 PM »
Wouldn't you get that kind of cavity if there wasn't quite enough resin added in the first place and it set at full spin?

With it being perfectly circular it would suggest to me that it's a result of centrifugal force.

Offline Big Boris

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Re: Spincasting resin- what's the worst thing about it?
« Reply #24 on: December 17, 2011, 07:53:56 PM »
Yup. Centrifugal alright.