The stress of miniatures (The dreaded lead/resin mountain)
So our last blog we had spoke about the painting contest and how many ships I had to cast, the mold process of how many molds I had to make to keep the molds fresh and not overuse them. This is valuable experience I needed to have it, and it proved a good test. Even today I still have a a few ships left from the contest, these are the miscast ships. But I learned a system of how to store the ships what bins to put the ships into, develop a system of my grades, inspect each ship as it comes out of the mold for any imperfections, bubbles are visible lines that makes the ship unsaleable.
Where I am talking about product control keeping an idea of how to make a good product and keeping product control to make sure that the product stays a good product. Now while I do this for painting contest they should just been happy to get free ships, test myself see if I can handle the stress of miniatures.
For weeks I spent 20+ hours a week casting miniatures, to get to the numbers I’d need to send to all the people I had, and to make new molds. I had to have different mold groups so the molds were not overcast and were out to quickly. I’m not going to teach anyone about the mold making process but what happens in a nutshell the Thermo heat of the resin creates stress on the mold, and the very fact that you’re taking a hardened piece of resin plastic out of the mold it can tear the mold apart. Now some companies use the really ultra hard silicone, they call that silicone tin cure hardens very hard last forever.
It could be like making a mold out of a tire, it’s hard stuff. And some companies have become masters of having developed techniques where they get some type of detail out of it. We on the other hand we use platinum cure silicone the best stuff that we get our hands on other than dental silicone, and it can be very expensive. If we get so many pulls or cast out of so many molds it’s a good day. So I’ve learned how to make groups to save the molds often, thereby reusing them in a particular matter to make them last longer.
Silicone can be very expensive too but it’s what brings the details in and so it’s what matters. Now having said some of our earlier blogs I’ve talked about the little details and why it makes a difference. That’s why we use the platinum cure silicone so it shows the little details and it makes a difference. So the gamer or miniature collector can paint a better ship, see a better ship, enjoy the ship with little richer details.
But not all things went well in the land of the stress and the miniatures, see I got the point where spending money on silicone was becoming problematic as it was Christmas and I have children and I should’ve thought this out better I was sending all these expensive mailing overseas packages. My family still had a Christmas and I still delivered to our contestants. Those also stressful, and it taught lessons to keep your word deliver on what you promise.
I’m still recovering from Christmas and the money I spent on the making the molds. So I try to make the molds last a little longer and this is the reason why things were a little out-of-control at the end and why I quit sending out ships. I have certainly used too much mold release and there was a mold release build up in the mold.
I’ve should’ve known better but I was trying to make them last longer. I was running out of money and I still had to buy Christmas gifts for my family so I used mold release and the silicone became hard. The miniatures became shiny with release agent and would not wash off. I did not realize this was a problem until I saw what people were going through during the painting contest and saw the build up.
It’s not easy talking about this it was my mistake, even at the pictures I see now I can see the build up in the molds which affected the whole ship process. I know how to fix this in the future and it’s having the infrastructure of the mold system in play so the molds don’t become overused and worn out to quickly yet the ships still maintain being a great product of quality with good quality control. Some lessons you have to learn on your own throughout the process can you handle the stress of doing what you promised?
I can happily to say that many people received their ships for the painting contest and we have seen many great pictures of people who work of the painted ships they’ve done. At the end I do feel that I made a grade with this and it was a success and now we’re moving forward.
To stay with us as we talk about the molds in the next blog.