…and a cast of thousands.
That’s a famous movie intro tag from when I was a kid. (Ben Hur, Moses and The Ten Commandments, etc.) In this case the “cast” is a bit different. No Charleston Heston. Yes, a pun.
The process here is casting pewter into a mold. Perhaps thousands could be made given enough time. What I find interesting is the use of a rubber mold. When I was much younger I remember toy soldiers cast in metal molds. (The metal ones are still available.)
The mold shown here looks like it was made with hot vulcanized rubber but hot metal casting process is also shown to work with RTV (Room Temperature Vulcanization) rubber. Of course metal and plaster molds can be used.
You will notice a few have short guns. The pour was a bit too cold and the flow didn’t get to the end of the rifle. Thin parts like that are tough to fill. I cast many more than shown here (just remelted them) before I got the process right.
All I did for the pictures was cut off the sprue while still hot and then file the flash from the bottom so each one would stand up. No clean up of the casting at this point.
My plan is not to make toy soldiers. This is just an inexpensive all-in-one kit I bought on sale to get the “hang” of casting pewter. I plan to make and cast my own mold designs and perhaps offer them for sale (the molds and what they make).
I choose pewter and this variety is lead free. There is so much concern about the “dangers” of lead, it is not a good idea to offer it to the public. Of course the other metals in pewter are not intended for ingestion either. Lead is the softest and will rub off on handling. Lead free pewter is OK for use with contact with food. The old world pewter had lead as a major ingredient. We live longer now that we are smarter.