A while ago we invested in a new bit of kit, a pressure casting vessel – basically a big cast metal bucket with a lid that can be bolted down. If you haven’t come across one before, the idea is that you put resin castings in it before they cure, bolt the lid down and put them under pressure via an air compressor. Many companies produce resin castings use them – we felt a bit left out and had to have one! They improve the quality of resin castings by either removing or at least considerably shrinking any air bubbles. It’s not perfect – you can still get the odd air bubble, and depending on the shape of a model we might need to cut channels for air to escape from, but it’s an order of magnitude better than simple gravity-fed drop castings.
Not only has it improved the quality of our existing models as we remould them, but it’s allowed us to cast things we wouldn’t have attempted previously. We’ve been remaking some of our models that were metal castings into resin parts – in particular larger pieces. We’ve taken a number of multi-part spaceships that were tricky to assemble, and converted them to single piece resin hulls instead (still with separate metal turrets and other bits). This includes several British capital ships and the Neo-Soviet Voroshilov battleship, thus saving you lots of filing and filling to fit the hull halves together. Being much lighter, they’re also easier to base now.
We’ve also converted a number of the larger buildings in the Small Scale Scenery range, including some of the Industrial and Dockyard buildings, the English Civic Buildings and the large church. They’re easier to cast for us, and easier to clean up and handle for you – everyone’s a winner!
There are still a few more to be done – we have masters for more British spaceships (the Colossus battleship and Fearless assault ship are next) which will be phased in during the first part of next year.