r3n0
United States
California
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I am interested in recreating some missing game pieces from some of my board games. Mainly minatures, and i will need to make about 100 (I am missing an ENTIRE color from shogun/samurai swords.

Any suggestions how to do this cheaply?


I tried to search the forums but didn't come up with anything.
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Robert Wesley
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Aberdeen
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Had you even considered with checking out the 'parts' listings here for any?
http://www.boardgamegeek.com/collection/items/boardgame/221?...
Try as many that were nearby to YOU there on that.
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r3n0
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i was not aware of the 'parts' listing, thanks, but i would still like to kmnow how to recreate game pieces for other games and misc projects.
 
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Jooky
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Canton
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You should be able to find out information on casting by doing a google search. I would imagine making some RTV molds of the pieces you want should be fairly straight forward, You could then make castings in a variety of different hobby resins. Hobby Lobby stores generally have a nice selection of casting stuff, of course you could always try a local hobby store. Be forewarned, casting is not really cheap and there is a learning curve. You may be better off trying to find replacement pieces. But, if you are serious about casting there is quite a lot of info out there on the web.
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Jonathan S.
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As far as i know, there is no cheap way to cast miniatures, unfortunately.

Simply casting simple terrain elements using molds like those sold by HirstArts already demands a non-trivial investment of money and time.
Miniatures are WAY more complicated to manufacture due to their complex shape and thinness.

So if you consider :
- The cost of the duplicating/casting materials (Silicone RTV / Resin / Metal)
- The kind of apparatus you would need to cast miniatures efficiently (you can't simply cast miniatures by pouring resin, you need to use injection or spin molding = very expensive machines that most miniatures companies don't even have themselves)
- The time investment in actually making molds, injections and perfecting techniques, resin mixes and so on.....

...let's just say you would be better off buying a second copy of your games or trying to trade for parts on BGG.

Hope it helps.
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Robert Wesley
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Then look up "alumalite casting" on this to then see what you'll be getting yourself "into" on that aspect. Now, you will have to provide the MOLD for casting upon anything yourself with that, so it means generally providing an initial 'cast' item for what you wished to duplicate in this manner. That also presumes that you will be making enough to offset the $$$ cost for where it were worthwhile on it all. I tend to take something that were pre-existing with as many items that this shall contain, and affix these into yet another that I have in 'mind' for that. Sometimes, it will involve shaping this using files, sandpaper, emery boards, a saw, or knife, and painstakingly "attention to details", until it ends up being what I had begun on that with everything this entailed. Good luck on yours there.
cool
 
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Alex Treacher
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Moorlinch
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Blacktales wrote:
- The kind of apparatus you would need to cast miniatures efficiently (you can't simply cast miniatures by pouring resin, you need to use injection or spin molding = very expensive machines that most miniatures companies don't even have themselves)


I'd largely agree with Jonathan's comments, but would add that there are alternatives to resin. I've done a considerable amount of moulding of figures (years ago) with lead alloy - which has now been replaced by lead-free alloys, which I've not yet had cause to use. If you're working on a small number of figures (and the OP's hundred or so qualifies as small!) then you can do it by hand with drop-moulds rather than centrifugal ones.

But...

It's still not cheap; the cost of the mould rubber is quite high and the metal itself costs a bit, but is relatively cheap by comparison to the rubber. The equipment for heating and pouring the metal needn't be expensive. The time and effort involved, however, is not inconsiderable.

If the miniatures you need are available for purchase it's entirely likely to be far more economical to just buy them! (Given that the Shogun miniatures that the OP is referring to aren't available from the manufacturer then we can arguably let the issue of copyright infringement slide since his set would be for personal use.) The figures that I was involved in making were custom pieces that a friend and I had designed and sculpted - so there was no other option... Plus, it was fun and an interesting skill to learn anyway.

There are numerous sellers on eBay that sell spare Shogun miniatures. I bought a small number from one myself last year to replace some damaged ones in the second-hand copy that I bought. If you contact one and discuss buying a whole army then you should be able to negotiate a significant discount.
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r3n0
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Thanks for all the info guys. I used shogun as an example of what I would recreate with molding but what I am really interested in is trying the process of molding and getting some experience making molds. I have never made any kind of molds and its something that i have always wanted to learn how to do since I am a very DIY kind of person. Thanks for the useful info.
 
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Jonathan "Gorno" Fashena
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Resin casting isn't all that expensive, nor do you need any machinery, but it is a smelly, stinky, pain, with a learning curve and likely-to-disappoint results. (We really need to create a DIY database for this topic, since it recurs so often.) For your missing pieces, I heartily endorse buying them as extras! Anyway, HirstArts.com is a great learning resource for resin casting.

Here are entry-level options for resin-casting:

Remember that Michael's crafts has a 40%-off-one-item coupon in their circular every week... On the left is an equal-mix clear epoxy resin kit, about 12$ -- with this and printed cardstock molds (I have to get around to writing a post about that), one can get started at resin casting simple geometric bits. In the center is mold-building glop to make a mold from an original, also about 12$ -- one can also use silicon/latex caulk and other unconventional alternatives. On the right are the next step up in clear resin, a bigger jug of stinky resin for 20$ and a container of activator catalyst for 8$. One can paint clear resin, or buy clear dye (not shown, 8$), to give it a tint, or possibly mix in acrylic paint for a solid color. (Opaque resin seems to only be available in 30-50$ gallon jugs.)

Gorno
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StevenE Smooth Sailing...
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I think this is a legitimate avenue.

I use Smooth-On products, MoldMax 30 and SmoothCast 300, to make my reproductions.

Casting parts or miniatures is a moderately expensive hobby to get into but once you've committed the possibilities are endless. YouTube has some good references. I personally cast using RTV molds and then cast in resin. I have about $240 in materials (resin and RTV) and $50 in tools and containers.

I have also considered casting in metals but found the needed materials not conducive to appartment living. The RTV and resin products I can easily work with on the balcony.

The level of production you want to take the hobby to is only limited by your budget. You can get into vacuum/preasure systems and spin casting for a small sum, maybe $100-$200 per system. DIY injection molding is a possibility also, but getting the dies created can be very expensive.

The casting materials/products available on the market today allow for magnificient capturing of detail without noticiable shrinkage or distortion.

Some of the castings I have made are difficult to discern from the originals without handling... From 3ft it is almost impossible.

I second a DIY database.

I am getting ready to embark on a new casting project and will document the processes I use over the next month or two.
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