Tuesday, March 5, 2013

More how to info

    I saw a mention on The Miniatures Page about the whole process of making things. It has been one of my goals to sort of pull back the curtain on the process and let folks see what goes on. So here is another post of semi-factual knowledge.  I think it is factual but it could be wrong.

  This book is a good starting point to learn the basics.

"Cutting costs in short-run plastics injection molding"

  I tried to add an Amazon link but they claim it is out of print. Try contacting the producer directly;


  Really helpful and explodes a lot of myths about the process.
  I worked at Harley Davidson Motor Company for 19 years. (until the evil one came and darkness fell across the land. Might be why I am so opposed to greed. )  It was supposed to be a major company, but if you got right down to it most of the time we were flying by the seat of our pants. It always amazed me that anything ever got done. The slap dash manner of making things was hidden behind a veneer of chrome and leather. I could tell you stories.......

  The shop has become a nice refuge from the normal work environment. It has all the things the big factories have. A warehouse space;

Mold storage;

And machines;

   This last machine keeps you on your toes. I have spoken before about its seemingly sentient manner and ability to malfunction at just the wrong time. Lately it has been doing better. It has an auto oiling system that REALLY takes its job seriously. So seriously that it seems determined to lubricate everything in its path. If you get a base with a bit of oil on it this is the reason why. It is hard to find equipment this dedicated.
  The fastest I ever tried to run it was an amazing 14.7 seconds per sprue. This caused a bit of stress and it kept blowing the breaker. It has several cycles: cooling time, open time, close time, injection time. If you overlap the cycles and 2 timers are triggered at one time, sparks fly out of the bottom and it shuts down. A more reliable time is about 30 seconds per sprue.

  Currently on the to do list is a couple more widgets for some folks. This means the girls got bumped again. There is a logic to this. Widgets allow me to eat food and spend money on things like this GTO slot car I just built.

  Making odd plastic bits that I want to put on my table is more of a hobbythan a business. You need some smart people analyzing the market and figuring out what to make if you expect to break even..

  This building, which I really like, has not proven too popular. In spite of repeated requests to make 28mm stuff I have to say the demand is a bit underwhelming. So underwhelming, I have completely scrapped plans to make a 28mm tank.

So there is a bit of insight into making your own plastic shop.

  To sum up;

 1. Keep the machine spirit happy.
 2. Find someone smart to tell you what needs made.
 3. Buy a book to get started.
 4. Have a back up plan.

  And have fun.

 Back in the shop there is one more thing that I have been reluctant to address.

    About the time my beloved ducklings vanished I was thinking maybe they just flew away. Not sure why when I gave them plenty of food. Then I spotted 2 red foxes right out back scrounging around. It all made sense then.  These loathsome creatures murdered my ducks.  It is hard not to want to kill them.  These foxes are unaware of advances made in the area of firearms over the past hundred years.  Your average American can single handedly throw more lead than the entire 20th Maine regiment at Round Top.  While this could be curtailed by new legislation, at the current time it is not a good idea to randomly eat ducks if you are a fox. And an even worse idea when your skin has a monetary value. Although I guess numerous holes could lessen the price.  Have not seen them in weeks so maybe they left the area.

  In any event,  have a good week.  Spring time is on the way.   :)



  1. Will you bring back the Trencher Mk I, the Hetzer-like tank hunter and that tracked mobile artillery piece anytime soon?

    I have a gothic-SF army which would greatly benefit from that kind of armoured fire support!

  2. I'd love to have that kind of workspace available. Next house, perhaps...

    Sorry to see that the 28mm venture hasn't worked out for you. Hopefully you'll eventually sell enough of that building to make that mold worthwhile. In the meantime, the 15mm community will snap up pretty much anything you offer. :)

  3. Heh, you made me feel guilty enough to buy a few of the building. I'm trying to figure out what to do with the extra little bits that it comes with though - do you have any more example pictures?