Sunday, November 3, 2019

Home-casting...old school.

Here was a nice surprise.  My brother-in-law gave me one of his childhood treasures - a Rapco soldier home-molding kit. 

 These kits were a real "dad and lad" thing from the 1940's into the late the good 
old days before we realized just how toxic lead is.

This is model 1295C from Rapco, Inc  of Chicago which started out as part of Rappaport Brothers home foundry.  Rapco manufactured kits like this through the mid-1960s.

I've had it for a while and this weekend the time seemed right to give it a whirl.  The kit is comprised of a little hot-plate melter, a ladle, one clamp and two, two-piece three cavity molds with handles.

The little hot plate hadn't been fired up in decades and just couldn't seem to develop enough heat to melt the lead.  I ended up using my mapp gas torch for the melting.

The first casts had very little detail, so I threw them back in the ladel to melt again.  In the meantime I applied the torch to the assembled and clamped mold.  By heating the metal of the mold the next pour was able to pick up much more detail.

The kit makes three Afrika Korps Krauts and three G.I.s.  I opted to take just one of the figures through to completion, and that's the soldier throwing a stick grenade.

Just popped out of the mold, super-shiny, with lots of flash to be trimmed off.

Fifteen-minutes with a nipper and file ended up giving me a pretty clean model.

He then went into the spray booth for an even coat of Tamiya gray primer.

This is the finished product, finished bright, and ready for battle.

This was a fun little experiment that produced a pretty satisfying result...ready to join the ranks out in the toy soldier studio.

Do any of you have a childhood memory of kits like this?  Let me know.

Until next time...

Soldier on!



Mike said...

I had a set much like this, and did cast a number of soldiers successfully. I cannot say what happened to the set, apparently it met the same fate as much of my stuff ("lost" while I was away).
Some years later, I bought a bullet mold, to cast longer "rifle" bullets, for a big lever action I owned.

There's something nearly primal about casting metal.

Brian Carrick said...

A fascinating post Manie, we didn't have any kits like that in England but one time we made slush cast toy soldiers in metalwork class at Secondary School. By the way, the DAK here are copies of the Charbens plastic figures and the GIs are copies of Timpo.

Mark, Man of TIN said...

A bit of casting heritage, Mannie, thanks for sharing.