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SamuraiJack

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Monsters in metal

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Pledge with the confidence in knowing we are very passionate and we aim to deliver the highest quality miniatures in the industry. 

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Solarus Scorped Hyperian Solarus Scorped Hyperian

 

Hellbleeder Hellbleeder

 

Gorak - Doomhammer Gorak - Doomhammer

 

Savage Yeti Savage Yeti

 

Lashwhip Demon Lashwhip Demon

 

 

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Models will be cast in a lead based alloy metal Models will be cast in a lead based alloy metal

 

Model will be cast in a lead based alloy metal Model will be cast in a lead based alloy metal

 

Model will be cast in a lead based alloy metal Model will be cast in a lead based alloy metal

 

Models will be cast in a lead based alloy metal Models will be cast in a lead based alloy metal

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There's no reason really, to use lead-based alloys any more... 

 

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5 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

There's no reason really, to use lead-based alloys any more... 

 

 

I disagree. Metal costs are significantly lower, especially for large figures. For short-run casting (too short to justify high-pressure injection molds for plastics) of large figures, the costs are significantly lower for lead than tin, and resin has a variety of problems of its own.

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Posted (edited)

And if you add in the 'freakout factor' for the Lead?

 

EDIT: Also, no one's ever used more than 15% Lead in Pewter.

('Food grade' fine Pewter typically used 4% Lead.)

So while LEad may be cheaper than Tin, you don't replace all that much Tin, really. 

 

'the biggest reason to use Lead is that it lowers the melting temperature of the Pewter, and that has a direct bearing on mould lifetime and size of vent channels in the mould. 

Edited by Gadgetman!
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11 minutes ago, Gadgetman! said:

And if you add in the 'freakout factor' for the Lead?

 

EDIT: Also, no one's ever used more than 15% Lead in Pewter.

('Food grade' fine Pewter typically used 4% Lead.)

So while LEad may be cheaper than Tin, you don't replace all that much Tin, really. 

 

'the biggest reason to use Lead is that it lowers the melting temperature of the Pewter, and that has a direct bearing on mould lifetime and size of vent channels in the mould. 

 

I don't have a freakout factor, though for a manufacturer, I recognize that such a thing exists in part of the audience. But then I was referring to your " There's no reason really, to use lead-based alloys any more..." and I stand by my response.

 

To your substantive points:

 

For a very long time, the lead content in nearly all gaming miniatures was much higher than 15% (70% +/- was pretty common in the 80s and 90s, though early on it was near 100%). Casting metal alloys were (and are, I suspect) both proprietary and fairly complex alloys of lead, tin, antimony, bismuth, and likely other metals. But lead was used for a variety of reasons, specifically including price, and the price advantage has increased with the increase of lead-free solder (spit), which has increased tin demand significantly.

 

 

Adding lead to tin does reduce the melting point, and that's an advantage, but you need quite a bit for a significant effect.

 

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3 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

There's no reason really, to use lead-based alloys any more... 

 

Brexit. Oathsworn is also using lead in their current Kickstarter.

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11 hours ago, Gadgetman! said:

There's no reason really, to use lead-based alloys any more... 

 

 

8 hours ago, etherial said:

Brexit. Oathsworn is also using lead in their current Kickstarter.

 

Yep - this!

The alloy we're using at the moment contains lead - the previous 'lead-free' one still had about 1% lead as far as I'm aware...

But thanks to the pound dropping against the dollar, the main alloy supplier most of us in the UK were using decided to no longer sell to the UK. So we've all had to look for alternatives; and the problem is that other suppliers have their own formulations for casting alloys, and most use lead. Plus, it's difficult finding suppliers who are happy to deal in kilos rather than tonnes...
 

So quite a lot of us are using alloys with lead in them now. With less tin content, they would've been slightly cheaper, but the weak pound means they are actually costing about the same, plus they're a bit heavier, so postage costs more.

Some people do have a bit of a lead phobia... but as you cannot absorb lead in it's metallic form, it's not an actual issue. Only lead oxide is harmful, so unless you heat it past boiling, or have really old unsealed minis with that white 'lead rot' on them and spent a lot of time licking it, you should be fine...
 

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...or if you handle lead minis for an extended period, such as in preparing them for the undercoat, what with filing and drilling and mould line scraping etc, and then go straight to eating fatty finger foods without washing your hands. Or grinding them into a powder and inhaling vigourously. (the latter also applies to many acrylic paints. "non-toxic" being a slightly relative term)

 

On the plus side, when surrounded by my old mini collection I am safe from radiation.

 

Seriously though. yes, there are alternatives to lead alloys nowadays that did not exist back in the day. Such as different types of resin casting and/or plastics, lead free alloys and whatnot. 

However, as pointed out in the earlier posts, it all boils down to cost. Resin is still rather more expensive than metal casting.

 

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Posted (edited)

So ... are you'all saying one should not sniff or lick ones miniatures? Is bathing or rolling in them ok?

Edited by Knight of the Dinner Table

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Posted (edited)

bathing and rolling is mosty safe, but painful. unless the "bath" is molten lead. in which case it probably is lethal.

 

sorry for getting off topic here....

 

Gorak Doomhammer is ace! See him as the Smith to the Fallen.

Edited by Maledrakh
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For bathing I reccommend miniatures NOT holding swords. Spear are usually OK because tey bend pretty easily, but swords tends to be sturdier. 

 

I think Mythbusters proved that you COULD bathe in molten lead, or at least take a very quick dip, as long as you first dipped in water....   

 

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5 hours ago, Lovejoy said:

Only lead oxide is harmful, so unless you heat it past boiling, or have really old unsealed minis with that white 'lead rot' on them and spent a lot of time licking it, you should be fine...
 

 

Functionally correct, though not actually correct. :rolleyes:

 

Lead rot is not oxidized lead, being rather an organic chemical, but metallic lead is not a problem.

 

For more info about lead rot, see this article.

 

3 hours ago, Maledrakh said:

...or if you handle lead minis for an extended period, such as in preparing them for the undercoat, what with filing and drilling and mould line scraping etc, and then go straight to eating fatty finger foods without washing your hands. Or grinding them into a powder and inhaling vigourously. (the latter also applies to many acrylic paints. "non-toxic" being a slightly relative term)

 

On the plus side, when surrounded by my old mini collection I am safe from radiation.

 

Nope, none of those is a particular problem (well, inhaling metal filings is a poor choice, but not because they're lead).

 

Bioavailability of metallic lead is very, very low. The New York thing included using a masticating machine to chew on lead miniatures and still couldn't get enough lead into its notional blood to be a problem. And years ago, when I talked to Jack from Ral Partha over dinner one time, he said that they were required to test monthly for lead levels in blood and that in 20 years (IIRC) they had never had a high level.

 

None of which should be construed as medical advice; talk to a doctor for that. And any choices you make are your own. But I know what I plan to do.

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Posted (edited)

As far as lead use goes, until Bones took off, Reaper was selling their P-65 line of castings, as a cheaper alternative to the standard pewter option, using a 65% lead alloy.

 

As has bene mentioned, high lead-content alloys were the standard for miniatures-manufacturing for quite a long time. The huge trend towards non-metallic casting media is fairly recent.

 

As far as this current campaign, I kind of dig the savage yeti sculpt.

Edited by klarg1
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