Spin casting services for miniatures in metal, is still very much in use in the ‘mini’ ( miniature ) and tabletop wargaming industry today. Especially by independent and smaller companies.
Many companies still cast their unique 28 ‘mm’ models in ‘white metal’ and pewter to be sold to war games enthusiasts and miniature collectors.
Although white metal has a higher level of mystery around the alloy to buyers, older collectors still enjoy a classic weighty metal miniature. Even if what the alloy is made from is a mystery to all but those that cast it!
If you are considering your options for casting miniatures in White Metal or spin casting your latest miniature idea. Then this post will be helpful. The casting companies mentioned throughout this post are all based in the UK.
When taking the route of spin casting your miniatures you may wish to consider some of the following:
- Where to begin when considering Spin Casting for your latest miniature design
- What’s there to know about – spin casting services for miniatures in metal
- Do 28 ‘mm’ white meta miniatures use lead?
Disclaimer if you contact these 3rd parties and you use their services
The information contained on this page is for general information purposes only.
How these 3rd party spin casting companies cast their miniatures and what composite of metals they use in their casting process is known only to them.
Some of the spin casting companies in this list advertise their miniatures as being ‘lead free’. For guidance, it is advisable you discuss with your chosen casting company about the details of their metal casting process and materials – eg do they use lead?
If you intend to sell your miniatures you should avoid using lead in your miniatures as it is regarded as a hazardous material and no longer safe for public use.
Don’t use lead! You are responsible for the creation of your own miniatures. and if you are still unsure about its use, seek professional consultation.
The companies mentioned in this list are for guidance and information purposes only.
* In no event will dragonbonesgames.co.uk be liable for any loss or damage including without limitation, indirect or consequential loss or damage, loss or profits or injury based on these companies mentioned in this post or elsewhere on the website.
Spin casting services for miniatures in metal | What is Spin casting?
While the mould is being spun at high-velocity, the metal moves through channels and fills the hollow spaces of the mould.
Spin casting rotates a vulcanised rubber mould at high-speed while a molten liquid ( Such as as White Metal ) is poured into the mould.
When the metal cools and hardens. This produces the miniature or object that you wanted to cast. This video shows miniature spin casting in action.
What is ‘White Metal’ in miniature casting?
The name ‘White Metal’ in miniature casting is given to an alloy of metals that are melted together to make a new material. This material ‘can’ consist of lead, tin, bismuth and various metals suited to fine detail.
White Metal is a useful material as it has a certain amount of flexibility, is ideal for batch runs and holds detail.
While lead has a low melting point and tin retains some of its hardness and detail. The lead/tin mix was popular in the 1980’s but most companies use alternatives to lead now.
*It should also be mentioned that many companies now have found alternatives to ‘lead’ when using White Metal.
‘White Metal’ is ideal for casting 28 mm or 32 mm miniatures. So much so Games Workshop used it to make individual miniatures during the 1990’s.
Do they make miniatures from pewter?
Certain companies and individuals do make miniatures from pewter. Pewter can be a great material for casting a miniature as it is great for detail, affordable and doesn’t contain lead! ( or shouldn’t contain lead! )
That is why plates and tankards can be made from pewter. People eat and drink from them.
Spin Casting and other materials
‘Pure lead’ models have predominately stopped in the UK. Along with the rest of the western world, most miniature castors have fazed out using lead due to the fact that it is regarded as being poisonous!
Lead can have harmful effects if ingested and can be absorbed through your skin.
With this knowledge. Companies sort ways of adapting.
This is when miniature casters started to use alternative White Metals and alloys – more so for casting their miniatures. Although it should be noted that some miniatures may still contain a certain amount of lead. But they are mostly tin.
White Metal as a term can be quite ambiguous. Some White metal miniatures are said to be completely lead-free but contain a variety of other metals instead.
Many companies have started to favour resin casting or going straight in for casting miniatures in plastic.
But spin casting still remains one of the most viable and economic options for batch or mass producing miniatures. The more modern White Metal alloys tend to be safer too.
Who can spin cast miniatures in metal UK ? | List of services
Spin casting services in the UK for miniatures. This section offers information on miniature spin casters based in the UK.
Spin casting services for miniatures in metal are for those that are looking to mass or batch produce miniatures. It should be noted here that the companies mentioned are purely mentioned for information purposes.
If you are going further than just being curious and are actively looking to make and sell miniatures make sure to email the companies directly for up to date and accurate information.
Here is the list of ( some ) UK spin casting companies for miniatures!
4D Model Shop | White Metal Spin Casting
The 4D Model Shop offers white metal spin casting among other services. Their casting services are to a very high standard too! You can visit their website for further information about their guides, prices and information.
This 30 second ( approx) video shows the 4D Model Shop in action!
Griffin Moulds | White Metal Casting
“Griffin Moulds JJP Ltd specialise in centrifugal mould making and casting.” is the opening strapline of this Birmingham / UK based white metal casting company. Their services currently advertise that offer mould making and casting for miniatures.
Lancer Miniatures are another UK based White Metal casting company dedicated to wargaming miniatures. They have a section on their website that offers more information on centrifugal casting / white metal casting.
Lancer Miniatures have attended board game conventions in the past too if you would prefer to meet them in person.
Spin Box appears to offer both the service for casting miniatures in white metal and sell the spin casting equipment. If you are considering doing small scale casting yourself they may be worth approaching about the equipment especially.
Zealot Miniatures | Casting in Classic White Metal
This company displays a great level of skill in both creating miniatures and casting them. Zealot Miniatures also offer a spin casting service that says the White Metal they use is ‘lead-free’.
This is something to consider if you are intending on selling your miniatures. You can find out more about Zealot miniatures by looking at their website.
Other Information Around Spin Casting Miniatures
Spin casting is still very much in use and a popular choice for miniature creators. Although many companies consider resin casting also or injection moulding for large volume casting.
Casting miniatures in white metal still carries merit.
If you are still unsure about spin casting here are some more questions and answers about this service.
Do metal miniatures contain lead? ( UK )
In the old days, before the 1990s it should be noted that some metal miniatures ‘did’ contain lead. Some ‘old’ metal miniatures do still contain lead if they were cast in a lead alloy.
It is now known that lead can be hazardous if ingested. If you are handling old lead miniatures make sure to wash your hands and avoid inhaling any of the fillings.
Lead miniatures should not be given to children either.
With the knowledge that metal miniatures used to contain lead and were hazardous, many creators moved away from casting in lead.
The practice of casting miniatures in lead is no longer commonplace. Many miniature castors now cast in Pewter, White Metal or even plastic or resin.
Metal miniature casting companies ( spin casting) moved to an alloy called ‘White Metal’ as used by Games Workshop back 1990’s.
‘White Metal’ is a common term for a metal alloy in the casting industry. The alloy can comprise of various materials. Typically this alloy is now regarded as being a low hazard.
Many miniature casting companies claim to use lead-free White Metal.
If you are buying old miniatures from websites such as eBay, be aware that old miniatures from the 1980s are likely to contain lead and should not be seen as toys or gifts to children.
Handle these old miniatures with care. If you are an adult handling an unpainted lead / metal miniature, you may wish to consider using gloves as a precaution. Or seek better guidance and safety for handling lead miniatures.
Are metal miniatures safe for children?
Metal miniatures are not intended for children under the age of 15 due to the fact that they can contain small parts, may contain some level of toxicity and very old metal miniatures especially – may contain lead.
It is always advisable to check the manufacturers’ details to see what the miniature has been cast from. Some miniature casing companies claim to use ‘lead free’ materials but metal miniatures are not suitable for young children.
Even for adults, the dust from cutting and filling metal miniatures can be hazardous if inhaled. Make sure to wash your hands and use proper ventilation when handling your metal mini’s.
Certain companies claim to be completely lead-free while a few others use tin and a certain amount of lead in their miniatures ( less than 5%). It’s best to check with the seller and manufacturer of the miniatures.
But no, metal miniatures are not suitable for young children due to the conditions mentioned above. May contain lead, small parts etc.
Can I copy miniatures in white metal?
No. You cannot copy miniatures in White Metal unless they are your own design. If they are your own creation, you may wish to do this to experiment with the variants of the miniature. But recasting another company’s intellectual property is illegal. That also includes re-casting a miniature in White Metal.
You can read more on illegal miniature recasting do’s and don’ts.
Spin casting services for miniatures in metal | Making a Miniature
Armed with the knowledge about spin casting miniatures in White Metal, you are now ready to get your vulcanised moulds spinning aplenty!
Not all miniature spin casting services are the same. Neither are all white metal alloys. This is a list summary of spin casting services for miniatures in metal. ( White Metal ) :-
- Zealot Miniatures
- Spin Box
- Lancer Miniatures
- Griffin Moulds
- 4D Model Shop
Who can spin cast miniatures in metal UK ( 28 mm )?
All the companies mentioned above claim to be able to cast miniatures in metal at a 28 mm scale. Whether this is Zealot Miniatures, Lancer Miniatures or any of the others.
In order to find out more about spin casting services, your best bet would be to message the companies directly. They all advertise at the time of writing this that they can create 28 mm scale miniatures.
Below are some other interesting articles around casting, sculpting and miniatures in general for tabletop gaming.
Articles & pages around spin casting services for miniatures in metal
- Sculpting Burrows & Badgers miniatures
- Rupert Greyling – Artist Miniature creator
- Is it illegal to recast miniatures
- How much does it cost to create a board game
- What scale are old HeroQuest Miniatures
- How big are old Space Crusade miniatures in mm?
- Creating a miniature conversion
- Tools for creating miniatures conversions and sculpting
- List of board game conventions – UK
- How to strip paint off old plastic miniatures
External resources around Spin Casting Miniatures
- What is the dictionary definition of White Metal ( Source )
- Old Miniatures made from White Metal
- Are old metal miniatures toxic?
Who can spin cast miniatures in metal UK – And that concludes the list of spin casting services for miniatures. Spin casting services for miniatures in metal Dragon Bone Games.