Wednesday 11 March 2015

A spotter's guide to recasts part 2: recasts for Comic Relief

A few months ago I published a post on spotting recasts, which was essentially a guide to dispelling popular misconceptions as to what constitutes a recast. In this post I want to take a different stance, which is to give you examples of figures that are recast, but which at first glance seemed to be the genuine article. Before I do that, however, I would like to highlight how this particular situation has affected me personally, and how I'd like to address it by making a "bad thing good".

I recently acquired some unreleased Games Workshop Lord of the Rings figures. The figures looked fine: good sharp castings with no obvious imperfections. But I should have looked at them more closely. Thanks to the keen eyes of one particular Lord of the Rings collector it was pointed out to me that unfortunately they turned out to be recasts (more on that below). Being of an anti-recast inclination I couldn't bring myself to sell or trade them (even to people who know they are recasts but still want to buy them). So I'm going to give them away. If you are interested in acquiring one, read on...

Given that this week is Comic Relief in the UK I'm going to donate £1 to every person who expresses an interest in acquiring one of these figures. For those of you who don't live in the UK, Comic Relief is an annual event here in the UK that raises money to tackle poverty ( To get involved in "Recasts for Comic Relief" just email and I will donate £1 for everyone who emails. By sending an email you are effectively entering yourself into a prize draw, with 6 random people receiving 1 each of the figures.

If you have a particular preference for one figure, or would like to rank your preferences, then feel free to do so in the body of the email. I can't guarantee however that you will get the figure you are after.

You have until midnight on Thursday March 12th to send an email. Comic relief is on Friday March 13th, at which point I will donate the money, and the figures will be posted the following Monday. I will cover the cost of standard postage to anywhere in the world - if you want to add insurance on top then I would request you do so at your own expense.

The figures in question can be seen below, together with a close-up picture of Beruthiel to show the metal "marbles" indicative of recasting. I will leave it to the person who alerted me to the fact they are recasts to explain:

There are what as known as marbles evident on the casts. Marbles appear as tiny balls of metal which are caused by air bubbles in the rubber mould. GW minis do not have these imperfections due to the nature of how the moulds are made. The castings themselves are also slightly less crisp than their original counterparts as they appear to have been gravity poured castings rather than centrifugally spun cast.

You can see on first glance that the figures seem fine, although Beruthiel is probably the roughest casting of the lot (marbles are evident on all the figures). Look closely and you should be able to see marbles on every figure.

Queen Beruthiel


  1. Sorry to hear that you got cheated. I have a lot of respect for how you're dealing with it... bad to good indeed.

  2. The marbles are not the byproduct of cold casting or at least not necessarily. They occur when the mold is made from a weaker material such as room temperature vulcanizing RTV ( see, little air bubbles form while hardening. The marbles are still present on miniatures spin caste using molds from these softer materials, maybe even worse so.
    Some resin casters let their molds harden in a vacuum to help alleviate the air bubbles and reduce the marbles, but I think when you introduce molten lead backed by centrifugal pressure it burns open the little bubbles in the mold.

  3. Now that is something really interesting. I had never seen anything of the sort (lucky me) and until now I thought there were only "clues" about a model being a recast. this is something else.
    Your way to turn bad into good is worthy of praise and few people would come with such a positive response. Slow claps for you.

  4. I don't know of anyone curing RTV in vaccum- rubber 'froths' under vacuum. It is almost essential to vacuum RTV before pouring. Some casters cure the RTV under pressure however- which eliminates the small bubbles (or reduces them to microscopic size).

    This looks to me like RTV that was not vacuumed prior to pouring- or the RTV was poured over the master too fast which can also cause the same effect.