”Rubicon Models is excited to include SiOCAST injection moulding machines in our Hong Kong Workshop! This technology allows us to deliver thermal plastic miniatures and accessories with resin casting levels of detail.
The SiOCAST machines were first delivered to our Hong Kong Studio in August 2020. Instead of jumping right into production and trying to break even the investment, we spent over two years experimenting and perfecting our production techniques before the official announcement of using SiOCAST thermal plastic for miniature production. We are very serious about quality and this is why we spent so much time on these machines before making an official announcement.
Besides full hard plastic products, thermal plastic will become part of our mix-media manufacturing strategy which includes pewter, resin, and 3D printed products. We understand, for some, there will be an "adjustment phase" to this new material introduction, but rest assured that with our 2-year in-house experimentation and training, our experience and quality control will keep things on the positive side.”
-Rubicon Models November 21st, 2022
Q: Is SiOCAST a kind of soft plastic?
A: SiOCAST is the machine that produces the product. It uses a proprietary thermoplastic material to cast figures. The final product feels like hard plastic with limited flexibility, yet can be painted without the issue of peeling; just like normal hard plastic miniatures.
Q: Does model cement work on it?
A: You need super glue as the bonding agent.
Q: I understand that SiOCAST figures are less rigid, a bit like the old Airfix Figures with bendy rifles. Just concerned that painted miniatures will show wear sooner. Is this correct?
A: Not at all. The latest thermal plastic material is quite rigid with some degree of flexibility. Once painted, we had never seen paint peeling or scrapping off the figures.
Q: Great news. Hope this means you can produce your excellent looking French vehicle series again, with e.g. the Hotchkiss H39 which was in resin, but in a different media..?
A: Not to disappoint, but thermal plastic is not designed for vehicle production. The resin H39 will get a re-run soon!
Q: is there a reason to not just go straight to plastic?
A: Plastic injection mould cost is extremely high and is not a versatile or cost-effective way to produce limited-run figures. Being that said, we are looking into producing a few WW2 armies in plastic in the very near future. Vehicles are a different story.
Q: Still be doing all plastic kits though?
A: Definitely will. Plastic and mix-media products will continue to go hand-in-hand. Nothing had changed with our long-term goal, simply an additional material option for us.