A visit to the
Loose Cannon Models
Casting Facility
Loose Cannon  was founded in 1995 by David Angelo. His first releases were the 1/700 USS Quincy & USS Vincennes. Like many Cottage Industries owners, Loose Cannon is a part time venture. As other kits were added to the line demand grew to the point that it was all one man could do to keep up with the casting and mold maintanance. David Angelo has a real job serving in the US Military and has been molilized several times over the years which really makes it hard to continue production. In 1996 Hugh Letterly joined the company, building several master patterns for some of the newer kits. Together they have teamed up to offer some very exciting kits. Now with Hugh available to do the casting in their Aurora, Colorado facility we can expect to see more kits in the future.
Here we have Hugh Letterly (right) looking on while Kenny Hoag measures out a batch of resin for the next run of kits. The precise amount of resin is then injected into the mold using a syring for accuracy.
Here's where the actual casting takes place. Built into the bench is one of the vacuum chamber. These are used to remove the air bubbles from the resin molds during the casting process.
Here's a look at one of the molds opened up to show the details of the male and female halves. This design allows for both the upper and lower half of a part to be cast in one operation. The mold has several alignment pins cast in to keep the halves lined up. Resin is fed into the mold by means of a runner, also called a sprue.

This is where the some of the molds are stored awaiting there next use. Note the open face molds on the top right

The parts that come out of the molds are laid out and inspected. The various parts sprues are collected with all the parts that make up a kit and packed into individual bags. These parts are molded in a two piece mold, making them similar to injection molded plastic kit parts. 

The advantage of the RTV mold is that it is flexible and allows for a greater level of detail than in an injection mold. Injection molds must have a minimum draft on the parts to allow them to be ejected from the mold. The main disadvantage is that the silicone rubber mold will break down and have to be replaced after a relatively short run of parts.

Did you ever wonder how they make the molds for those resin kits? On the right is the master for the USS Mettawee. The hull and parts have been mounted on a base  A gate is then placed around the master and filled with silicone rubber. When it hardens the gate is removed as is the master. The result is a mold such as the open face style mold at the top of the photo on the right.

The parts that come out of that mold are cast on a wafer that is then sanded away to release the part.

Here are some sneak peaks at some of the projects in the works at Loose Cannon Models.
This is the master in the works for the Canadian Coast Guard cutter "Sir John Franklin".
Here are a couple more ship masters in the works, a Gilliam Class APA, followed by an Artimas class AK, both WWII era ships.
Here are a number of 1/700 scale vehicles that will become masters for a civilian vehicle accessory set in the works. Note the Skywave 6x6 truck for reference.
A bridge upgrade for the Akagi aircraft carrier is also in the works.
For a list of current Loose Cannon Kits click the logo on the rights
Loose Cannon Models
Hugh Letterly
12384 E. Cedar Circle
Aurora, Colorado 80012
All kits available direct from Loose Cannon
add $4.00 S & H per order
Makes checks payable to Hugh Letterly

Also available at:
Colpar Hobbies Pacific Front Hobbies

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