Vacuum induction melting (VIM), electro-slag remelting (ESR) and vacuum arc remelting (VAR) are all techniques used to make high quality ingots of complex chemistries. In some cases, all three are used, e.g., alloys for aerospace applications and increasingly those for fossil power applications under extreme conditions. Electroslag remelting startup and operation is a complicated endeavor, dependent upon several factors, especially when using cold startup. A research scale 440 lb capacity ESR furnace was used to melt low resistance (1018 steel) and high resistance (316 stainless steel) electrodes. This, along with various combinations of electrode diameter/crucible size combinations, was used to assess melt parameters and sidewall and other quality aspects of the product ingots. These observations were compared to results from ESR modeling (MeltFlow ESR). It was found that fill factor and electrode resistance had a significant impact on startup condition requirements, steady state voltage and current requirements, among others.