Sunday, May 2, 2010

Building Stuff With Hirst Arts

Greg (of Discourse and Dragons fame) emailed me earlier this week, asking me about Hirst Arts molds. Hirst Arts makes a line of plaster casting molds that make small blocks and decorative details. You can us those blocks and details to build custom dungeon and scenery pieces.

I currently use 10 Hirst Arts molds, plus some custom molds that me and The Wanderer designed. Making molds is an interesting and enjoyable process, but it costs more in time and materials to make your own than it does to buy a Hirst Arts mold. Of course, we're paying retail prices for the mold-making materials, and i'm sure Bruce Hirst, the owner of Hirst Arts, is far more efficient at pouring new molds.

Here's a ruined tower that I built out of Hirst Arts blocks. It was one of my first projects. If I remember correctly, You only need one mold (mold #65) to build this ruined tower, as all of the blocks and details are on the one mold. You have to cast the mold 16-18 times in order to produce enough blocks and details to build this: at 1/2 hour to an hour per cast, you'll want to have an egg-timer and a good book handy while you're casting the blocks.

I'm currently working on my dungeon tiles project, and will be going after another 10 Hirst Arts molds, before the end of June. My goal is to create enough dungeon tiles that I can run a 4-hour D&D session without having to recycle the dungeon pieces I have already laid down.


Sean Robson said...

Very cool. I've been looking at the Hirst molds for a while now, and have been contemplating ordering them. Since I also play a variety of miniature wargames, such as War of the Ring and Warhammer Fantasy, it would be great to be able to build custom scenery. I've been wanting to build the ruins of Osgiliath for some time.

I've also been interested in the dungeon tile molds for creating dungeon floors for role playing. So much nicer than the ones I draw with projector pen on a Chessex mat.

I've been debating whether to invest in the Hirst molds though, because I'm a bit wary of the material costs and how much time and space would be involved in casting.

I'd love to see more of your Hirst-cast projects and models.

Aaron E. Steele said...

I'm planning on doing some more casting, once the weather improves. We had a couple of nice days in mid-April, but then another snow-storm hit us early last week!

Will post more pictures soon. You should check out the Hirst Arts site, they have a host of project pictures there.

Timeshadows said...

Very nice. :D

Kiltedyaksman said...

Very cool, DJ!

What casting material are you using? I'm between Excalibur and Hydrostone. I'm researching these options now.

I'm going to wait to pick up my molds at GenCon. So I don't have to pay shipping.

Brutorz Bill said...

That looks quite nice.

Regamer said...

Very impressive, this is a hobby I've been hoping to take up too, but my time seems too limited as it is :(

Chris said...

That looks absolutely incredible!

Aaron E. Steele said...

I'm not sure which product it is. We've been picking up dental plaster from the local dental office supplier. I'll let you know.