I've wanted to try my hand at doing some terrain using Hirst Arts molds for years, probably as far back as when I first started gaming, but I always balked at the pricing. Luckily, I have a friend with a nice collection of them who let me borrow a couple to try out. Using Fieldstone Molds #70 & 75 (and Tile mold #200, which I eventually plan to use for a sewer board), I cast up about 4lbs. of a 50/50 mix of Plaster and Rock Putty and put together a bunch of ruined buildings. After casting, I assembled all the pieces using construction adhesive, cut out some MDF bases, and added basswood floors and rubble piles. Once dry, I undercoated everything with flat Grey latex paint, as recommended on the Hirst site. I then used various shades of greys, browns, and tans to add some variation in color. Though I like the end product, the casting process was really labor intensive and (coupled with drying times) was quite time consuming. If you are interested in using Hirst molds, here are a few pointers I learned:
- Use a plastic or disposable container to mix the plaster that can be bent to pop out any dried plaster before the next mix
- Rock putty is a good cheap alternative to dental plaster but is too brittle alone. Mix with equal parts of regular plaster.
- Mixing the plaster too fast causes excess air bubbles to develop
- While lightly tapping the molds helps, I found having a toothpick on hand (to stir the plaster inside each mold and to pop any bubbles) was better
- Even after allowing the plaster to dry before demolding, let it dry it for 24-48 hours before trying to build with it
- Construction adhesive is awesome for locking bricks together
- Latex paint can be bought in small "sample" jars and tinted any color you want. Check your local hardware store.
The intent was to use them for Frostgrave, but I left out any snow or elaborate fantasy bitz, so they could also be used historical or even science fiction gaming.