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TheBlackKnight



Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Plaster cast terrain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 3:46 am

At my previous gaming club, there was a guy who used silicon moulds to make terrain out of plaster. When I saw what he could make, I was instantly sold!

This company - Hirst Arts - sell the silicon moulds for about £25 ($34), so I bought 3 different ones for making castle ruins (floors, walls and features)

The way you make the terrain is by casting individual blocks, then glue them together in any way you like. I was ambitious for my first project, and made a massive cathedral. It was so heavy and difficult to transport, but it was awesome.

Now, I'm making smaller, lighter and easily transported pieces. I'll put pics up once I have some to show you.
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Narcissus



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Join date : 2010-10-15
Location : Vancouver, BC

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:22 am

Sounds good! I have looked at the Hirst Arts molds too. They look stunning but I have always been put off by the weight and the time required for casting. I am looking forward to seeing some of your finished pieces.
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Mordheimer



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 8:22 am

Cool!

Plaster is kindda heavy... any other material that you could use instead?

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Laney



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Age : 40
Location : Colchester, Essex, England

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 2:33 pm

You could use resin - but that isn't cost effective for larger pieces.

Laney:D

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Arachas



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Thu Jan 05, 2012 4:03 pm

PICS!!!

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TheBlackKnight



Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sat Jan 07, 2012 4:53 am

As promised, here are some pics of my plaster cast ruins (unpainted)

I am planning on making 16 1'x1' tiles that have ruins, roads, and forest sections that can all be aranged in different combinations to give a new board settup every time. Might take a while though! I'll keep you posted!

















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Mordheimer



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sat Jan 07, 2012 7:00 pm

SWEET!!!

I think is a great idea to put them in 1' x 1' tiles... makes for easy board making. Thanks for sharing. Now.. a question... are they painted or the individual blocks are just glued in?? They look GREAT!

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dumdeedum



Posts : 243
Join date : 2011-05-31
Age : 26
Location : London, UK

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sat Jan 07, 2012 9:03 pm

Those do look pretty damn amazing, the weight does seem like a little bit of a downer, but the looks vs. modelling skill looks right up my alley (unless its more difficult than it looks anyway). Looking forward to seeing more and them painted up
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TheBlackKnight



Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:21 am

Quote :
are they painted or the individual blocks are just glued in?

When the blocks come out the mould, they are just individual blocks. You then glue them together with PVA glue in any formation you like. The terrain in the pictures are unpainted, thats the colour of the plaster. Its amazing how solid they are when glued and painted, but they will break if you drop them on the floor, so you have to be more careful with them than plastic!

Also, if i make 1'x1' tiles, I can buy a big storage box and slot the tiles in vertically for transport / storage.

Quote :
the weight does seem like a little bit of a downer

Yes, the weight can be a bit of a pain. The first project I made was absolutely massive. It was a cathedral about 2'x2' and 1' tall! It looked amazing, but was a ton weight, and broke really easily because t was so cumbersome. This time, i'm making everything smaller to avoid weight related problems.

Quote :
unless its more difficult than it looks

It is not difficult at all! The hardest bit is getting the right mix of plaster and water, and there are loads of tutorials both on the Hirst Arts website, and youtube (miniwargaming.com have great tutorials). Once you have that nailed, its just a case of building it together like lego!
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ClausLars



Posts : 177
Join date : 2011-01-23
Location : Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sun Jan 08, 2012 4:45 am

I've flirted with the idea of plaster casting a number of times but just can't get myself to commit. I took a look at the site, I'm curious which sets are you using. Initially I thought it was the Fieldstone Ruins set, but these look more like the castle stuff, or maybe gothic. Did you just leave the pieces partially unfinished so they look like ruins?

Gotta say, the idea that I could convince the wife that this is an "aht poject" (art project) for our daughter makes me think I could pull some of this off...what's the worst that could happen letting a 2 year old play with plaster?
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Mordheimer



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sun Jan 08, 2012 1:11 pm

What if you make the blocks hollow? If you could smaller blocks, cover them in Vaseline (petroleum jelly) to avoid them being stuck in the plaster... you could pour some plaster to make the 'front', put the hollow block, then pour in some more plaster to make the sides. Once it is dry, remove it from mold and remove the smaller block... the end result would be a 'box'. You could then pour some plaster on the mold and drop the casted box (open side down) to make a 'solid' block.

Seems like alot of work, but you could reduce the weight by 50%. Just an Idea !

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Zanazaz



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Join date : 2011-11-21
Location : Irving, Texas USA

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sun Jan 08, 2012 2:46 pm

Hello, I'm new to this forum, and I wanted to say that yes you can use resin for the Hirst Arts molds, but they will not last nearly as long. For those interested, I interviewed Bruce Hirst for my blog a couple of years ago. You can read it here: Have Dice, Will Travel.... It's chocked full of interesting info.

Also, if you are interested in using resin, there are kits for making your own resin molds. Just sculpt the wall/floor/accessory pieces out of clay/whatever, make the mold, and cast. Quite a bit of work, but you will end up with what you want! AND in the long run, if you're making a lot of terrain, it's probably going to be very cost effective.

Of course, you can always create molds of your own creations and cast them in plaster as well. One quick note, it's best not to use regular plaster of paris. Use a dental plaster which has a higher tensile strength, and not prone to breaking.

Once I start creating and casting my own stuff, I will write a tutorial.
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TheBlackKnight



Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sun Jan 08, 2012 5:19 pm

Quote :
I'm curious which sets are you using

I use the castle moulds set. All you really need is the basic blocks, floor and features moulds and you can make a whole load of stuff. Thats $75 for the moulds, but plaster is cheap, and the moulds will last for a really long time if you treat them well.

Quote :
what's the worst that could happen letting a 2 year old play with plaster?

Don't let her eat it! I don't think she'd enjoy pooing out a plaster cast of her stomach!

Mord, nice thinking outside the box (ho ho ho) but for the amount of blocks you need for a ruin, you would go insane! Also, the blocks would be really weak and probably just break apart.
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TheBlackKnight



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Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Tue Jan 17, 2012 4:52 pm

I've taken some inspiration from Komffriten's town of Novac and made my whole board-to-be in Google Sketchup.



The plaster blocks that my terrain is made from lends itself really well to the 3D model because I can make an exact plaster model of whatever I draw on the computer! So I can make the computer terrain, and add up how many of each block I need to cast to make it real.

What do you guys think of the content and densty of terrain? It is 7" across the street from building to building, so you can keep running for cover without it being too easy. There are pleanty of LOS blocking walls, but also loads of window gaps, and 3 floor levels on most buildings.

I have kept the board as 1'x1' tiles, which makes it less flexible than the town of Novac, but the tiles here can be switched around pretty easily.

I plan on making some scatter terrain, like burnt out cars and street furniture that can be placed anywhere.

Comments welcome!
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Dysturbed



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Wed Jan 18, 2012 1:39 am

http://stores.castlekits.com/StoreFront.bok

If you don't have time to actually buy and mold them and are willing to pay.
This place sells individual blocks and full kits of already cast blocks using the Hirst molds.

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TheBlackKnight



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Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Wed Jan 18, 2012 3:15 am

Would be nice, if I was rich, haha!

However, it is a bit expensive when you realise how many sets you have to buy, then add the postage to Scotland (plaster is heavy). Plus I don't think they would make it here in one piece!

Thanks for sharing though, might be useful for someone else.
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Mordheimer



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PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:31 pm

TheBlackKnight wrote:
I've taken some inspiration from Komffriten's town of Novac and made my whole board-to-be in Google Sketchup.


AWESOME! I need to try this Google Sketchup thing... awesome!!!!

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The Mordheimer - Death Squads' Chief Editor & Ninja Designer. Bursting with ARACHAS' Dev-Powah™! Puke
Can't wait until someone invents a time machine so I can go to the specific day in the past that I volunteered for this, so I can kick my own ass.

Support Bacteria; it is the ONLY culture some people have!
Since I ask "What do you think?" to all Staff, I have included it here to save time.

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Dysturbed



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Age : 36
Location : Caldwell, Ohio

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Wed Jan 18, 2012 9:50 pm

Easy program to use and free. Only takes a afternoon to really get used to it.

If you have any 3d modeling experience it's CAKE.
(coming from someone who is woking on a Autodesk Maya 2012 project right now lol)

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ClausLars



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Location : Connecticut, USA

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Fri Jan 20, 2012 8:24 pm

Layout looks nice TheBlackKnight. My one thought would be that all of the elevated positions are pretty focused on one side. I understand the realism of buildings on one side of the street with a park on the other, but not sure how well that would work in a game.
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TheBlackKnight



Posts : 57
Join date : 2010-12-23
Location : Glasgow, Scotland

PostSubject: Re: Plaster cast terrain   Sat Jan 21, 2012 3:23 am

Thanks ClausLars, I'll try rearranging the tiles to give a better spread of buildings. maybe have the park in the middle.
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