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I was hoping to get some info from people who have experience with these things and know what they're doing... Basically I saw the Dwarven Forge sets and I love them BUT they're expensive and ceramic so I'm not going to get them- does anyone know an alternative that is hopefully less expensive and maybe plastic or some other material? I saw the Hirst Arts moulds too and they looked like a much better option (I have no problem with making and painting them for the money I'd save, and I'd be less worried about breaking these...) however they don't seem to easily work with a 1" grid(Though the bricks are 1/4" I guess? so it wouldn't be too bad...) - which is what I need as I plan to use these with D&D.

 

So I guess what I'm asking is...

 

In your opinion, what's the easiest/cheapest/best way to get good looking terrain/buildings/walls that I can use with D&D and Reaper minis while keeping a fairly uniform 1" grid throughout it.

 

 

Thanks in advance! Any tips or links to terrain-building type stuff would be much appreciated.

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HirstArts are in 1" so that wouldn't be a problem, just labor intensive. Try Worldworksgames.com. They have very affordable card stock terrain in a wide selection. Definitely a lower entry price, and if you don't like it, you're only out $16 and a pack pf card stock. (less than the cost of a single HA mold). I'm not knocking Hirst Arts, When I want a model to use over and over, a real centerpiece of the battlefield, I'll use HA (Castlebuilder will be more helpful in questions about HA than nearly anyone, the man is a genius). But you are building your terrain one brick at a time.

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You can also try out the Hirst Arts stuff by buying some pre-cast items and see if you like making them and the results.

 

Higher Ground Games sells mold casts, kits and some new accessory bits that go nicely with the core HA stuff.

 

Yes, they were a sponsor of RastlCon but he's also a very good guy and his pricing is great.

 

I would recommend this route rather than going all out on buying the molds and plaster then finding out it isn't what you like to do.

 

WWG is good stuff as well. I have a lot of their sets and enjoy building them as well as playing with them.

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The World Works Games cardstock models are great for props and buildings. Cheap to buy the PDF files. Easy to print off, cut, score, fold, and glue (still time consuming!). They look good too! Biggest expense here is your printer supplies. Can really add up if you have an inefficient printer and expensive ink; which is the case for most consumer level printers. If you want to try some free cardstock models try these links, see if it's what you want, then buy some!

 

http://www.wizards.com/default.asp?x=dnd/fpm/archive

http://www.stones-edges.com/freesamples

 

Hirst Arts molds are also a grand option for props and buildings. The molds are going to be your largest expense. Followed close by your casting material. For about $70 I was up and running with 1 mold, 50 pounds of Hydrostone (casting material), and all of the tools needed. The detail of your props is great. I think the strength of Hydrostone is more than acceptable. Quite time consuming however to use this stuff. I can mix and pour a cast in 15 minutes. Then I just leave it until I have time again. However in about 20 or 30 minutes they are solid enough to safely pop out, set aside to cure over night, and cast another batch. These are also easy to do; it seems harder than it is to mix up casting material. Just follow the instructions on the site, do a couple, and you'll figure it out as you go.

 

Worked with high density foam (pink or blue insulation foam) and I like it for what it is. Not exactly high detail but great for larger terrain. Things like field stone walls, large rocks, statues, buildings, or even whole tables for doing hills or caverns. Pretty easy to work with using simple tools but I'd like to try those hot knife tools. Cheap enough to buy the stuff so your only costs are tools that you likely already have and the foam. I've found it to be time consuming to work with. Maybe your noticing a trend here; you trade off currency for labor when you go for 'cheap and easy' terrain.

 

Are these the BEST solutions? Naw; this is just my opinion and what I use the most. There's lots of different things to do but I'm cheap as heck and these are the cheapest, yet still look great, ways of getting props and terrain that I've found to date.

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I've been considering picking up some of these for awhile now. Haven't seen them in person yet, which is what is really stopping me:

 

Bendy Dungeon Walls

 

 

Don't bother with those, they're junk. The plastic's cheap, and they were badly cast, a lot of flash on them. Each panel is cast with two small posts on one side and U-shaped socket-looking things on the other, so when it's assembled each panel in the wall is hinged. By the time I'd assembled the whole wall that came in the box, two of the sockets had snapped off, and one piece had so much flash and such malformed connectors and posts that I had to toss it. The doors are freestanding pieces that don't connect to the wall sections.

I seriously couldn't justify paying $25 for what was in that box. :rolleyes:

 

In fact, if you want my set just send me your adress - I'll tape the box shut and slap a stamp on it...

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Thank you for the responses. I don't think I'll do the cardstock thing, though I'll try it out maybe. I work in a framing shop so I have access to a machine mat cutter- so I can do custom 'cardstock' sort of designs on there. They're functional and simple and free, so if I'm going to take a 'step up' I figure it'd be to something more three-dimensional.

 

The cards sound like a lot of work for what you get when I already have a cheaper/easier/similar alternative, I guess... Well thanks for the info, I think I might go ahead and get a mould or the pre-cast ones and see how much I hate all the work involved- the price isn't too bad really... :D

 

 

Thanks!!

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Hmm... good point. I guess I'd like to have as close to all three as possible! :P But if I had to pick two, Cheap and Good.

 

So you guys think Hirst Arts is good then? It doesn't seem like TOO much work/time considering the (potential) amount you're saving if you make a lot of them and only get a few moulds.

 

Any idea how much the materials for it cost per mould? Er, per cast I mean. Not counting tools and everything else, just the plaster and whatever else you might need.

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Well, let me do some math here. As Barbie says, "Math is hard."

 

I get 50 pounds of Hydrostone for about $17.00. According to Google 50 pounds = 22,680 grams. I'll get to the gram thing in a minute.

 

I weigh out my plaster in 200g portions. I can easily cast 2 molds with some extras with 200g.

 

So, doing that math I can cast about 113 molds out of that bag of plaster for a cost of $0.15 per mold.

 

That's not taking in time of course but if you're looking to see what you can get for consumables there you go.

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Thanks in advance! Any tips or links to terrain-building type stuff would be much appreciated.

Try the downloadable card stock models at www.fatdragongames.com. They run specials frequently and they have lots of freebies you can try out before you buy.

 

The offer models for fantasy, sci fi, modern, and steampunk (Hollow Earth) adventures

 

(Someone should correct me if I'm wrong, but....) HO scale model train terrain is also 1/25ish scale. * S scale model train terrain is about the same size. So if you wanted to just buy rocks, trees, etc. it should/would work.

 

*Thanks Rastl!

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