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Looking for terrain and buildings

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I have actually acquired some of the WW stuff and built a few pieces (torture wheels and bookshelves, small things) and really enjoy it. It's fairly simple. I think I'll balance between the two. I am definitely going to purchase that massive city click together thing.... and for that I will be acquiring the CraftRobo or something similar. I'll definitely be buying some molds from HirstArts.

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Before I began working with wood, and then plaster, and ultimately - thank God - found Bruce's site, I used to design and print off cardstock stuff. There's no contest: after the initial cost of the molds, HA is cheaper. More importantly, it's much more satisfying.


Plaster, and even better materials like Hydrocal, which I use almost exclusively, is dirt cheap. I can get a 50 lb bag of hydrocal for $17. That makes enough terrain to clutter all your shelves, the boxes under the couch, the mantle, and then some. Yes, there is an investment in time required, and to some, even personal time is money. But if you've ever spent money at Kinkos or on printer carts trying to run off a large map or several buildings you're going to use once, you know what I am saying.


We're talking three $1 paints from Michaels giving coverage for many, many pieces versus $50 in color cartridges to get a few maps and buildings. Yes, like some here, I also make my own molds, and that does incur cost, but not as much as one might think (3 custom molds for $25 worth of silicon from Tap plastics? Is that really so bad?), and it's hardly necessary.


Overall, once the initial investment is made, the molds are absolutely the superior - and cheaper in the long run - choice. Again, I used to do the cardstock thing exclusively and I have nothing against it per se. I was doing it almost as soon as Photoshop was available to us normal humans. But I'd never go back.


That said, if you're going to invest the time in casting molds, there are yet cheaper means of building terrains (foam cutting, cardboard and construction paper, for instance). However, I find that route often opens the door to Plastruct and other styrene products. Which might or might not be a cheap alternative. I use a lot of styrene myself, but it would be a wasteful investment for most standard fantasy applications. That stuff is a better investment for steampunk or modern.


My two cents, anyway.

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I'm currently working on the new Streets of Himmelveil set from WWG. It is very very cool, but takes a lot of time to get done. So far I can build a 2.5x2.5 foot city section and I've probably invested 15 hours of work in it. The real cost isn't the 12 bucks for the pdf, but rather the ink, paper, glue, marker (if you do "edging") and foamcore. While not cheap, it's definitely cheaper than anything I've come across so far.

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