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Depending on what you are looking to do and how many pieces you are looking for, a cheaper option may be to go with a reseller.  These are people who have been licensed by Bruce to sell castings of his molds.  I'm sure that if you do a google search you can find some.  Or some who frequent the boards may contact you by PM. :blues:

 

The only one I know of personally is Castle Kits which is located in CT.  There might be a closer reseller to you with cheaper shipping.

 

Another way to get get cheaper molds is to troll ebay and Craigslist.  I managed to get 10 molds for ~150 bucks off of Craigslist; it seems that a guy that was getting divorced bought a bunch for a project and left the molds behind with his soon to be ex-wife.  His loss was my gain.

 

Of course if you plan on doing larger projects and have the space and time, it is more effective to just pick up the molds yourself and cast away.  Casting can get messy which is why I only cast outside during good weather (as my basement is finished and I have no garage).  Good luch with your plans and I home you show the results off here on the forums.

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I am too drooling on the HA molds, but if you are on the cheap (or like me, cannot get them), there are tons of stuff you can use to "cast" with plaster and make diorama bits.

 

At one shop, in the cakes section, I found some plastic films designed to press into cake covering, to press the shapes of peebles, blocks, waves... or even more exotic patterns, like arabian stuff. Those can be used with plaster to get floors, or walls, depending on the deep. You would need to build a "box" around them however.

 

Plastic things from anything can be used as molds. Crumpled aluminium foil, and then plaster on top,

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I am too drooling on the HA molds, but if you are on the cheap (or like me, cannot get them), there are tons of stuff you can use to "cast" with plaster and make diorama bits.

 

At one shop, in the cakes section, I found some plastic films designed to press into cake covering, to press the shapes of peebles, blocks, waves... or even more exotic patterns, like arabian stuff. Those can be used with plaster to get floors, or walls, depending on the deep. You would need to build a "box" around them however.

 

Plastic things from anything can be used as molds. Crumpled aluminium foil, and then plaster on top,

Another thing you can find in the wedding cake section are the pillars that are used to separate layers of the wedding cake.  they make great pillars/columns.

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Another thing you can find in the wedding cake section are the pillars that are used to separate layers of the wedding cake.  they make great pillars/columns.

 

You are spying on my yearly Giants Diorama doodles, aren't you? 

 

I got a pack of 6 already, and they will be used in my Diorama, indeed. There are a lot of things you can use, all around.

 

For example, plastic disposable dishes, usually have interesting textures on the bottom that you can "steal" with plaster.

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Another thing you can find in the wedding cake section are the pillars that are used to separate layers of the wedding cake.  they make great pillars/columns.

 

You are spying on my yearly Giants Diorama doodles, aren't you? 

 

I got a pack of 6 already, and they will be used in my Diorama, indeed. There are a lot of things you can use, all around.

 

For example, plastic disposable dishes, usually have interesting textures on the bottom that you can "steal" with plaster.

 

Not really, I just have a couple of packs that I have bought with an eye towards future projects.

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I have a few dozen Hirstarts molds and I love them. I'll likely get more this summer at Gen Con; it's become something of a tradition for me to buy molds there.

 

I've also got the complete set of Linka World molds. They're much smaller and very, very thin; I wouldn't recommend them for building with BUT… they work very nicely as façades over another surface. The detail and scale are wonderful.

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I have a few dozen Hirstarts molds and I love them. I'll likely get more this summer at Gen Con; it's become something of a tradition for me to buy molds there.

 

I've also got the complete set of Linka World molds. They're much smaller and very, very thin; I wouldn't recommend them for building with BUT… they work very nicely as façades over another surface. The detail and scale are wonderful.

Oooooo....I hadn't seen those before.  Now the question is to get more molds now, when I haven;t cast the one I already have or get them now in the hopes that they inspire me to get cracking.

 

 

Cruel, cruel logic.  You  are a harsh mistress.

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A lot of us here do indeed have a great deal of experience with Bruce's stuff. Still, it's odd to me that people want to rely so heavily on this site for that sort of info. Why search through barely-related Kickstarter threads on this site, hoping for off-hand tidbits when you could just spend hours searching through the Hirst Arts forums:

 

Go here, you silly people.

But...here is where I know the crazy...I don't know the crazy there. What if they're the SCARY crazy?

 

:D

 

Well, some of the people here are there. So there's that. Otherwise, they're mostly the nice crazy. There were a few showoffs back in the day and one or two guys who needed a little more attention than felt comfortable. But mostly they are the crazy you're used-to.

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Just got my first Hirst mold today (mold 50) and even did my first cast.  Boy that didnt go as planned.

 

The molding itself went fine.  washed off the mold to get the powder off it and then did the wet water treatment while I was setting up a shake table.  Just got an old cutting board and put sponges at each corner.

 

I mixed up my plaster, was ArtPlaster I got from Michael's, and poured it in the mold and made my brother pound on the table while I was doing it.  Let sit for about 6 mins i think it was and then scrapped it to get excess off.  Then I let it sit for about 30 mins to harden.

 

Seemed to work fine till I took them out and the pieces were not very strong.  The details were crumbling and seemed like they were just breaking apart in my hands.  

 

I think it was because I mixed the plaster too thin.  I did a second batch and mixed it a lot thicker and it seemed to come out so much better.  Right now I am thinking about making a dedicated shaker table and getting the better plasters out there like Merlin's Magic.  Will see what the future holds.

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I like this thread as I am seriously thinking of buying molds to make things from. The idea appeals to me a great deal as I want more decorations for my dungeons.

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Plaster you buy at the hobby store is too coarse and weak for HA. You need a good dental plaster. Call around to some dentist or orthodontics offices and see if they would be willing to sell you some of their plaster or ask if their supply is local. Dental plaster works MUCH better. If your willing to drop the coin on quality product and shipping, you can't go wrong with Merlin's Magic.

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Plaster you buy at the hobby store is too coarse and weak for HA. You need a good dental plaster. Call around to some dentist or orthodontics offices and see if they would be willing to sell you some of their plaster or ask if their supply is local. Dental plaster works MUCH better. If your willing to drop the coin on quality product and shipping, you can't go wrong with Merlin's Magic.

 

I would like to clarify if I may. Plaster of paris is NOT too weak for HA, it's too weak for game terrain. If you're just going to build a display piece or a photography background, PoP will be just fine.

 

Also, for those on a budget, there's some middle ground. Hydrocal is significantly stronger than PoP (though not as strong as dental stone) and not much more expensive. Hydrocal can make suitable game terrain if you're careful with the pieces.

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This reminds me that I haven't made anything with my molds since about 2007. I suppose I could cast stuff in anticipation of having some free time in a few years when I finish my degree.

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I have a good selection of Hirst art moulds they are great for terrain. I have used a selection of plasters. The best I have used is Crystal Cal.

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Just found this thread.  I am somewhat familiar with Hirst Arts stuff.  lol!  I have nearly all the molds and a crazy about it!  Drop me a PM and I'll talk your leg off about Hirst Arts stuff.  If by chance you are going to attend either Origins or GenCon, I will be at both events.  I could bring you samples.

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