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I have been a bit busy the past few weeks and sadly got side-tracked from getting a project in for Starship Superstar.


I have been playing with plaster Lego aka Hirst Arts.


The plus side is my Reaper Minis have a new home to play in.  Well home isn't the right word...let's call it a domicile.


More pictures on my blog for those interested.







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Thanks for your thoughts on casting. And a belated wedding congratulations to you and the wife!


What's the min/max way for n00bs to try out casting? Now that I have a ton of dungeon dressings, I'm starting to think I can do just the basic floors and walls, rather than mold everything from HA. Thanks!

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Ced, don't consider me much more than a noob either.


The easiest way to get into is just the walls and floors. I only own 5 molds myself and am kicking myself for not buying more of the walls and floor molds to make twice as much. I just followed the tips online an made sure I painted after a couple of batches of modules were done.

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Tips for the beginner!


If you are not sure if you have the patience, I would suggest buying a couple bags of precast blocks from someone who makes/sells them.  Or even purchase a kit of precast blocks designed to make a "whatever".  Ebay has some good choices, although you can look through the links on the Hirst Arts page and get a list of distributor near you (some in Europe, a lot in the US, some in Australia).  This will let you see if you have the knack for assembly without the cost of the molds and plaster.


Once you assembled and painted your test kit, it is time to figure out which molds you want to buy.  Of the more than 100 different molds offered by Hirst Arts, there are a few that come up as the "go to" molds for various builds.  There are five main genres of the HA molds:  gothic (chipped stone), fieldstone (pictures above), cavern, Egyptian, and Sci-Fi.  Inside each genre are basic molds that you will need.  For example, for Fieldstone, I would highly recommend buying:


Mold 70 - Fieldstone Wall Mold  <-- has arches and basic blocks

Mold 71 - Fieldstone Accessories Mold  <-- has recessed walls, steps, railings

Mold 74 Fieldstone Bridge <-- has larger arches and columns

Mold 75 Ruined Fieldstone Tower <--  has uneven blocks to make ruined fieldstone sections

Mold 260 Flagstone Floor Tile Mold <--  basic floor mold

Mold 701 Fieldstone Basic Block Mold <--  basic blocks, of which you will need a LOT


These six molds will give you a good set of molds to cast regularly.  I do not recommend buying multiples of any one mold, as once you have finished with the project, you will have two molds sitting idol instead of one mold up on your next project.


Yes, you will need a lot of floor tiles and wall blocks, but getting in just two casts a day (totaly 30 to 45 minutes of effort) will yield a nice pile of blocks by the weekend.


Also, don't pile up the blocks.  Figure out a nice sorting and storage method before it becomes overwhelming.


I would love to discuss HA building with anyone and everyone.  I will answer your questions (like, which casting material should I use?  How do I get the blocks to dry faster?  Do I need to seal the blocks or just paint them?  Which paints are "best"?)  Anything you don't want to discuss openly, we can take to PMs or direct to email.  Just drop me a PM and I will see how I can help.


BTW:  I have over 100 unique HA molds, 25+ custom molds, more than 20 molds from other vendors as well.  I have been into HA for over four years and have "helped" a lot of people get into the hobby in a fun and enjoyable way. 

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I actually think the ruined fieldstone is worth having two of, if you want to do lots of ruins for battlefields, etc. It also has very useful bits for regular fieldstone. Definitely don't get two of the tile moulds unless you want the different sizes for a specific reason, they really make a lot of floor space very quickly and easily.


I don't have the fieldstone accessories, I would recommend leaving that until you find you want the pieces; if you don't specifically want the things in it it will sit idle.


So my recommendation, for fieldstone, would be:


Fieldstone wall, ie., #70

Fieldstone blocks; #701

Ruined fieldstone tower; #75

Floor of your choice: flagstone for dungeons and ruins; #260 , floorboards for villages; #220 or #221.


With this you can do buildings, ruins, and dungeons; the first three all contribute the blocks you need in bulk, but remember I want lots of ruins, so the third might not be as useful for you. It has moulds for broken floors, broken walls, a facade that makes ordinary walls into reinforced pillar walls, and a round/arched window.


EDIT: I don't have any other moulds. You might find that, eg., if you want to make gothicky buildings for Warhammer and Warhammer 40K, that the regular blocks plus some gothic moulds are more useful! There are very many other cool choices too, so have a look and decide which ones will give you the most value.

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