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Using Hirst molds with DF - need help!
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TOPIC: Using Hirst molds with DF - need help!
#3400
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
Ok, so I'm going to Gencon on Saturday (yay me!) and I'm thinking of picking up a few of the hirst molds while I'm there in hopes of using them to build some custom/conversion pieces for my Dwarven Forge sets.

Has anyone out there used Hirst for this purpose? Can you recommend which mold(s) I should start with? How well does the floor/wall thickness match up with DF? Any info or insight anyone might have would be a big help.

Thanks!

Yukon
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#3401
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
First off, Hirsts molds are great! I've got about a dozen myself, which I mostly use for buildings, but I've also built a few gothic dungeon pieces.

To match up with Dwarven Forge pieces you'll really only need two molds, the "Fieldstone Wall" mold (#70) and the "Various Floor Tiles" mold (#201).

If you want to add more detail to your dungeons you can buy other molds that allow you to cast more pieces.

The pieces should match up fairly easily, although the hirst molds walls might be slightly thicker.

Personally, I like doing the gothic dungeons instead of the fieldstone, since I've got Dwarven Forge for fieldstone dungeons, and the gothic pieces are more versatile as castle interiors and temples. You can also achieve a greater level of detail and realism using the gothic molds.

Hope this helps. ;)
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#3402
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
Have I not shown you my pics?

Well, I'm a big fan of HA as well as MM (you and I and Tom may be the only three guys on the planet who like both!)

I have a lot of molds, and I've used them to spice up my DF displays, making arches and columns and a blood pit and a fresco. Nice stuff. The trickiest part, without question, is matching the paint job. Matching the paint on the sci-fi pieces is easy, but matching the fantasy paint is much harder. There's a mix of brown and yellow with the grey, it's a subtle touch.

Anyhoo, there are several molds I'd recommend:

1. The basic fieldstone mold is essential. I don't have it, and it really hinders my abilities to make DF pieces. It isn't exactly the same as the fantasy walls, but it is a close match. And you can use this mold as a basis to throw in whatever other elements you want. Remember, with HA, you're doing things brick by brick -- all you need is a slim transition into whatever you want. Plus, there are tons of fieldstone molds that offer accessories to this one, so you can make higher walls, stairs, diases, arches, niches, etc.

2. I recommend the gothic dungeon molds -- the basic one gives you some great arches and columns, and there are some newer ones that are BURSTING with details.

3. You'll need a floor mold of some kind, too.

Beyond that, it's entirely a matter of personal preference. I recommend checking out Voidgamers.com, their image galleries are extensive (check out my stuff under the author name LAW) and you'll get great ideas from them. Also look at the forum at the main HA site -- people there are really nice and very helpful. It's a good forum.

Oh, and there are a few of my homemade DF pieces in my gallery at VG. But there are many more I didn't post. Maybe I'll put some up here later...

L
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#3403
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
Thanks for the info, guys!

How durable are the molds? Are we talking about getting thousands of castings out of one mold, or just a hundred or so?
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#3404
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
Well according to the faq at Hirst Arts....

"As long as you use gypsum products (such as plaster, hydrocal or dental plaster) the molds will last for years and hundreds of casts. I've never had a mold wear out yet and I've used some as long as 3 years."

I only have about 60 casts on my most used mold, but it shows absolutely no signs of wear or aging. I use Excalibur dental plaster for casting.
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From this moment, I will stand for the opposite of killing, gnodab."
 
#3405
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
How hard is it to get the dental plaster? Is that something that you can only get online?
Yukon Cornelius
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#3406
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
I have had my molds for almost a year, used them countless times, and I haven't been super-ultra-responsible about cleaning them. No problems yet.

Some people have trouble getting dental plaster. But I use Hydrocal, and it's easy for me to get (usually) I don't think you need dental plaster. Hydrocal or Permastone are perfectly strong, my bricks are fine. If anything, a dropped building is more likely to break at the seams than at the bricks, and no plaster is going to change that. If you're really worried about breakage, think more about the adhesive you plan to use than the plaster.

I did have a heck of a time at first, though. I went to five or six places that either didn't carry this stuff, or were sold out. Then I found a few places that tend to carry it. I can't always guarantee I'm going to find it, and so I usually have an extra box or two on hand just in case there's going to be a wait.

Most places carry Plaster of Paris. There's a lot of views on whether or not to use it. A lot of people do use it, and they say it works fine for them. It is far cheaper, far easier to find. It works. But it is a little less stable than other plasters.

Some people recommend that you use PoP at first because your first projects will NEVER be your best. There is a definite learning curve. (my first big lesson: walls don't just magically come out straight, and corners don't magically end up 90 degrees, and even if your wall is straight that doesn't mean the top of the wall is going to be precisely over the bottom of the wall, or that the dimensions of the BOTTOM of your building is going to be exactlly what they are at the TOP -- oops! and oops again)

At the same time, you might want to sell your first projects on ebay, to people who don't care about perfection (or at least are willing to pay $10 for a slightly flawed piece that's still pretty durned nice) In that case, you'll want to start with something stronger.

I would also recommend that you start with just a few molds, like 1-3. Don't overdo it. Casting is a BIG job, building and keeping track of all your bricks. Don't drop $150 on molds and allow yourself to get overwhelmed, get a few at first and then work up. (or if you MUST, take advantage of the various specials and get 5 molds at once, but put some away for now!) I say this just to help you avoid the possible shock of spending $150 on molds and then after a day of casting think to yourself "What have I gotten myself into?" ;)

Law
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#3407
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
I Have Been Curious about HA Stuff too, (Since Reading Some of the Various Posts over the last few months)... You Guys have Answered some Great Questions... Thanks... (And the HA Site itself of course is very "Inspirational")
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#3408
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
I'm coming at if from the other end. I have 18 HA molds and 20 custom molds, and making more all the time. I have shelves full of modular dungeon pieces. The thing is, my pieces have walls built next to the floors, not on them. This leads to corners, walls and floors having different footprints. This isn't a problem when you can build any thing you want or need on the fly, but I always figured the DF stuff just wouldn't work with what I already have.
I didn't want to buy a room set just to see how they would fit, so I built about sixty DF style pieces. Corners, diagonal corners walls and floors, mainly. I was suppressed to see that with a little work, they can be used together. :shock: Now that I know that it will work, I can't wait to get my mitts on a few sets.
Lately I've been thinking of getting 2-3 cavern sets for myself and the sci-fi stuff for my son. I have this horrible desire get some extra conversion pieces and covert them to fit my system. :twisted:
The idea of pieces having the same footprint is starting to appeal to me. Now I'm working on a dungeon with 3" footprints.
Anyway, I also prefer to use the gothic molds. I have the fieldstone molds, but they just sit on the shelf. The gothic floor tile mold #205 makes great 2x2, 2x4, 4x4, 4x6, 6x6 floors. Just make a perfect prototype, make a mold and cast in plaster or resin. woot!
OBA
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#3409
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
OBA,

Too Kewl... Got any Pics you Can Post? Or maybe once you Get the DF stuff to Show Comparisons... (And Keep it on DF Topic...<Sheepish Grin>...)...
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#3410
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
I would love to post pics, if someone will tell me how. I do think it would be a little oc... oku... auquar... um, funny posting without any DF to compare to, though. I'm going to order 2 sci fi sets, a sci fi passage set and one or two alpha sets for my six year old for Christmas. He can't wait for the SW mini game to come out. He has saved up 10 bucks and change so far, but we will help him out with a booster and a starter when they arive. All this by way of saying it will be a few months before I order anything for me. :cry:
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#3411
Using Hirst molds with DF - need help! 10 Years, 2 Months ago  
OBA,

Yeah... Funny thing about Ol' Slick Nick, He always seems to Bill me for the Damages, Told my Six Year old this year was Gonna' be Different and that if She Needed Help Finding a Job I'd Get her a paper... Figure She has Freeloaded long enough it's my turn...<Chuckle>...
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