Wednesday, June 15, 2011

A Moldy Assessment

Okay, I admit it. That was a pretty bad pun. Or it will be when you find out the topic of this latest post.

Just this morning, Adam Page (@blindgeekuk) was showing off some sample blocks from Hirst Arts® molds on Twitter. He was wondering whether it was more cost effective to buy block sets from various vendors, or just invest in the (sometimes significant) cost of the molds.  Being a big fan of Bruce's work, I encouraged him to consider investing in the molds, as the casts he could create would pay for the mold's value (relative to blocks available for sale) in a relatively short period of time. 

I informed Adam that I owned 13 Hirst Arts® molds, and that I would try to show off which ones those were.  Here's the list:

Fieldstone Wall Mold (#70)  (x2)

Fieldstone Accessories Mold (#71)

4" Round Fieldstone Mold (#72)

Dragon's Teeth Accessory Mold (#80)

Water Cavern Wall Mold (#82)

Cavern Accessory Mold (#85) 

Egyptian Pyramid Accessory Mold (#96)

Cracked Floor Tiles Mold (#203)

Flagstone Floor Tile Mold (#260)

Fieldstone Slab Mold (#261)

Cavern Floor Mold (#281)

Cavern Floor Accessory Mold (#282)

*All images from Hirst Arts® and are used without permission.

This is, by no means, the end of my wish lists for Hirst Arts® molds. I'd love to get more of the cavern molds (there's like 3 more, I think) and I'd like to get some more of the Egyptian and perhaps some specialty molds, like the small brick mold or the wooden planking mold. At $30 a piece, I've been spreading out my purchases for almost 10 years. However, if well treated, the molds last a LONG time, and you receive a very large return on you investment. That return is decreased somewhat if you use expensive dental stone or other cements (like Merlin's Magic), but if you opt for serviceable (and ordinary) Plaster of Paris, you'll get a LOT of value for your money.

For those folks out there that enjoy building their own dungeon terrain, Hirst Arts® is difficult to beat!

To Adam and any of you other dungeon terrain junkies out there, I hope this list gets you started!

Until next time...

Game excellently with one another.


  1. If only my flat was bigger... (sign)
    Gotta move to townhouse. :)

  2. I live in a rental town house now, and I'm telling you, you'll always feel like you need more room :-). A basement for storage helps, and a place to dry product helps too. Even in a small space, though, you can make it work.

  3. Zoar MT3:55 PM

    I just bought my first Hirst Arts Mold. Do you find Plaster of Paris chips too easily when you're using them for gaming?

  4. @Zoar MT: Plaster of Paris is great for proto-typing, but does wear (and chip) with extended use. Personally, I use Merlin's Magic, a product by Clint Sales & Manufacturing.

    It's not as hard as dental stones, but much harder than Plaster of Paris. It was specifically developed for hobbyists.

  5. Anonymous5:56 PM

    I purchased two Dwarven Forge sets a couple of yeas ago and fell in love with them. But they are so expensive. I'm lucky in that one of my players has purchased several sets over the past 18 months so we have plenty to work with now.

    I never really considered making my own terrain. Thanks for posting.

  6. Plaster of Paris is way too weak for anything that will get extended use. I use Merlin's Magic, and have been very happy with it. Even harder is Excalibur, and is about the same price (though it's heavier). Also, Clint Sales is NOT the only distributor of Merlin's Magic. Best to find a distributor near where you live, to mitigate the shipping cost a bit. (Shipping 50 lbs of something is expensive)