Saturday, June 26, 2010

Terrain From Hirst Arts Molds

I've been thinking about purchasing some Hirst Arts Molds to cast plaster in and wanted to get a feel for what the club thinks about them. I look at a lot of terrain online for inspiration and now that I have a sizable portion of my army finished I think it's prudent to think about making some epic level terrain. Most of the really good looking terrain I find, specifically city terrain, uses either Pegasus hobbies kits, Games-Workshop kits, Hirst arts castings, or any combination of the three. One of my Favorite game boards on Dakka Dakka that uses Pegasus Hobbies kits, Cities of Death Kits, and Hirst Arts Molds.

Image taken from without permission

The analogy I've heard describing Hirst Arts molds is that you create little Legos out of plaster and create buildings out of them. Many of the molds can be used in the Warhammer 40k or fantasy setting and detailed project plans are available free from Hirst Arts. The Problem is the things are so darn expensive, one mold can range from $29 - $34 most being the $34. A nice thing about these molds is that supposedly they can be used Hundreds of times before you run into very much wear. As always I would be happy to let anyone use these molds with the promise they will treat them gently and return them to me in a timely manner. So club members what do you think, would you use some molds if they were available to use? Personally I was thinking of purchasing the bell tower and the basic brick mold (#40) which would run me about $70 plus the cost of plaster. As you can see it's a big investment and if they aren't going to get much use I don't know how I feel about buying them. Comment Please.


  1. Honestly I have seen some good things done with Hirst Arts moulds, but I would consider getting hold of a good resin that you can pour into them to give your terrain some longevity. Unless however the moulds specifically say you can do this you may have to stick to plaster or risk significantly decreasing the life of the moulds or destroying them outright.

    I am not sure but your best bet is to find out is they are made from high-temp compatible Silicone RTV that way if you want to try some resins in them they are likely to be ok (best bet it to ask Hirst).

    I have not used them myself but I was looking at some the other day and wondering if they were resin compatible as that would solve all my terrain problems.

  2. Personally I'm not too worried about longevity, I think the Hydrocal that I get from woodland scenics will hold up just fine if sealed properly. I am slightly worried about weight though.

    As for the resin I don't know if all Hirst Arts molds accept resin, I know certain molds are designed to be used with resin like #46 the Gothic Graveyard mold.It clearly states," Caution! Resin casting material will deteriorate the mold if not used properly. Please refer to the Plastic Casting Instructions on the web site before using casting resin."

    I doubt that there is a different material used to create the molds specifically designed for resin but the way the pieces they produce are very different. I would suggest asking Bruce Hirst himself if you can use all molds for casting resin.

  3. I will agree with Sub, you want a good resin cast. From my limited experience from college, plaster is just a pain to work with. It is extremely brittle once curing is finished, very light weight with a chalky texture.The upside, it is cheap. I'm sure they make admixtures for increasing some of these faulty properties and a primer/sealer to make it paintable, but after adding all that, you are probably talking the cost of resin anyways.

    For longevity purposes, I would recommend going with the resin, as plaster is extremely susceptible to cracking and breakage. If we had an official club storage area for terrain,etc. I think it might be a different story.

  4. OK, I know this is an ancient post, but here goes. I would love to get someone to actually make some of these for me, as I don't really have the time myself. I love Hirst art stuff and bought a kit once and said WTF? I simply do not have the patience! So if anyone has suggestions of a service or individual who makes he stuff using Hirst arts kits, I would love to know.

    BTW, shameless plug:

    If anyone is good at terrain and wants to write an article for the blog, I would love to post it. I am sure I am not the only one who needs more info on this terrain.


    1. Try Iain at Castle Kits.