Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Casting Mud to Stone

Upon starting this whole live streaming tabletop RPG gig, I wanted the scenic stuff.  Having miniatures helps, but having proper miniatures painted up all nice purdy changes the game.  Now, having proper scenic bits WITH miniatures... oh my...  what fun!

I have never done the scenic stuff before, so this is something totally new for me.  At first I tried out some paper-crafting.  What a pain in the butt.  Hours upon hours of cutting paper stock, cutting foam board and gluing it all together.  My time was better spent painting and flipping minis than trying to find the cheapest good quality ink to print this stuff off.  Speaking of costs, it ain't as cheap as what you think it is.

If you watch some of my earlier Archivo Deorum videos, some of you will notice I went with WWG's terralinx line.  It is really nice looking stuff.  That's why when I decided to go a different route for modular gaming tiles, I looked there again first.  I wanted to drop some cash on their terraclips line.  Turns out its all out of print (I told you I was new at this scenic stuff.), and the set I wanted was the most sought after. Of course it was...  What's a tabletop geek to do...

After much soul searching and internet tears later, I found some nice buildings people were making from plaster molds made by a fella named Hirst.  I thought, "I'm not a dumby, I can do that."  Its a phrase I say often.  So I did it.  I bought a couple molds from HirstArts, some proper plaster from the folks over at Merlins' Magic Plaster and a putty knife.

For a considerable investment, you can get some quality scenic stuff by going this route.  The building I am working on will end up taking about 10 pounds of plaster to fully cast using 5 different molds.  Your first building will be the most expensive part of the investment.  Now you don't need 5 molds to make a building.  I happen to need a mold for flooring, one for rooftops, one for walls, and a couple for props.

If you do it like me, all smart like... your first building will also be your second, third and fourth building.  I like things to be modular, because I can get the most for the monetary and time investment that I put into it.  For me, it was a must.  I am still in the experimental stage, so stay tuned.  when I finished said "first building" I will make a dedicated post for how I did it.