The Bottom Line
I appreciate good design with unlimited potential. Bruce Hirst of Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture Inc. produces great collections of flexible silicon molds for casting scale buildings. Traditional castles, fieldstone buildings, pyramids, temples and space themes are available. The molds are detailed, yet easily used with plaster or resin. Clear instructions for casting each mold along with sets of plans that incorporate parts from a single mold or a combination of molds are on the website. Designed mainly for 25 -30 mm (roughly 1 1/4 inch) figures, the pieces are sized to allow them to be used in several scales.
- Well detailed molds, easy to cast in plaster or resin.
- Good plans available for an excellent project from each mold.
- Not limited to a single project per mold, unlimited options for buildings.
- Site gives information on diameters and heights of buildings and blocks.
- Good casting directions and photo gallery on website.
- You need to cast a lot of blocks for most projects!
- Like most game related buildings are a bit overstylized but can be adjusted.
- Sturdy well detailed silicone molds which create lots of basic building shapes.
- Well designed plans available on the website suggest at least one interesting way to use each mold for a detailed building.
- Tolerances are very close, the fit of these blocks is very good, allowing a lot of opportunity for creativity.
- Great ranges of molds available in each line. There are even plans for a working fieldstone windmill.
- Lots of examples posted on the website.
- Cost - Most single molds are $34, a few are less, a few are more.
- Most molds are a standard 4 1/4 by 5 1/2 inch size. Two lbs.(1 kilo) of regular plaster will fill a mold roughly ten times.
Guide Review - Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture Molds
Good building blocks are useful for many projects in all scales. The block molds produced by Hirst Arts are primarily based on 1/4 inch increments, with standard blocks being one inch by 1/2 inch by 1/2 inch. They can be used for everything from churches and cathedrals to pyramids. Designed for use originally for gamers using 25-30mm figures, the blocks can be used for doll house foundations, stone walls, patio blocks, horse jumps, fountains and all manner of items in several scales, as well as for war gaming buildings. For anyone interested in model buildings, these molds are a good way to start creating your own architecture.
The recommended technique used to make the blocks is a simple pour of plaster. The molds are well designed and any slightly difficult areas are highlighted in the clear instructions for that mold on the website. The website even shows a simple work area laid out to show novices how to efficiently set up a production line for creating plaster blocks.
Each set of molds has its own style of finish, but complete sets of blocks come in all finishes, allowing you to make everything from floors to roofs. The original molds are designed for chiseled stone shapes, but a sandstone finish (for desert buildings and pyramids) and a fieldstone finish are also available.
The molds themselves are made of sturdy, flexible silicone rubber, which holds good detail and allows plaster or resin casts to be removed easily. If cared for, the molds will last several years. They need to be stored out of sunlight and kept reasonably clean. The shelf life of the mold may be reduced by using them for casting resin.
Where to start - Start with a simple basic block building in your chosen finish. You will need to cast the mold at least ten times over for most buildings. As the sizes are consistent, you can use the molds across themes if you wish.