Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Wiz-War Hirst Arts boards, molds, and casting in resin.

I remarked before about casting each Hirst Arts Wiz-War sector board out of a single 10.5"x10.5" tile of resin. But I'll go a bit more in depth regarding the work involved. I settled on mold #204 "large cracked floor tiles" for the floor spaces. It seems to match the rest of the Hirst Arts Wiz-War walls the best and looks properly “dungeon”. It will also give the board, once all separate sectors were assembled, a more homogenous look, rather than the hodge podge that is suggested on the Hirst Arts site.

The casting of the initial pieces from Hirst Arts Molds #88 & #204 in order to make my own molds for convenience, was a bit time consuming. Combined with some difficulty in casting parts in resin that weren't distorted by plating the mold with glass. If the pressure is even slightly excessive, then the wall bases distort, making each piece not fit in the floor groove on the floor tile.

Once I got enough undistorted parts to build the masters, then the next major hurdle was to assemble the board so that it was square and all spaces were even. This was a nightmare, and I dread to think about doing this for more than one board. By this point, I had 9 hours of time invested. I then filled all gaps and smoothed them out with rubber sculpting tools so that when pouring the molding rubber that there would be no gaps for it to pour into and ensure this was a single solid tile once cast. By this point, I had 25 hours invested.

 I build all my mold forms out of legos. They are strong and modular and machined with a high amount of precision so that mold boxes are square. and I like to cast my molds with the molds inside of the forms. This reduces or outright prevents the distortion I experienced using the Hirst Arts molds.

I like to fill the mold boxes to the point that they will stick out above the mold just a tiny bit, say, 1/8th of an inch. Enough room for compression from plating allowing give, but not enough for distortion to take hold in a meaningful way.

The walls likewise were given a new master mold so that 8 double post & 26 single post walls, single piece doors, treasure chests, could be cast in one single casting instead of 8 or so castings for each board with the Hirst arts mold. The white circle in the middle is a magic circle sculpted by Julie Guthrie to rep the home base square.

Here is a few examples of the board after being cast as a single tile in both Smooth-Cast 300 (white) and Smooth-Cast 325 (translucent). I wanted to fiddle with different resins to see which properties I like best.

I have decided that I will use Smooth-Cast 321, combined with Ure-Fil 3 resin filler and So-Strong black resin tint. This gives me an increased working time which is fairly critical. The filler creates a speckled stone appearance to the surface of the casting, and cuts cost a bit as a bonus. This resin choice is tan colored, so that after I add a bit of black tint and filler, the castings are a natural looking brown-hued speckled gray stone. If paint chips off accidentally, then the scuff likely wont be noticed. I'll remark more about the specifics of this in a later post.

That's essentially everything. By this point, I have 36 hours invested. (Molds made for doors, portals, walls/chests, magic circles, sector tile, and proofs cast to check for accuracy) Not too bad. All there is to do is simply paint the castings after minor cleanup of any excess resin, and it's playable. That painting though will likely take me about 100 hours since there are so many wall pieces to do. 
Although, it's playable out of the mold since the resin essentially looks like stone.  Add a black ink wash or rub dark shoe polish over the surfaces, a tiny bit of grey highlight if you feel adventurous, and you could have a very quick Wiz-War labyrinth to play with that looks more than decent.

Beyond the board itself, I wanted to replace any of the immovable object tokens with a three dimensional representation. It seems pointless to go through all this work on this project, merely to have a ton of card board laying on it. So I decided that where reasonable, they would get an upgrade. But only be the immovable objects, as there are not only too many carried objects to do this with, but their tokens rarely have an effect on the board, so their chits would suffice. The totems from the Bestial Forces expansion will have to either wait until I get good enough with 3d printing, or just stay as chits.

This includes things such as the portals as well. This was easily solved by taking a door and shaving off the hinges and handles so that the door is a flat surface that will allow a colored sticker to be affixed to each side to enhance the sense that these are warp portals.

Here is a list of the items and ideas for the immovable object tokens:
5 Created Walls (walls without posts)
2 Rosebushes (Green grill cleaner with red dots)
2 Thornbushes (Green grill cleaner)
1 Glue Pile (Green tinted caulking with plastic horse leg sticking out)
1 Dustcloud (3D card stock printout)
1 Wall of Fire (sculpted fire mounted on a 1x3 wizwar strip)
1 Created door (normal extra door)
1 Sealed Door (normal door with chains)
1 Stone Block (caulking stiffened sponge block)
4 Booby Traps (junkrobot heavy bear trap)
Malefic Curses:
1 Skull Servant (Privater Press Soul Marker)
2 Boneyard (tabletop-art bonefield)
10 Prismatic Mist (swirly sculpted tile)


  1. Que bonito!! ¿Que puede costar el set y que lo envíen a España? Mándame un correo a Sin compromiso

  2. Hi
    you can get a quote for 5/6 complete sets (bases - walls - doors?)
    (To be sent to Italy)
    Many thanks and congratulations for the great work !!


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