Government Buildings and Monuments
For this I will be largely building with Hirst Arts
You can see here how the system works. You buy the molds, then cast the pieces (which takes about 30 minutes to dry. Then you glue them together.
In order to make the project faster I will be taking assembled sections and them making molds of them using Oomoo 25 rubber compound. Then I will cast entire sections. For example the row of 5 arches will be one section, the temple floor will be a section and the circular arches will be a section. Molding and casting entire sections has the advantage of speed and also makes the models MUCH stronger.
Here is the set of arches which I will make a mold of and use multiple times on the board. for example this can be put on top of each other to form the front of a building, or two times back to back to form an aqueduct...
Arches constructed which I will make a mold of
And here it is with a set of pillars forming the upper floor for the front of one of the basilicas.
I am using a substance called Crystacal Alpha K for making the bricks and sections. This stuff is much harder than regular plaster! I tried it first with regular plaster of paris but the bricks are a little bit flakey and easily broken.
Hirst Arts have a nice Roman mold. This can be used for making pillars. Their Prison Tower mold has the Roman arches. There is also a roof mold which makes perfect Roman/Greek roofs.
As you can see here, I built the roman Arch which will sit inside the Imperial forum.
Roman Arch from Hirst Arts
And here is the circular temple which will have two levels. This is made using the "Ruined Tower" mold.
Hirst Arts even have printable floor plans and instructions you can download, which are very helpful!
A few points about building with Hirst Arts:
- If you do not scrape the top of your molds consistently, then the depth of all pieces will vary.
- Some bricks are not perfectly straight or right-angled. Perhaps it’s an error with the original sculpt or perhaps the molds warp a little, or perhaps it’s my own inexperience; whatever the reason, I found some corner pieces are off by couple of degrees.
Because of the above, it tends to be a bit fiddly when you are building structures in which all pieces affect the others, for example with the monument or with a house or temple. Etc. If you are just building walls it’s not an issue. So you will find that you need to make some small adjustments by scraping / sanding the bricks a little. It’s best to dry-fit the bricks together first before you start gluing any of them.
Another important point – plaster powders become easily airborne. Therefore you should always wear a mask. Especially if you use some hardcore material like I use (Crystacal). The stuff sets almost as hard as concrete. I definitely don’t want to inhale that kind of dust and build up concrete in my lungs so I invested 15 BP to buy a really good dust mask. I also use a specific set of sweat pants and sweatshirt when casting which I then immediately take off afterwards, and I wipe off my hands, face, hair and arms to remove any dust. I’m a freak I know, but when using a regular paper dust-mask, I could still taste the stuff in my throat! So take a tip from my and do your lungs a favor. Vacuum your work room regularly.
Despite the issues, I think the results with Hirst Arts molds are GREAT. Many thanks to Bruce Hirst who made all these awesome molds.
Here you can see the circular temple I am building, which will be two levels. I will make a mold of the floor tiles and the arches so I can save time and also have a much stronger structure.
For the base I am using 2 thin sheets of 6mm MDF. I glue them together. I like to say its because it makes them more rigid blah blah blah, but basically its because the boards I ordered are too thin
You really need 12mm MDF when you have heavy boards like these with lots of structures on top.
On top of the MDF I will glue sheets of Styrodor or Polyfoam. I found it extremely difficult to get this stuff in the UK. In Germany its used a lot in house construction, but in the UK builders tend to use glass wool and other substances instead. I did manage to find these large sheets at on particular Homebase.
This provides an good surface for cutting into, for example for the canal I will add later. Rock and hills of the board will also be made from this Polyfoam.