Terrain update

I know it has been some time since I have posted anything about terrain. Well, I haven’t been posting much at all, actually, but I haven’t posted much at all on what was once the primary activity on this blog (miniatures and terrain).

So, I haven’t been completely ignoring terrain or miniatures, I just haven’t been blogging about them. Mostly I’ve been slowly but steadily building up a supply of blocks cast using Hydrostone from Hirst Arts molds.

So, to give you an idea of what that means… Because it’s not trivial…

I have these plastic container drawers which I’ve been using to hold my cast blocks. The blocks aren’t just tossed willy-nilly into the drawers either, they are stacked as neatly and closely together as possible. That means in the case of rectangular blocks, the drawer is essentially packed as if it were a solid layer of hydrostone. To break it down:

  • Cavern floor tiles – I have seven square feet of cavern floor tiles. That’s almost exactly 1,000 square inches. That is probably around 80 castings of floor tiles, each casting takes about 30 minutes, so about 40 hours invested in casting floor tiles.
  • Polished stone floor tiles – I have about 4.5 square feet of these, or about 650 square inches. This is a mix of cracked and uncracked tiles at about 40/60 mix (cracked/uncracked). In some cases rooms should only have the uncracked ones. A nice temple should not have cracked floor tiles, nor should a throne room. So as many of these as I have, I can always use more.
  • Unpolished stone floor tiles – I only have about 2.5 square feet of these. In fact I’m not even sure why I bought the mold. Cut stone makes sense on a wall, but on a floor it seems pretty odd since it would be uneven and difficult to walk on. Still, there will be times that they are useful and I may even use them as walls on occasion.
  • Cobblestone – Also about 2.5 sq feet. These are very specific tiles intended to be used as village streets or city squares. They are really cool and are the only floor tiles I have which are designed to not show a 1″ square grid.
  • Cut stone walls – I have actually totally filled my drawer for these blocks and have a few more blocks that won’t fit in the drawer. Each drawer is basically 12x12x2 inches. Since each block is 1/2″ high, that means I have a bit more than four square feet of these, or about 560 square inches. This sounds like a lot, and it may be. It weighs a lot, enough that I’m worried it’s going to break my plastic drawer case. In terms of pure volume I have more of these than any other blocks. Which is good since these are the most commonly used blocks for building temples, castles, city walls, etc. You can also use these for dwarven tunnels.
  • 6″ diameter fieldstone walls – I have almost as many of these blocks as I do the cut stone, but they don’t stack nearly as well, so while they take as much space in a drawer, they have a lot of wasted space since the blocks are curved or other odd shapes. Still, I have plenty to make large towers, long walls, or curved dungeon walls.
  • Underground walls – these are walls that are mostly designed to be used for building terrain that is just under the surface, such as tunnels under the foundations of buildings, sewers, catacombs, etc. The walls are stone with rough blocks or even tree trunks embedded in them. I have a drawer full of these but they are extremely odd shapes so don’t stack at all. So even though it’s a full drawer, it’s not nearly as many blocks as the cut stone or fieldstone tower blocks.
  • Cavern walls – Also have a full drawer, but with the same stacking limitations as the underground walls. The difference between these and the underground walls is that these are designed to look like stalagmites and other deep cavern terrain. In a well-designed dungeon these would be used to build the lowest levels and would be appropriate for encounters with Drow or other denizens of the underdark.
  • Cut stone 4″ tower – I probably actually have more blocks of these than any other blocks, but I have already built a full wizard tower and a partial ruined tower out of them. So I only have a single layer of these blocks in my drawer so I need to start casting these to replenish my supply. Mixing these with the cut stone blocks (of which I have a ton) would be suitable for building a keep with straight walls and towers on the corners. So I really need to get cracking on making as many of these as I can.
  • Fieldstone bridge blocks – I have only a few of these. I cast enough to make the original fieldstone bridge, but I haven’t done much with these since. This mold has the closest thing I hve to straight fieldstone walls and floor tiles, so I’ve occasionally cast just those blocks, but there are only a few such blocks in the mold, so it’s slow, slow, slow going. I did just purchase a dedicated fieldstone wall mold which has nothing but straight fieldstone walls. Since fieldstone walls are the primary blocks used for “dungeon” walls, it’s really a shame that I have not had a mold for this, and that is one reason I’ve not done a lot with building dungeons so far. Lacking the walls it has been difficult to build dungeon elements and substituting the cut stone walls, while technically possible, doesn’t really fit from a thematic perspective. I’m looking forward to receiving the fieldstone molds I just ordered.
  • Miscellaneous accessories – This is a drawer with a lot of barrels, crates, doors, chests, buckets, pots, etc… I probably now have more than I’ll ever need, but it’s nice to have so many.
  • Custom blocks – This is not even a drawer since some of them are too big for the drawers. I have them in a separate plastic container. This includes about 20 Roman columns, tons of building walls, garden walls, tombstones, caskets, skull piles, coin piles, etc.

As if this isn’t enough, I just purchased five more molds.

It’s seriously an addiction….

But anyway, I think I have enough now that I can focus on building instead of casting…


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