Modular Starship Tiles

Well, I've (yet again) started working on my modular space ship project. This project was started well before this blog so this will be the first posting about it. I've actually been casting blocks for it off and on using the excess resin from other pieces the whole time, but just recently I noticed I actually had enough to start working on the next stage. So I've managed to assemble the basic wall for one side of a straight hallway.

This panel is actually 2 three inch halves so I can mix and match other half combinations. This also allows the halves to be used as part of a number of other tiles, and happens to fit in one of my standard mold sizes, so I don't have to start yet another mold size. I plan making molds to speed up the construction process and so there are fewer glue joints (which are by far the weakest link). You can see some of my other custom molds for Hirst blocks in the background.

Each tile fits in a 6" by 6" space allowing a variety of spaceship interiors to be set-up. Below is an example of a 3 foot by 3 foot setup done in Google SketchUp.

In other news I bought a Piranha last week and have slowly been assembling/painting it. I'll do a blog on it when it's closer to finished.


  1. Looks super cool (and ambitious) to me. What's the time and money investment to start something like this from scratch? I've always wanted to get into molding, but it seems so labor intensive...

  2. I've invested a lot of time into mold making and casting, but most of it was learning how it all worked without enough research into the why things are done the way they are, so I had a lot of trial and error. If you can set up a dedicated space to work on it (over a long period) it actually ends up being a lot less labor intensive as you don't have to reset up over and over (and deal with trying to move things that are trying to cure). With a dedicated space and enough materials, an hour or two an evening will generate a mountain of parts to build scenery out of.

    Thinking of enough materials it's supposedly a lot more expensive cost-wise then what I've invested, but I got my silicone free as industrial samples (5 gallon pails). However, it appears they're no longer giving samples out to individuals (which I honestly understand, the first of my 2 pails lasted over a year, though I should've used it faster as by the end it was getting really thick and not setting right.

    My casts have been in resin so far which is about $15 for 16 ounces. Hirst suggests casting in dental plaster, which is a really nice hard plaster (unlike plaster of paris, which is actually rather soft). The dental plaster I've found are around $40 for a 50 lbs box, which is about $0.80 for the same 16 ounces as the resin. I haven't visited any of the local suppliers for the plasters yet so have stuck with using the 'leftovers' from other casts to make my scenery parts, so I'm rather slow.

    Hirst's molds are $29 to $34 each and can be found here. I cheated though, already having silicone I had a friend cast me one of each of the sci-fi molds he had and I made my own molds. Having worked from both angles now, I would suggest investing in the official molds, with maybe a couple custom molds if you find you use a couple pieces in far excess of the rest of the molds they come in. Also, if you happen to have a local gaming group, try and get them interested too, so you can each purchase a couple molds and spread that initial investment out.

    Hirst molds can easily count as an entire 40k army by themselves.

  3. Yeah, official molds definitely seem the way to go. But do you cast each wall section seperately, or are you making larger molds of "finished" pieces? It seems like it would take forever to create an entire space-hulk type game board using those little bits.

  4. I'm planning on casting each of the 3" wall sections, then assembling from there, so it'll end up being 5 pieces for a straight. This is much better then the 60 pieces it'd take if I just reassembled the individual hirst blocks each time. ^.^