Friday, May 10, 2013

Hirst Arts Water Caverns for D&D

Hi, folks. In the last post I ended with a teaser pic showing our Hirst Arts Water Caverns. Ever since I first saw these I've been wanting them. There's even an excellent step by step tutorial on making the Water Caverns. It's a very thorough tutorial, covering everything from casting the pieces, through assembly and layout, painting, even has sections on making water for the river pieces. Well worth a read and full of useful tips, even if you aren't  making a water cavern right now. :)

As I said I really wanted a water cavern, but I didn't own any of the molds. It takes 5 molds to make these which cost $140. Bruce generously offers 10% off for orders between 5-9 molds which cuts the cost to $126 plus $7 shipping for a total of $133. A decent deal, I almost went with that. The problem would have been all of the casting I would have had to do. The project plans say:

Cast Mold #81 ten times
Cast Mold #82 ten times
Cast Mold #85 six times
Cast Mold #281 thirty times
Cast Mold #282 twelve times

That's a lot of casting. And I didn't have a lot of time available. This is where Naloomi's Workshop comes in. He offers a complete Water Cavern Set, already precast, of all of the components you need, plus many extra pieces. Saves a great deal of time. And at $120 it's a steal. So that's what I did. I bought Naloomi's Water Cavern set and then Mark and I constructed it following the Hirst Arts tutorial. Shipping was fast and almost everything arrived perfectly intact. A few of the longer cavern wall pieces were broken in transit. But that wasn't from poor packaging. I have enough bubble wrap from the packaging to start my own packing company. And the few broken pieces were easily glued back together.

Thanks for bearing with me through the text. I wanted to give credit to Hirst Arts and Naloomi's Workshop. Pic time :)

 Here's the Water Cavern set layout connected to the Gothic Dungeon.
This is the broken wall section in the Gothic Dungeon which connects the dungeon to the Water Caverns. That's one of the Orcs from the Wrath of Ashardalon boardgame. You get 42 unpainted plastic D&D minis with the set. We are slowly painting all of them.
 This is from the river opening out into a lake. The room to the right has a treasure pile across a deep chasm. Think that bridge is safe?
 Overhead view.
 Continuing west from the treasure cave.
 Another shot continuing west.
 The river mouth with dock and a bridge.
 This shot from the west shows the connection between dungeon and caverns. The hall with the blue and yellow floor tiles contains the broken wall section entry.
A different shot of the broken wall section.
 This shows the rope bridge. Sir Kaeleth essays crossing the span. I wonder if he noticed that lever behind him? 
 Another shot from the eastern section.
 A shot through the Southern entry arch. Sir Kaeleth is almost there. "Somebody pull the lever!" :)

Thanks for looking. This is a great set. Mark and I had a good time building it. Another nice feature is it is modular and can be laid out in many different patterns. 


Vampifan said...

Fantastic layout, Joe, and I do like the way you have painted all the pieces.

Ironmonk said...

Very nice! I like the Hirst Arts stuff but have never purchased them because, like you, I don't have time to cast all the parts. Thanks for the tip about Naloomi. Great idea!

Luckyjoe said...

@Vampifan: Thanks very much. Painting these went very quickly, mostly just drybrushing.

@Ironmonk: Thanks. Buying the parts precast is a huge time-saver and you don't have to worry about the mess and clean-up of casting, either.

Zabadak said...

I tried a long time ago casting pieces from a few molds and it took forever, having someone who has already done it it great and for such a good price too,!
Your whole set-up looks superb

Luckyjoe said...

Hi Joe. Thanks very much. And speaking of superb set-ups, I've been going back over old posts on your blog. Lots of excellent stuff there.

The Extraordinarii said...

LuckyJoe thats an A grade set up, it looks most impressive, I have been eyeing off the Hirst arts moulds for a while for my D&D adventures (which haven't started yet)Naloomi sounds like a good way to go, thanks for the heads up, keep up the good work mate.

Lead Legion said...

YOUR BACK! Fantastic. Really good to see you back and posting again lucky joe. You had a lot of us (me included) worried for a while there.

Lovely terrain, magnificent even.

Good to see you posting again Lucky Joe. You've been missed by all your friends here on blogspot.

Luckyjoe said...

@The Extraordinarii: Thanks! Naloomi's Workshop is a great option, though I wonder shipping would cost to OZ. :)

@Lead Legion: Thanks very much. Everyone has been very kind and gracious about accepting me back into the fold after my absence and I appreciate that very much.