These three molds have a lot of tiny bits and fine detail. If you are a beginner in this hobby and are only using plaster of Paris, then you will probably not get good results using these molds. For more information on these molds, exactly what parts are on them and how to use them, please look at our Tips & Tricks 29 page.
To get good results you will need the following:
A good casting material such as dental stone. You can find out all about this casting material on our Dental Stone web page.
A spray surfactant or debbubilizer. You can find out what this is and where to get it on our Advanced Casting web page.
A vibrating table. You might get fair results without one but you'll only get the best results if you use it. You can make one yourself for around $40 and I show how to do this on our Advanced Casting web page.
The photo above shows what the complete set I'm building will look like. There are four types of parts used in this layout. Rooms, hallways, wall ends & doorway blockers, and pillars. The photos below show just a few examples of each of these.
Rooms are the basic part of the inn. They have an odd number of tiles on the floor (each direction) and have walls on all sides. The rooms also have 1" wide doorways.
These hallway pieces will always have an even number of squares. They will also have no walls and are used to put between the rooms.
Wall ends & Doorway blockers
Sometimes you will end up with a hallway that goes nowhere. These are used to keep your inn from having large openings in the outer walls. These are also used to block open doorways.
These are used to put a second level above the first if you want to stack the rooms up.
I am going to base the rooms and hallways onto black foam core board. You can buy foam core board at most office supply stores for around $18.00 for a package of three 30" x 40" pieces. One package will be enough to base all of the pieces.
To find foam core board near you, search the internet for "black foam boards" and you should find some. I found mine at www.staples.com. These are slightly less than 1/4" thick. If you can't find black, white will do since you are going to paint it anyway.
All of the rooms will have an odd number of tiles on the floor such as 3x5, 3x7, 5x7 and so on.
The maximum height of the walls on the room will be 2.5" tall. That is the height of the wall only and does not count the height of the board you mount it on.
You will also notice that the wall sets down beside the floor tiles and not on top of the floor tiles. Both will be glued directly down to the foam core board when finished.
When placing doorways on the rooms, do not put them on the corner squares.
They will line up the best if you start with the second square from the corner and then use alternating squares.
This rule is not set in stone but I believe things will line up better if you follow it.
The hallway sections will have an even number of tiles such as 2x2, 2x4, 2x6,4x4 and so on.
Hallway sections will have no walls on them and will be glued directly down to the foam core board.
This demonstrates how the hallways (with even squares) and the rooms (with odd squares) line up.
The 1/2" walls around the outside of the rooms make it all work out even.
Below you can see how all the doorways and hallways can line up together. The rooms shown below are ones we are going to make. You will notice that there are several hallways that open up to the outside and several doorways that dead end into another wall or open to the outside as well. The pieces shown in the next section will fix these problems.
Wall ends & Doorway blockers
To solve the problem of hallways that open to the outside, I've built some wall ends. One is a doorway and the others are simply small wall sections. Just place these on the open ends and the problem is solved.
To solve the problem of doorways that don't lead anywhere, I've made some bookshelves and fireplaces that are 1" wide. Just stuff these into the doorways and no one will know there used to be a doorway there. This way you can have multiple room openings for a larger variety of room arrangements and not have it look weird.
Click on the photos below for a larger version. The photo on the left is without the wall blockers and the photo on the right has them.
The pillars are used to support rooms and walkways placed on top of other rooms.
Outside pillars are used to support rooms that overhang outside the rest of the inn. These pillars need to reach all the way down to the table top. These will measure 2 1/2" tall and will be mounted on foam core, just like the rest of the rooms.
Inside pillars are used to support rooms that overhang inside the inn somewhere. These pillars will rest on the wooden interior floor. These will measure 2 1/4" tall and won't be glued to anything.
The photo on the left shows how outside pillars are used and the photo on the right shows how inside pillars are used.