The Tomb
Steps for using mold #56 to create the model shown here.
This Page Includes:
Mold Uses
Casting Tips
Building Instructions



Mold Uses

When designing a mold, I try to have several uses for each piece besides the model I design for them. All of the pieces on this mold are 1/4" thick and flat on the back side.

You can glue the two halves of the pieces together to make a full piece, or you can dress up existing plain walls by adding to them. Here are a few examples of walls dressed up with these pieces.

This is a regular doorway before and after using the large arches and decorative pieces. This is a triple window before and after, with the buttress arch and decorative pieces added.



Casting Tips

For complete instructions on pouring the blocks, see the Casting Instructions Page. Below are a few tips to help you with the Tomb mold.

Many of the pieces on this mold are so delicate and thin that I'm using dental plaster to cast the pieces instead of regular plaster. Dental plaster mixes and sets up just like the regular stuff but it's much harder. For places you can purchase it, check out the Casting Using Dental Plaster page.

You will get the best results from using the wet water method found on the "Advanced Casting Instructions" page. For some reason, the texture of the decorative tiles won't release the air bubbles on the surface otherwise.

If you still have trouble with the decorative floor tiles, use an old stiff bristled paint brush and push it around to force the air bubbles out.

Also, tap the mold sharply with the handle of a tool often to release air bubbles. Dental plaster can also be mixed thinner, so that should help as well.

If small defects occur, don't worry; real stone buildings also have defects. Besides, when you put the whole building together you'll be so impressed with the result that you won't be able to find them anyway!

Building Instructions

Even though this model appears simple, it's one of the more difficult to build because of having to sand several pieces to fit. You will need to fill this mold 14 times to have enough blocks to build the tomb. Also, the blocks should be completely dry before gluing them together. Placing them in front of a fan will speed the process. If they feel cool or look darker than the other blocks, they're still wet.

1. You can download the plans shown here from the Building Plans Page and print them out yourself.

Start by gluing the floorplan down to some medium card stock such as a cereal box and trim the excess edge away.

When dry, glue the floor tiles directly down to the plan. For the small square blocks, use the ones with the recessed design, not the raised design.

2. Set aside twelve 1" column pieces and decorative bases. Glue these together to form the six main columns.
3. Tape a straight edge against the wall plan. Now place the decorative top edging against it. You will have to trim down one of the decorative edge pieces to fit.

On the arches, be sure to use the squares with the raised design here, not the recessed design.


This shows the trimmed decorative edge and raised design square.
4. Once it dries, turn over the arch and glue the backside on. Use flat square tiles on the ends (not decorative ones).

The top decorative edging will not go on this side. We're leaving an edge for the roof to set against.

5. For the large front arch, glue decorative edge onto the slanted top. Using a hobby knife, trim off the excess and miter the edges straight with the sides of the arch. Do this for the other side of the arch, and glue them together.

Now glue the backside of the large arch on, but don't put decorative edge on the other side. Make two complete copies of this arch.

6. Place the large front arch against the double arch where it will fit.

Notice that the sharp bottom edge of the arch sticks out. Be sure to trim this as shown in the second photo.

7. Now set the large arch flat on the table. Glue the large arch to the side of the double arches all the way around.

When dry, set the structure up and make sure that all six legs lie flat on the ground.

8. Here is a close up of the corner. You need to add the pieces shown here.

Start with the two column halves, then glue a flat square tile to cap off the top. Then glue two halves of the decorative point together and glue them on top.

Do this for all four corners.

9. You can use cardboard, but for this roof, I'm going to use foam core board. It's a layer of foam between 2 layers of paper. It's very stiff, light and easy to cut. You can find it at most craft shops.

Lay the roof template over the board and push on each corner with a pencil or ball point pen. Remove the template and connect the dots using a ruler.

Don't forget to do the same thing for the triangular roof braces.

10. Cut out the roof section and two triangular roof braces. Be sure to lightly cut the roof across the center so it will fold easily. Test fit the roof on top of the building to see if it needs trimming
11. Glue two long roof tiles so they butt together at the roof fold.

Trim a short tile in half. Place the two halves across the roof fold and glue into place. Add two long roof tiles beside it so they extend over the edge of the roof.

Be sure the roof can still fold in the middle.

12. Continue this pattern until the tiles reach past the other end.

Now trim some short tiles in half and glue them in the gaps along the edges. Let the roof dry completely!

13. Using a sanding block, carefully sand the overhanging edges down. You may want to place a soft cloth under the roof to keep from chipping the tiles when you hold down the roof.

Occasionally test fit the roof on the building. Do not glue the building together! You can set the pieces together temporarily to see how it looks.

14. Tape a piece of sandpaper to your work surface and gently sand the top of the roof flat.

Now glue the full pieces of decorative trim along the peak of the roof.

15. For the sarcophagus, glue together the pieces shown. If you want to remove the lid later, don't glue it on.

If you want to add the decorative trim around the bottom, you'll have to cast 8 extra trim pieces. The decorative trim pieces will need trimming to fit properly.

16. When you're finished, these are all of the pieces you should have to paint. Feel free to stack them up so you can see how the finished building will look.
17. When painting, first I spray the pieces with a clear satin or dull finish (varnish or lacquer) to seal the pieces. The stonework of the tomb uses the same tannish brown colors as the gothic church. The roof uses shades of gray to simulate lead sheets.

For more specific painting information, refer to the earth tone painting instructions.

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http://www.hirstarts.com. All photos, articles and plans are copyrighted by Bruce Hirst and may not be used without permission.
"Castlemolds(R)" is a trademark of Hirst Arts Fantasy Architecture Inc.
For more information contact bruce@hirstarts.com.