Well, I've started doing my first run of casting from each of the molds! I thought it was going to be slow, and boring, and messy, etc, but with some TV shows playing while working, it's not that bad at all. I think I'm actually enjoying this :) I'm even more amazed at how much I like the look of the pieces after they're popped out of the molds. I've used lots of illustrated paper maps for years, but when I popped out a floor grate, and could see the detail of physical holes in 3D, it was like, Wow!
I won't know until tomorrow if I'm doing it right (when it has finished hardening) but so far it seems to be working really well! I've done both of the sci-fi floor molds now, including 1 door and step, for a total of 12 pieces. I plan on using two of the floor types to be the passage floor, and the room floor, and one of the tiles to be the walls, with industrial stuff, computer stuff, etc, attached to the sides to make it look more interesting.
Anyway, here's some pics!
The two floor molds, filled with plaster, then excess plaster scraped off after 6 or 7 minutes.
Around 25 minutes later, the mold is carefully flexed in either direction, and the pieces raise up enough to pluck them out! I was worried they would crumble apart, but they were already quite hard! Here's a couple of the raw, unpainted tiles, still drying and hardening. There's a few dents from air bubbles here and there, but I think that will just give it a 'used and worn' look. The mold maker says the more the molds are used, and the more familiar you get with the casting, the better the quality of the pieces that will come out. Top: diamond plate for room flooring, bottom: grating for corridor flooring. On big rooms, I might also put the grating around the outside of the room like a border or something.
This is what one of the doors looks like, and some steps. Two steps, end to end, can make a small raised platform, which can be placed to show where a doorway is, and the door is designed to balance on top of the platform when the doors are closed, and be taken away when doors are open!
Anyway, I'll take more photos of stuff (there were a couple other tiles done, and I'm currently casting some more molds so I better get back to it!)