Homemade Settlers of Catan - 01 Sculpting

1-Sculpting | 2-Molds | 3-Casting | 4-Painting |5-Packaging | 6-Finishes

The Settlers of Catan is one of those games that is incredibly fun and timeless. It has a relatively small learning curve that gets first time gamers playing and having fun in no time. With 2-4 players a game will take about 40-60 minutes so it is not as daunting as some other games that could last for hours. One of my favorite qualities is how the multiple pieces create a variable game board that shakes each game up enough that different strategies are needed to play. 

Whenever my friends would get together we would pull Catan off the shelf and play a few games in between some of our more epic games. When I saw that they were releasing a limited edition 3d version of the game I was incredibly intrigued. When I found out the game would cost $380 or so I was, um, less than interested. Though to be fair it is a good price for what you get... assuming you have the cash on hand.

Then I saw a few people across the internet crafting their own 3d versions to save some money. I found myself once again intrigued and decided to give it a try. My first thought was to just craft the hexes and use the other pieces from the store bought game but as I got into it I got carried a way and made it all custom.

Before I get started on this 6 part blog I'll start with some teaser pics of the final product.

Ok, back to the beginning. I started by grabbing some Van Aken Plastalina Modeling Clay
and started sculpting some hexes. I used a print out of a hexagon to craft the most accurate clay hex that I could. Once I felt it was as good as it could get I mass produced more hex bases (see next link for process) and I built my world on top of these hexes to ensure they would be the same height and would fit together well.

Settlers of Catan Homemade 3d Pieces Hex Woods Lumber DIY
Woods / Lumber

Settlers of Catan Homemade 3d Pieces Hex Fields Wheat DIY
Fields / Wheat

Once I had my tiles makeup It was time to make the molds so I could mass produce the completed tiles. Make sure you spend adequate time up front making the first tile just right, because after this step there is no going back and any "mistake" will be copied.

Follow the links below to see the process from beginning to end!


  1. Anonymous12:29 PM

    This is really, really phenomenal. Thanks for sharing!!

  2. what kind of clay did you use? Was it a bake clay or an air drying clay?

  3. Miggea, I use Claytoon modeling clay made by I buy a pound of it from Hobby Lobby for about $4. I've been using the same blocks of clay for about a decade now and it seems to keep on going. It does get harder when "cool" but when you're shaping it with your hands the warmth makes it pliable again. It's the only brand I've used so I'm not sure if you can get better results with others or not. Perhaps one might be less porous to have an even smoother texture? If you find something that works better I'd be interested in hearing about it!

  4. Anonymous10:42 AM

    What did you make your hexagon tiles out of? Are the resin? Clay? And are the durable enough to be transported and have continuous use?