Plaster repair of large section

Hello all,
I am in an old house with plaster walls. In one bedroom a roof leak caused a whole section of plaster to fall off the ceiling and at an inside corner. The hole is one big section, not multiple sections. It's size is about 5' X 8' and the plaster is a bit greater than 1/2" thick.
I have some questions:
1) Where can you buy the silica-based plaster (brown coat) for the base coat and same question for the top or finish coat? People at home depot and lowes look at me like I have ten eyes in my head.
2) How thick should the first coat be?
3) Is it just a base coat and a top coat or two base coats and one top coat?
4) I visited http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hi_walls_ceilings/article/0,2037,DIY_13938_3685862,00.html . Are there any other sites that described this ancient process?
5) Do I need the make the plaster thicker for the ceiling section?
Thanks for any input from this knowledgible group.
Gene
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can't help you with plaster techniques. for getting the materials, i would look up drywall supply in the yellow pages. the town i live in has two yards that do nothing but supply drywall and related products. if you strike out there, try the biggest actual lumberyard that caters to contractors. they will actually know what plaster is, unlike HD.
Kobra wrote:

http://www.diynetwork.com/diy/hi_walls_ceilings/article/0,2037,DIY_13938_3685862,00.html .
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