Making Post Apocalyptic Ruins
This was probably one of the first scenery projects I've done where I had a good plan of what needed to be produced, how many and for a specific game. As part of my Combat Zone project I decided to make about 10 pieces. All ruined buildings and based on CD's. The gaming area was going to be 4ft x 4ft so these pieces along with one or two other obstacles, burnt out cars, fences, barrells etc. the amount of terrain on the table should be enough.
Given my previous success using the Yoga Foam block to make some Stonehenge scenic pieces. I decided to use what I had left of it to make the ruins. This also meant I could make good use of all the off cuts from the block as rubble.
Part of the remit for this project was to make it easy to transport. So the ruins needed to remain simple. No multi-story or complicated structures.
The first stage was to get the main parts of the ruin structure stuck
to the CD. Because you always need to be careful mixing things like
foam and super glue, I used a hot glue gun instead. You can see from
the picture that I cut rough wall like sections out of the foam block,
to look like the corner of a building. I also cut some pieces of foam
to act as fallen walls. The hole in the middle of the CD was also covered
up by a flat piece of foam.
After having built almost an entire army of rockmen out of the foam,
I naturally ended up with a pot full of off cuts. These I would use
to act as rubble at the base of each of the ruins. The hot glue gun
can cool very quickly and if it doesn't it can be dangerous to press
the smaller pieces into it. So although it takes longer to dry I brushed
on a good helping of PVA glue along the base of the walls and pressed
the off cuts into it.
This was the result of sticking the off cuts to the base of the wall
sections. Once the glue had dried I tested how well the pieces had stuck.
Some were a bit lose so I applied a little more glue to selectively
stick in place the lose bits.
Once all the foam pieces were stuck in place I applied more PVA glue
to the whole base and sprinkled on some balast. I normally flock or
texture bases with grass. For these pieces of scenery I wanted the base
to match my gaming mat as much as possible. Most apocalyptic scenery
I've scene has all been on grey to black concrete in style. The gaming
mat I had was more for a desert setting so I needed the base to be at
the yellow/light brown end of the colour range.
Now came the time to use the first of the tester pots I bought from
Homebase. It was a red/brown terracotta colour called Delicious (don't
ask). I covered the entire piece with it to also act as an undercoat.
The foam can soak up some paint so I was quite generous with the amount
of paint I used.
Once the first coat had dried I applied an ink wash to just the ground
(not the ruined wall sections). Although there was no need to be precise
with it. For this I mixed washes (137 Chestnut) and (153 Armour) both
from the Coat d'arms range. The purpose of the ink wash was to get some
shadow in the base texture to help highlight it against the next setp
of dry brushing.
As I stated earlier I wanted these terrain pieces to match my desert
playing mat as close as possible. For this I took an off cut from my
gaming mat (had previously re-cut it to a different size) to use as
a swatch while picking the previously mentioned Homebase tester paint
pots. For drybrushing I used a lighter brown colour Homebase had called
Pecan. The first dry brush I applied like I would on a miniature, but
that was far too gentale for the base to pick up any colour. So I had
to be a bit more heavy handed about it.
Next I started work on the ruins themselves. These I painted using
colour 533 Slate Grey. I applied a neat coat of the grey (in other words
I didn't thin it down with water). Despite undercoating the foam ruins
I still thought it might absorb a bit of the grey. As it was the paint
went on fine. It took a bit of time to do all of the bits of rubble,
but one of the good things about making ruined piece of scenery. I didn't
need to be too careful and getting a little bit of paint onto other
parts wouldn't matter.
I then went back to the ink wash 153 Armour and applied a watered down
coat to the ruined sections. I used a ratio of one drop of ink to two
drops of water. Again it didn't matter that some of the ink ran onto
the base. You can see some of this at the base of the corner wall section,
but that would all blend into the ground making it look like something
had been spilt or damage from fire.
The ink wash stained the ruins quite nicely, showing up all the rough
edges of the foam walls. Once this had dried I moved onto highlighting
For highlighting the ruins I started off back with the slate grey (533).
This still showed up since I had darkened the ruins with the ink wash.
Then I added a bit of light grey (211) to the slate grey and applied
another highlight. Finally I went for a straight final highlight with
the light grey. This brought out the edges of the rubble pieces nicely.
The final touches I made were to add some lighter flock (sand this time)
just to break up the base a bit and some rusty pipes, corrugated iron
fences etc. You can see how I made the rusty extra bits here.
So there we have the first of the ruins. I'm fairly pleased with the
result and it was easy to make. A real bonus since I need to make about
a dozen to cover the gaming table. Next up I go through Making
Corrugated Iron Fences and Rusty Pipes.