Friday, June 17, 2016

BGiME #6: Making Ruins

I’ve said it before, but constructing terrain—especially ancient and/or mysterious structures from the distant past—is one of my favorite aspects of the miniature wargaming hobby. As such, issue #6’s terrain-making chapter is my favorite one so far. The process of making more advanced ruins is presented in this issue. The techniques are simple and the results are terrific.

The “Defend the Ruins!” scenario found in this issue requires six pieces of terrain. Although any of the terrain from previous “Modelling Workshop” chapters would serve, I wanted to conjure up images of the early centuries of the Third Age and perhaps lingering relics from the Second Age of Middle-Earth in my games. So an even half-dozen ruins it must be!

The ruins are made largely with thick cardboard cut into the appropriate shapes with a craft knife, then mounted on base of thin card. Spackle is applied to give the pieces texture and, once dry, each ruin is then painted and flocked. I did these six in about a week of intermittent work, but could have easily cranked them out in a weekend if I had need to.

These are the ruins in the early stages of construction. Masking tape is applied to the cardboard edges to conceal the corrugation and create the appearance of solid stone. Each entire piece is next slathered in spackling compound. I went a little heavy in places, resulting in “frosted cake” consistency that is a bit too thick, but they still look fine for the tabletop. I finally sprinkled “sprue rubble” and a few rocks I picked up while walking to add some more details to each piece.

Once the spackling compound dried, I applied a basecoat of black spray paint for coverage.

Each of the ruins was drybrushed with a dark gray paint, followed by another drybrushing of a lighter gray, then one last layer of drybrushed off-white to pick out the final highlights. The borders of each ruin was painted a chocolate brown and a layer of grass flock was applied to finish off the ruins.

Overall, I’m tremendously satisfied with the results. The cost was negligible, making them was quick, and the technique to craft them was simple. I can easily see myself using the same method to make more elaborate ruins for a city-centric miniatures wargame. With a little snow effect flocking, similar ruins would make a great addition to a Frostgrave gaming table. Next up, we’ll see how they look on the tabletop when we play through “Defend the Ruins!”

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