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.

Stage 1

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.

Stage 2

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.


Stage 3

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.

Stage 4

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.

Stage 5

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.

Stage 6

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.

Stage 7

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.

Stage 8

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.

Stage 9

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 the ruins.

Stage 10

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.

Final Results

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.