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The great and mighty Shogun Shonuff has put a call out for articles that may help beginner modellers. Since, despite having been into my modelling for over 15 years now, I have about the aptitude of most beginners I though an example of my work may help.
I've decided to start with a ruin, since they are pretty much ubiquitous on tables these days and to use foamcore board, as I think it represents the perfect balance of cheapness, good effect and ease of use.
During this stage by stage I will indicate various stages where I think I could have stopped, given a simple paint job and had a piece of serviceable terrain.Materials
For this project I needed:The tools I used were:
- One sheet of foamcore board
- One small piece of hardboard
- One length of copper wire
- Multiple strips of balsa wood
- One cake box (or any thin card from the kitchen)
- Modelling clay or DIY filler
- Fine gravel/shale
- Random imperial bitz for detailing
- PVA Glue
- Super Glue
- UHU Power glueBefore I start, a few notes:
- Snap off Hobby knife
- Metal safety ruler
- Wire cutters
- Cutting mat
- Razor Saw
Foamcore cuts wonderfully with a sharp knife, giving a neat crisp edge. With a blunt knife the paper sheets rip and chunks of the foam inside tear out. Always use a sharp knife. Unfortunately foamcore is very good at blunting knives, hence why I use a cheap snap off hobby blade. As this article goes on, you will notice my knife is getting shorter and shorter, and at one point changes colour.
Do not use spray paint, superglue, or worse plastic glue on the edges of foamcore, it melts, ruining your work and making an awful smell.Stage 1: Simple Ruin
With the hardboard in front of me that would become the base of my building, I measured the lengths of the three walls that would make up my ruin. A quick noe on scale here, city fight rules state that ascending or descending one floor counts as 3" of movement, and most GW kits confirm to this scale. My first floor was 3" tall, but since I wanted this to be a storage space, and a more imposing building the second is 4". This small difference is not enough to stop you using the convenient 3" movement rule.
I cut one strip of foamcore, the height of the ruin and cut that strip into the three parts. This ensured that, where I wanted it to, all three rooflines matched up. At this point, if my ruin had multiple windows I would have marked them on the board. I then set about ruing these nice square walls. Rather than just cutting a jagged line across the board I extended my knife angled my blade.
With this I was able to slice wedges out of the board without going all the may through. To further enhance that look I tore pieces of the foam out, attacked it with my tools and generally mauled it. I then glued the first two walls together with a generous line of UHU power glue, using the PVA bottle and UHU tube to hold it steady.
While this was given five minuets to dry I made a strip of card to reinforce the join. raiding the kitchen I found a cake box made out of thin card. On the white side I marked three lines, 2cm apart. I scored the middle one and cut the other two with a knife. This gave me a strip I was able to fold 90 degrees neatly down the middle and, with a little more UHU power, stick along the corner of my ruin.
You can just about see it stuck on in this second picture:
Now in theory I could have stopped here, glued my uber simple ruin to the hardboard with PVA and painted it grey.Stage 2: Internal walls and floors
To improve both the look and strength of my ruin, I wanted to add internal walls and some floor. The internal wall was made exactly like the others, except I decided to add a door. I marked and cut a rectangle out of the bottom of the wall, using a convenient Spacemarine for height. Most doors are between 6" and 7", so if a marine just fits thorough it you're not far off. To give a little simple detail I cut three strips of balsa wood and stuck them inside the door as a frame.
For the floor I measured and cut another piece of foamcore and attacked it like I did the walls. I really went to town tearing chunks out of my foam to simulate crumbling concrete.
For a little simple detailing I cut a few 1" by 1" squares out of the cake box card and stuck them onto the floor as tiles. It did not matter if they overhung the edge as that just added to the effect.
Gluing the floor and wall into the structure with UHU power was simple, but again needed a few pots and bottles t be drafted in to provide temporary support.
I also wanted a roof for my building, so I held a piece of foamcore up against the roofline and marked on the top where the roof still touched undamaged wall. I made sure that when I distressed this wall piece anywhere where it touched undamaged wall was left intact, and that everywhere else was heavily damaged.
Bit of glue later and I had this. Again at this point I could have glued the structure down, painted it and stopped.Stage 3: reinforcements
To make this structure look like it had actually once been a sturdy building, capable of holding its own weight, and to make those floors actually capable of supporting metal models I decided to do a little reinforcing, both visually and physically.
The first things you notice when you look at photos of collapsed building are the rebars sticking out of the broken edges. These are simple to reproduce. Using the wire cutters I clipped of a few 3 to 4cm strips of copper wire and stabbed them into the exposed foam at any ruined section.
Where these were difficult to insert because the foam just squashed I used a shapr scribe or pin to start the hole.
The end result was something like this:
This all looks pretty, but does not actually give any strength. To resolve this I took some more strips of balsa.
Cutting them to length I stuck them along the ceiling and floor of each wall to create the effect of skirting and coving, but also they provide extra support. To stiffen the poorly supported roof I cut a lightly thicker strip of balsa and glued it across the underside as a jay. A note on glue her. While PVA (slow) and UHU power all stick balsa to foamcore, I found that as long as I was sticking to the outer paper and not foam, superglue gives an incredibly strong and almost instant bond. By superglue I mean anything except the liquid sold by Games Workshop. That is best used as a lubricant
You may notice in the picture a couple more small ruined bits of internal wall were added for extra support. At this point I also glued the structure down, using UHU power and the added gluing surface provided by the skirting and strips around the outside of the building. I actually found it easier to glue wood all the way along the walls, then cut the strips as they passed each door with a razor saw
Again, I could have stopped at this point and painted.Stage 4: Detailing
So far I had a rather sterile ruin, like a ruined historical monument that had been cleared of rubble but left for posterity. I wanted to add some rubble and debris, but without making it impossible to balance models on. This would also make the structure more solid.
When you look at photos of real ruined buildings you tend to notice debris forms drifts in the corners, like snow in the wind. Rather than use handfuls of gravel to produce this effect I turned to DIY filler, then when I realised it was not there I turned to modelling clay.
At this point the photos dry up a little. Fingers covered in modelling clay and £400 camera phones are not a good combination. Taking blobs of modelling clay, I pushed them into the corners of the building and smoothed them down, before pushing handfuls of gravel into them. I did something similar on the end of one wall. Liberally spreading PVA around on the floors I sprinkled more gravel around. I also made some sandbags out of the clay (which btw is no where near as easy or as effective as using greenstuff), to block up the door and create a heavy stubber nest on the roof. I also scatterd various bits of spare model and balsa wood around the floors, a dozer blade abandoned in an aborted clearing operation, a heavy stubber and vox on the roof, an ammo box, a tank trap, the kit pack from the tank sprue and some thrown tank tracks etc.
The next morning, when the PVA had dried I shook of the excess gravel, and because the idea of a machine gun nest with no access annoyed me, I made some ladders out of plasticard strips.
When it comes to painting it I will mix sand with acrylic to make some very textured paint to cover the parts of the floor with no gravel. The actual painting will have to wait until the rain stops long enough to get the air compressor outside. Don't tray and spray these with spray cans!*************************************************
I hope this has been of some use to someone and that my explanations have not been intolerably obscure. I know the result is not perfect, if you want that type the words Shonuff, Bugbait or Gaunt into the search bar that the top.
If anyone has any advice or suggestions for me, especially on any more detailing or painting of this project please let me know!
Great job!! Easy to follow and the end result looks great.
I agree with previous poster. Good job! Rep for you.
The Angels of Penitance - The project log
There is only the Emperor. He is our shield and protector.
Nice toot! I actually like the look before you shake off the excess gravel!!!
Nice work, matus. As someone who's never made scenery the idea of creating a ruin can be pretty intimidating. These step-by-step photos make it look easy. When I'm ready to dive into scenery modelling I have a feeling I'm going to start by attempting to recreate what you've done here.
That is great stuff dude. I'd love to see it painted, but some nice touches. It's good to see it is quite simple to make some good looking terrain.
Do what you did before!! PVA and gravel, as long as its mini friendly it looked great!
I dont think textured paint would be enough for the base IMHO.
I also like the way you filled the corners of the room, using that idea.
Could I have a closeup pic of the base before you shook the gravel off?
I was going to give this its first coat of paint yesterday, but Bugbait was right, so I put more gravel on the floor. Unfortunatly I ran out of PVA so the coverage is not total. I also found some ammo crates I'd salvaged from a Games Day scenery workshop model, so I stuck them on. Oh and I superglued the bits of air drying clay that had not stuck together well.
I'v attached some pictures of the model so far, (as well as the originals of the two photos showing the model before its first shake off, hope thay are clearer Bugbait).
paint should follow soon... I hope.