Ruined Buildings Part 1

I wanted to make some more ruined and battle damaged buildings for my table top, and thought i would document the process with the help of Colonel Mustard.

First up i drew up some rough plans and designs. There are plenty of places to get inspiration, the internet being the most obvious. I settled on making a house that has its centre completely blown out and a half flattened, heavily damaged cottage. I use 40mm per storey as my basic measurement (although in my drawings i did change to 35mm but then changed my mind back). Doors are 15mm x 30mm tall and windows 20mm square. I sketch out the basic plan and measurements as you can see below.


For the base i use a 15mm border around the bottom of the building. In this case i only put a border around the front and back as i wanted to be able to place the ruins adjacent to each other with no gap to form a ruined terrace. My next step is to cut bases out of 3mm MDF, making sure you calculate the correct width and length of your building plus any border required. I then draw my building design onto 5mm foamboard. Most houses end up as four pieces as they are no more complicated than a box. I guess this is why i object to paying through the nose for purchased buildings as they are little more than an MDF or plastic or resin box that is decorated! I can do that for less than $30 per house.

Once you have accurately drawn your building cut it out carefully using a sharp knife. Try and keep the knife perpendicular so you cut straight through the foam and don’t leave any wonky angles. Cut out all the window and door frames too.


I then cut away some of the card covering on the foamboard where the building render has been damaged. You can draw guidelines around some of the damaged walls and then cut through the card outer layer. Slide your knife under the card layer and peel if off carefully. Then with a ballpoint pen draw on exposed brickwork. When you press on the foam core it creates a texture which looks really good. Then its glue your box together on the base  with PVA glue and leave to dry.

Then its a question of cutting out 20mm x 5mm sections of balsa wood and gluing them into the windows as frames. i also add 20mm x 5mm balsa wood as window mantels and lintels. Above the doors i also put a 15mm x 5mm lintel. On the inside walls i add balsa wood beams halfway up the building, which indicate where the floor would have been, or if you do put some floor in they can act as supports.

At this stage our ruins look like this. In my next post we will do the building texture, rubble and debris, the roof and finally painting!


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