WIP: Ruins; Bingo!

Merry Christmas everyone! Today I’ve got something a little different to show you. It’s not a finished model, that’s for sure, but a piece of terrain! It’s basically my first try at scratch built scenery, and I went with the most classic of subjects – a corner piece of a ruined building.

I’m a sucker for good DIY-scenery, but haven’t really tried doing it except for a couple of very humble attempts in my teens. Of course, me being primarily a painter, I don’t have much use for scenery, at least for gaming purposes. Display boards, dioramas/vignettes or photography backdrops would be really cool however, so I thought I’d see what scratch-building was like.

As you can see, I decided to start my terrain-making journey with a staple of scratch-builds, the ruined corner piece. I’m not super happy with the result, but that’s fine as first and foremost this was an opportunity to try out different materials and see what they’re like to work with. For the building I used XPVC sheets for the walls and the tiling, cork for the floor bases and some ABS pipes and paperclips for detailing. Greenstuffworld putty was used for some gap filling. The base was made out of foam board, some sort of wall filler and sand.

Trying out all the materials was an educating experience: if/when I make more buildings like this, I’ll probably use foam board for the building and XPVC for the base. XPVC doesn’t warp and it’s great for making bullet holes and such details, but it’s too hard to cut the main shapes. That being said, making tiles from it was great and I’ll be using it for basing in the future, instead of ABS plastic sheets!

I wasn’t too happy with the GSW putty, I felt it dried way too quickly. I don’t know if Tamiya or any of the other alternatives work any different, but I might try another one some day.  The wall filler I used to smooth the base on the other hand worked pretty well – it’s super light, didn’t shrink and dried quickly (but not too quickly). It was pretty expensive though, at least if I don’t end up using the rest of the jar…

So yeah, not a complete success, but I think I learned a lot. I also feel like the build is missing some crucial elements, mainly heaps of rubble and broken tiles around the base of the building, but it’s finished for now. I can always come back to it later, but if I’m being honest, I’m not sure if this model is ever getting painted..

But again, it’s all fine, since the second reason for building this piece was to score one more square on the hobby bingo (“scratch-build a piece of scenery”). Even if the build is not a triumph it counts, and the square doesn’t say anything about painting! With that, I’ve finally scored a bingo! 😀 This is the third year I’ve attempted it, so it took some time, but it’s done now. Let’s see if I can repeat the feat next year!

7 thoughts on “WIP: Ruins; Bingo!

    1. Thanks! Yeah, I think that’s the most likely use case. And it would be a new kind of painting challenge, I’d just need to get some cheaper paints than the GW stuff 😀

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  1. Honestly, I think it looks great – and the thing with scenery is that it should look a bit less amazing than the models on it. It’s essentially the slightly-out-of-focus background to a portrait, so I find that adding weathering and a few little fine details (posters, recognisable debris) are what brings terrain pieces to the next level.
    I definitely think you should paint it – if nothing else it will be a substantial learning experience for a different subset of painting, and that experience will put you in good stead for the next piece that you create down the line – the last thing you want is a build you’re really happy with covered in disappointing paint!

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    1. I think you’ve really hit the nail in the head, on all accounts. I also think that terrain should be a bit more modest than the minis, but they still need some details and variation so that they don’t look like painted cardboard boxes (in the case of DIY projects) or toys (in the case of official kits).
      And painting this would be a different kind of learning experience, definitely. I’ll have to get on it when I get a chance, though before that I need to get some more appropriate paints.

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      1. Yeah, I find that spray paints work exceptionally well for base colours, custom acrylic sample pots for dirt and general mess (your greys and browns and such) and then I use normal model paints for those special details. Just work out what you need before going to the hardware store since buying paint there can really be a rabbit hole if you have a tendence to get over-excited. Luckily those sample pots are dirt cheap and seemingly last forever when it comes to minis!

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