Thursday, 29 April 2010

Building a Ruined Defensive Wall - Part 2

A couple of weeks ago I started explaining how to build a ruined wall terrain piece, in this post I’ll carry on with my method; sculpting and texturing the base, and painting the finished piece.  Details of the tools and materials I used are included in the first half of this post.

Sculpting the base and finishing the walls
To landscape the areas between the walls and the base, I use expanded polystyrene, sourced from old packing material.  I cut the polystyrene roughly to shape using a hot wire cutter, this was then glued in place using wood glue (PVA works just as well) and plaster was used to fill any gaps.

The next step is to finish off the walls.  As I used blocks to create my wall, there were small gaps between some of the blocks which show up when the model is painted and can ruin the overall effect.  To fill these gaps I mixed some plaster with a lot of water to get a really runny consistency and paint this liberally all over the model.  It runs into the gaps, filling them nicely; a little bit of detail is lost, but overall the look of the wall is significantly improved.

When all the plaster has dried, it’s time to texture the base.  This is really easy (and pretty fun); mix up some plaster along with PVA glue, sand and fine gravel then paint it all over the base up to where the ground meets the walls.  I also painted a bit of this mix onto the floors to represent rubble and dirt from the collapsed walls.

I primed using grey spray primer, the main reason I use this is that it can be picked up for £1 a can, though it also gives good coverage and I prefer painting over grey than a black primer.

For the main painting, I went for cheap emulsion paints (remember this is a Frugal Gaming blog!) for the base and walls, with cheap acrylic used for drybrushing and painting the floors.  I gave the finished model a quick dusting of light brown with my airbrush to age it a little and bring all the colours together before adding the vegetation.

As this was a big build, I used a couple of different types of flock in patches and even added some long grass in various locations to break up the long walls.  This really added to the final look of the model and was well worth the couple of pounds I spent on different grasses (hey, I saved money on the paints, okay?).

To finish off the model I gave it a good couple of coats of satin varnish to protect the paintwork, seal the flock in place and ‘flatten’ the colours.  Giving a terrain piece like this a coat of dull varnish also stops any cheap paints that were used from shining.

I'm very happy with the finished model; it looks good, it can be played on, it’s hardwearing and most importantly it didn’t cost much to build.

As this is a simple model, you can add as much extra detail as you like depending on your own personal taste, I decided to leave it relatively plain to allow it to be used for fantasy or sci-fi games, plus theres fewer pieces to get knocked off when moving it about!

Once again, thanks to Doctor Merkury for the inspiration and letting me steal his idea.


arabianknight said...

That looks excellent, Dave, not that I'm surprised as I'm the happy owner of some of your defensive positions from last year.

On a frugal note, where do you get your £1 primer from? It looks like a car paint product (I get mine from Halfords at the moment but it's more than £5 a can)

Frugal Dave said...

You bought some of my terrain? Excellent work chap! I'm glad you like the terrain, I'm pretty tempted to make some more pieces in the same style, perhaps a watchtower?

Von said...

My guess is that he picks it up from the same place I do: there's an independent car parts shop down at the bottom end of Plymouth City Centre that sells a variety of cheap, rough-enough-to-take-paint-well primers.

Frugal Dave said...

Hmm.. interesting. I actually get mine from 'Poundland' in town. They do white primer and a matt black as well. Very Frugal!

arabianknight said...

Huzzah, finally a frugal outlet with a branch near me! I'll have to check it out and (hopefully) stock up.