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Large Ruined Tower

Ruined towerA large terrain piece can make an impressive centrepiece to your gaming table and can also become the focus of a special mission or scenario. You have to be careful when placing high buildings though, because it mustn't be too easy for one side or the other to gain control of such a useful vantage point.


  1. Wood or cardboard for the base
  2. Foamcore
  3. Thick card
  4. Flock or sand for the bases
  5. Offcuts of wire
  6. Car repair mesh or similar fine mesh
  7. PVA glue
  8. Gravel, cat litter or similar for rubble


This ruin uses a basic foamcore construction which is explained in the techniques section. The ruined tower is just a larger variant of the ruined buildings and you should read that section first. This page will just describe the features of the ruined tower.

Decide upon the basic shape and dimensions of your ruin and cut a base from plywood - this is going to be a large model and you should give it a good, strong base.

Ruined tower, reverseThis model has two internal floor levels that have been partly blasted away and some ruined stairs. The floors are just single foamcore layers glued in. The stairs are constructed from foamcore steps glued together. Use a miniature to determine the height of the storeys for the models you are using. The stairs allow access to the first floor but not the second or roof, which must be reached by climbing or with jump packs.

When making buildings and ruins think about how your models are going to get in - will you make them use a door (and if so, what will fit through it - terminators for example) or will you cut part of a wall away as blast damage to make an entrance. Don't make getting into the buildings too hard. Make sure the levels of your windows are right if you want models to be able to shoot out of them, and ensure floor sections are level enough and deep enough to take the model bases you will be using.

Tower doorThe gothic door is made from thick card (picture mount card). The external steps are foamcore with thick card for the cap stones on the stair walls. As you can see, this tower had had extensive battle damage added as described in the ruined buildings section.

The gothic windows have car repair mesh inserted to look like reinforcement or leaded glass. Bits of card have been stuck on to make window sills. The mesh has holes punctured through it and is torn and bent to simulate battle damage and allow shooting. The exposed girders are offcuts from old model railway track - not quite an exact girder shape, but not bad.

Tower internal detailUse PVA glue to add gravel, grit or cat litter (clean!) around the bottom of the walls and on the floors of the building as fallen rubble. Use chunks of foamcore that you have cut off as fallen wall sections.

Add blast damage in the form of holes, rends and blast marks. Take a sharp blade and cut a star shape through the outer skin of the foamcore. Then poke about in the exposed polystyrene inner later to hollow out a blast mark and roughen the inner layer of the foamcore. Seal the hole with PVA glue. My article on Ruined Buildings contains a close up photo if you'd like to see a better example.

Spray black. Build up a finish by dry-brushing with dark grey and building up to lighter greys as the early coats dry off. Finish with pure white or elf grey drybrished lightly on the corners and high points of the building.

I use modelling clay to build up craters in the floor of ruins. Try using bits of tubing, for example from an old pen, as exposed piping. Stick wire into the broken edges of walls to look like reinforced concrete, or lay wire in a criss-cross pattern beneath holes in the floor.

Cover the base of the model with PVA glue and sand. Paint up as earth, grass etc.

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