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Ruined Buildings

by Gary James

Ruined buildingsWell, when you are blasting away with lascannons, heavy flamers and multi-meltas something is going to get broken! A few ruined buildings will help you to create a battlefield atmosphere for your games...otherwise it may look as though you are fighting in the local park!


  1. Wood or cardboard for the base

  2. Foamcore

  3. Air-drying modelling clay

  4. Flock or sand for the bases

  5. Offcuts of wire

  6. PVA glue

  7. Gravel, cat litter or similar for rubble


  1. These ruins use a basic foamcore construction which is explained in the techniques section. Most of the work goes into modelling details and painting.

  2. Decide upon the basic shape and dimensions of your ruin and cut a base from plywood or thick corrugated cardboard. Don't just stick to rectangular ruins - try making two sections of walls in an L shape, or just a corner section.

  3. Blast damageWalls are cut from two layers of foamcore as explained in the techniques section. Use a miniature to judge the correct height and dimensions. Include wall sections that are high enough to shoot over, and try cutting out some windows and doors.

  4. Ruins look good if heavily textured. Cover the whole ruin with PVA glue with sand added.

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

  6. Add blast damage in the form of holes, rends and blast marks. To do this (see photograph) 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.

  7. 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 drybrushed lightly on the corners and high points of the building.

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

Here's a large ruined building built by Salvatore using these techniques:

Ruined Buildings Ruined Buildings

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