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davespil 05-12-13 07:27 AM

Best materials for making ruins?
What is the best material for making ruins? I've been searching this site and a few others for suggestions and I came up with Plastic Card (Polystyrene) and Foamcore. What do you guys think? If you suggest plastic card what thickness? I'm looking at making ruins much like GW's Cities of Death kit. Basically a corner of a building with 2 or 3 floors. I'd like it to be pretty sturdy.

I also would like to ask if anyone has any good tuorials on making the buildings or any patterns for ruins/buildings?

I also would like to know what material would make for a good base for the ruin? I plan on making large sections of terrain/ruins up to 2' x 2' and I'd like to put it on a base that is somewhat light weight but doesn't flex at all and can hold the weight of a 2'x2' section of terrain. I heard that plexiglass or MDF were possibilities. Any suggestions?

Thank you in advance.

Dave T Hobbit 05-12-13 11:35 AM

Based on my experience of scratch-building 40K terrain in the 80's:

(1) most rigid plasticard is strong enough well before it looks realistically thick and can be heavy;

(2) Expanded polystyrene is light and shape-able but easy to damage.

One way to get light robust ruins is to make two identical plasticard pieces and fill a gap between with expanded polystyrene.

When my friends and I chipped in to buy the massive Cities of Death bundle just after release we built some 1' buildings and mounted them on 2mm plasticard, which is still working well. Unless you are thinking of 2' entirely open buildings it would probably work for the scale-up; otherwise you could use 5mm.

davespil 05-12-13 11:27 PM

What thickness of plastic card do you suggest for ruins?

scscofield 05-12-13 11:29 PM

Foamcore sheets work nicely for walls and whatnot also.

Kreuger 05-13-13 12:20 AM

I think 3/8th inch or 1/2 inch thick foam core is the way to go. The normal presentation board weight is too thin. 1/4 inch or thinner looks fine but as you paint it and apply water based glue it has a tendency to warp. The danger is how the outer paper layers react to the water in the paint and the paint itself. The paper will often expands while soaking up the water, paint, or glue and then contact as it dries - sometimes more than it expanded because of the binders in the paint.

I would recommend coating the foam core with spackle or wall/joint compound. A spackle knife should be suitable for this. If done sparingly this creates a pretty good concrete texture, and creates a good foundation for paint.

After the spackle dries I would recommend a coat of artist gesso mixed with pva glue. Gesso is primer for artist canvases, it stiffens and seals the canvas. The pva glue also adds a hardness to the gesso when it dries. The mix should be mostly gesso . . . Somewhere less than 1/8th glue to 7/8 parts gesso.

I hope that helps!

dirty-dog- 05-13-13 03:02 AM

i persoanlly use old meat packet foam (the black or white trays they come on, similar to foam core, i buy them new before use though...)

Quite easy to use, if you want it thicker just glue sheets together.

also easy to score in detail with either a soldering iron, or a pencil, better yet cheap as chips..

Dave T Hobbit 05-13-13 04:30 PM


Originally Posted by davespil (Post 1368676)
What thickness of plastic card do you suggest for ruins?

Anything above 2mm has been strong enough for me. To make the outer walls look chunkier, you could go with Kreuger's spackle suggestion.

Or you could greeble the walls with random bits to add strength and make them look as if the Mechanicus were involved in the construction.

Calistrasza 05-13-13 04:37 PM

Styrofoam coated in spackle makes for pretty good ruins. Feels nice and solid, but also lighter than entirely sheetrock stuff. Pretty cheap too if you have a lot of small appliance/computer boxes around.

davespil 05-13-13 05:25 PM

Not a fan of styrofoam ruins because they aren't as sturdy and to make them tough enough you have to use pieces that are half an inch thick. I think I want to play with some foamcore. What about foamcore with textured spray paint? There is no water so it shouldn't warp the foamcore. The ruins that I want to make will look a lot like the ruins GW makes. The cathedral, malfactorium, and such. Does anyone know of any plans or patterns on how to make these?

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