Building a 15mm Fantasy Ruin

What started out as an experiment with corrugated cardboard ended up as a finished medieval/fantasy ruin.

I took inspiration on the design from this blog post but I had to translate it to smaller scale since it was aimed at Mordheim. Also I had to make do with my own materials.

Corrugated cardboard needs different handling than foam board. Despite having ordered a set of foamboard I decided to go ahead with the cardboard. Cardboard is easier to cut (and free), but it’s a bit flimsy, doing detail work is harder, and the corrugations can look ugly where exposed. It can soak paint and warp, which can also bring out a texture that may or may not be desired.

I’ve used hot glue for quick strong bonds and UHU general purpose glue to glue parts that I had to push inside like the floors.

I then proceeded to add wooden wax sticks to make the frames and timber floors and also matchsticks to add some timber that is broken for a more ruined feel. I wanted to use my stencils for a proper brick and stone ground floor, but I only realised it after gluing the frame. This made it hard to do…and almost a failure. I covered it up in the end, but if I did it all over again, I’d stencil the cardboard before cutting it.

I finished the structure by speckling the walls for texture and adding rubble at random spots. I also created the broken roof by using stripes of peeled off corrugated cardboard.

Since I’m at 15mm, I used the thinnest corrugated cardboard I could find, otherwise the roof tiles would look off scale.

Although I was a bit sceptical at first, I went with my terrain spray primer from my Gamemaster dungeons and caverns set, and primed the entire thing.

There were many details to paint, but I mainly went for muted earth colours. The only exception were the roof tiles that I did in three different colours.

In general I had to do combinations of three layers of brushing-over brushing-drybrushing with browns or greys in increasing brightness. I closed up with a black wash at the entire timber floor to make sure that all the gaps between the planks are closed. Also added it to anywhere I wanted to mute the timber colours further.

For added detail, I added spots of an army painter dungeon terrain wash at random places, for some damp and extra derelict look.

Overall this build took me awhile but I think it will really pop on my table. Of course now I need to complement with more ruined buildings.

If I would do it again, I’d probably do it with cardboard again, but maybe on a foam board base. I’d use thinner sticks for wood, like the coffee stirrers, as for 15mm these feel a bit thick, but maybe it’s just me. Also I’d stencil the walls beforehand.

Looking forward to using on some urban battles.