Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Stalingrad: Building Ruins (an oxymoron)

Oxymorons, boy, do I love ‘em.  Mirriam-Webster dictionary defines it as a combination of contradictory or incongruous words (as cruel kindness); broadly something (as a concept) that is made up of contradictory or incongruous elements.

Our everyday language is rife with them.  You've heard them.  Here’s some of my favorites: military intelligence, civil war, anti-missile missile, a just war, civilized warfare and deafening silence amongst others.

So when I started (here it comes…) ahem, building ruins for my 28mm Stalingrad table when that thought struck me.  But I digress… I challenged myself in making these ruins from what I had available in my house.  I’ve been sorely tempted into buying some premade ruins.  But the scrounger in me was dying for a more creative and cost effective solution.

Rooting around my garage I found some spare 1/2" thick 2'x4' styrofoam ceiling panels.  The rest of the materials I already had readily available: glue, straight pins, paint and assorted sizes of ballast such as fine pumice, colored sand, lizard litter and cat litter (in respective order from fine to coarse) for texturing.

(click on the pix to enlarge)

Using a CAD program I was able to print out a section of a typical building story to be to scale with 28mm.  From there I was able to cut pieces with my foam cutter of wall sections that I was modelling.  

I was fortunate that the ceiling panel came textured on both faces.  And being 1/2" thick, I knew that I had to thin it out to a 1/4" thick be to scale with my figs.  You could see the speckled, cottage cheese texture on the wall face as well as the diamond pattern for the floor.

Here's the finished sections of ruins glued and textured with lizard litter.  All fenestration (windows and doors) were cut with the foam cutter.

Latex paint was the first coat to protect the foam and to be followed later by different spray paints.

Here's a few rubble piles I'm working on.  I'm using different size material and textures: pieces of foam cut from wall sections, popsicle sticks and different ballast as mentioned above. 

After the latex coat has dried I sprayed with gray, olive drab and black.

On to drybrushing. 

To be continued...


  1. Darned impressive! Why can't I be this creative?

  2. thnx, lt. i'm forced to be creative b/c out of necessity. plus it also helps that i'm an architect - for years i've done buildings so doings ruins is kind of the anti-thesis of my career. which just means that it's wayyyy easier design ruins (another oxymoron). :D



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