Wednesday, 24 September 2014

A Life in Ruins?

 As previously mentioned, I had been inspired by Derek Hodge's work here and had decided that as lovely as my Normandy scenery was looking it all looked a little too 'nice'. While Normandy is indeed very beautiful (a lot like Cornwall but with more interesting stuff to see), it didn't look quite as quaint once the war-waging nations of WW2 had thrown frankly enormous quantities of munitions at it for 3-4 months. What I set out to depict was something more akin to the look of Villers Bocage AFTER shots.

I gathered together all of the suitable ruins I'd had secreted away in the garage for over 5 years
My little hoard was going to be enough to enable me to put out a decent little ruined hamlet at least. There would be a total of 9 houses and a church. Pictured above are six multi-based houses from (which honestly could have been left as-is but I was aiming for an overall more unifying look), a single storey shell which came with a Jagdpanther kit by Battlefront & the small church donated by my mate Garry (manufacturer unknown). Added to these would be a pair of buildings from Tiger Terrain (I've heard a whisper that these may be making a return with a proper website soon!)
All the buildings were washed in soapy water then got a customary basecoat with Halfords Grey Primer.
I had a rummage in my bits box and turned up some old Missing Link craters and varying pieces of wall left over from when I built the in-tact versions. I scrubbed the grass scatter off the craters and cut fibre board bases for the varying groups of ruins.
Two of the now singly based Field Works buildings with Tiger ruined walls & ML craters.
Same combination. This time with a Tiger crater and the start of some home-made rubble .
Battlefront & FW buildings with Tiger walls and crater
FW buildings (from the multi-bases) Tiger walls & ML craters.
The two Tiger buildings with Landmark Low Walls & ML crater
I magnetised the roofs of these two building to prevent them wandering during games. I took the Dremel to the wall and spayed the inside of the downstairs of both buildings black before attaching them to their base. All of the items were fixed down with NO More Nails. The rubble was made by using Rich Clarke's mix of tile grout and PVA to make a fairly thick paste. Piling that around the buildings and craters before pushing in large pieces of Gale Force Nine rubble, some granulated drain pipe (available from Sgt.'s Mess) then varying grades of Talus (a form of lightweight railway ballast apparently) and finally sprinkling a layer of fine sand to marry it all together.

The church base after rubble and filler to the walls
 The next step was to base all of the buildings with a thorough coat of chocolate brown acrylic floor paint. This was a tip I was given by old pal Dave Bodley of Grand Manner. I must admit, they looked awful after the brown coat & I panicked a little that they were literally ruined!
Much happier after I'd added some colour!
Then began nearly three days of dry-brushing frenzy. Although I ended up using a palette of six different shades of stone and earth, the end result isn't that apparent in the photos. After looking very 'samey' initially, they really took on a more lively appearance after the grass was added.
The luckier side of the village!
That alley will no doubt make a great ambush point.
The not-so-lucky side.
The unluckiest place. That's SOME crater!
The whole bunch comfortably take up 2x3 feet square. Enough for CoC or IABSM.
I'm all together quite pleased with how they've turned out. I'm still going to add a little soot in the pock marks in the walls and may keep an eye out for any additional buildings to add while I'm at Derby show. I'm looking forward to giving them a run out in the next couple of weeks at a club night.


  1. That looks great. For roads in a small town like that, would they be cobbled streets or paved or dirt? I don't know the area well enough and am looking to do something similar.

    1. Hi Chris
      From visiting and from the photos I have, I'm adopting the rule of thumb that cities or large towns such as Bayeux or Carentan get cobbles while anything smaller will get un-metalled roads. It may not always be correct, but feels about right to me!

  2. Very nice Ade, thats some serious ordance thats been put down....

  3. Looks good to me. I take it you'll be playing CoC in the ruins. It's quite a different experience from a more open game and great fun.. But it takes longer to play through a game in my experience.

    1. Yeah, I'd anticipated a possibly longer game. I'm hoping to use it as an alternative game type with maybe a reduced table size and tinker very slightly with the patrol phase?

  4. And where did you get that church? I wants one.

    1. I'll remember to ask Garry next time I see him!👍

    2. Thanks. Would be appreciated.

  5. Those are excellent Ade. The texture of the fibre board gives a great paving look to the base.

    1. Cheers! Fancy a game over them sometime then? :D