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Let's Build! Victorian Ruins Pt 6 - Scattered Rubble

Written by Sarah-Anne

After making the five previous projects in our Victorian Ruins series, it was an understatement to say I had a lot of small pieces of scrap foam. I wanted to make use of as many as I could in some way, and at the same time produce some easy scatter terrain.

Materials required:

  • foamcore leftovers (with the paper backing removed), cut into small bricks

  • blue foam insulation leftover, cut into various sized blocks

  • thin sheets of styrene, leftovers even better

  • PVA glue

  • Mod Podge (tinted with black acrylic paint)

  • Assorted acrylic paints

  • Dark brown and/or black ink wash

  • matte/satin spray sealant

  • grout

  • small grass tufts

  • fine foam or other green flocking

Tools required:

  • hobby knife

  • Pencil/pen

  • Carving tools/cocktail toothpicks

  • Ball of aluminium foil

  • Assorted paint brushes

  • Kitchen sponge

I began by cutting the various scraps I had into smaller blocks and bricks, and separating them into similar sizes.

Next they had to be worn down and weathered. I did this using several methods, each to varying degrees of effectiveness. I started with the larger blocks and with a sharp hobby knife, shaved off various corners and edges until they were no longer uniform in shape. I also used my ball of aluminium foil to add texture to the large surfaces and along the edges. For exagerrated cracks I used a toothpick (or a sharp pencil).

For the smaller blocks I used the edges of my aluminium foil ball to add textures and to break up the sharp edges. For the small 'bricks' I tried the method of shaking them inside a can with small rocks, but I found it didn't add much texture to them. Being so small, I wasn't too worried as it would have been hard to see that detail anyways. It did sufficiently round the edges and corners, so that was all I would really need.

For the bases I used some spare thin styrene sheets. I wasn't concerned that these were very flexible, as I knew there would be other materials on the base to provide ample support once complete.

I used the scrap pieces of styrene to guide the overall rubble pile shape, and starting with the largest blocks first, worked my way to placing the pile together, using PVA as the glue of choice.

To mimic to soil built up over time, an to provide additional stability I used regular grout mixed to a thick paste and applied all over the base, and anywhere I thought it would have been pushed around by the elements.

I left the grout to dry fully overnight before applying a mix of Mod Podge Matte tinted with black acrylic paint. This provided both extra protection for game play and the base coat of paint.

To paint the rocks and bricks, I followed the guides already discussed previously in the blog, but added several more layers of black and brown ink wash. I wanted these to look like they had been left out in the elements for decades or more.

Finally, I painted out the dirt an earthy brown and added the overgrowth, using a combination of grass tufts and foam flocking to achieve a random, organic look.

Other than the time required to let the grout dry, this was a very quick and easy afternoon build, and was a great way to use leftover materials that would have other ended up in the trash. Would you have used these scraps to make something different? I would love your ideas and suggested for what to craft with my leftovers next time!

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