Lockdown Foamboard Fun (3)

Now the carcass is clad in balsa wood, time for some paint.

In particular, textured masonry paint. Makes the foam board and all else feel like concrete which is great for transport.

Importantly, it also means that the foam is covered up, as when you come to spray it, the sprays will melt the foam if it is unprotected. So make sure all the edges are covered with paint before spraying.

It also covers up a host of imperfections and nooks and crannies.

Like so.

So after a couple of hours drying time for some…


Paint the underside of the card base, so that it does not warp.

Spray paint the rest…BLACK…

Now for some block painting.

That’s as far as the paint drying got me today (and light permitting).

Tomorrow, the final touches, of highlights, and some paving.

Lockdown Foamboard Fun (2)

So, the foambaord carcass of the building is made, now for some good hard planking.

Balsa wood for the exterior beams, a bit thicker than I normally use, but given the lock down all I have.

Use the general architecture to guide you as to where the beams would go.

I also shape them slightly by shaving off random bits along the edges to make it look a bit more natural.

Now for the interior. The wooden planks for the first and second floors.

I often measure out the lengths and then snap them off of the main length of balsa so In end up with frayed wooden pieces which look much more natural than sawn off pieces.

I also try and ensure I have some shorter floorboards to make it look more natural (top right).

Again I shave off some off the straight edges which will be picked up when I paint the edifice.

Next up, watching paint dry !

Wow bet you’re excited.

NB: This is being done real time, so it does take a few days to do…

Lock down Foamboard fun (1)

Several years ago, someone asked for a guide on the scenery I have produced, so here it is.

These posts will be somewhat wordy.

Things you will need:-

  • Newspaper to protect your work surface
  • Cutting board – either the green self healing ones or thin hardboard
  • Sharp craft knife
  • Steel ruler
  • General purpose glue
  • Sturdy Artists Card (A3)
  • Foamboard (3mm, 5mm, 10mm)
  • Thin card (eg cereal packets)
  • Balsa wood, flat, round or otherwise
  • Masonry paint
  • Large brushes
  • Kitchen roll
  • And above all else, you will need some paper to sketch out your architectural designs.

    Firstly, foamboard comes in different sizes. I use the 5mm thick sheets that can be bought in art and hobby shops in A2 sheets. Its Foamboard sandwiched between paper sheets on both sides, and you’ll need the sharp blades of a craft knife to slice them to ensure there is no “drag” and the cuts are clean.

    You’ll need to plan out your ruined building beforehand.

    As I have previously commented, use the real world designs of medieval buildings as a starting point. Start simple.

    How big ?

    Most black and white half timbered buildings were built around “bays” which were 12-15′ wide – enough room for a cart drawn by two oxen.

    For 28mm figures, this equates to about internal 3″ wide which is also, usefully large enough for the average clumsy gamer to get in and place a figure:

    In this case, the ground floor is actually 4″ wide.

    How high ?

    About 2″ high for each storey. This equates to about 10′ high which is a little tall for medieval buildings, but for practical purposes it works.

    At this point, you must remember when designing your building to add in an extra 5mm for the walls to cope with the foam board’s thickness !

    The Base

    At the same time, you must also plan the width of the artists card board base you will be using.

    So, you need the dimensions as such:-

  • internal 3″
  • thickness of 2 walls of 5mm
  • external surround of 20-25mm.
  • I’ve listed the external surround so you can add paving, rubble and so on, but to allow figures to move between individual buildings.

    The Plans & Markings

    Overhangs – jettied buildings were common in the medieval period, I generally make my jetties for the upper floors an inch, which allows average sized figures have cover.

    You can see where I have marked out the dimensions on the card base, and the Foamboard wall pieces.

    Use the sharp craft knife to carve out the Foamboard, use the steel ruler to guide you for the straight edges – plastic and wooden rulers will get carved up easily.

    Note also, I have rounded the edges of the card base – use 30 degree cuts with sharp scissors – I suggest using dressmaking scissors as they are very robust. This means you have no sharp edges on card which inevitably become frayed and broken.

    In the sample above, I have cut out windows and doors (about 1″ wide) and used the old Mordheim plastic pieces. These are now OOP, but other manufacturers are available.

    This should give you the carcass of the building on a wide base to amke ti stable and robust.

    Next up, I’ll go through the detailing.

    Lockdown MDF (1)

    So I’;ve been finishing off some Arcan Obelisks by Blotz that I got before, during and after Xmas, obviously designed for one of the Sell Sword scenarios in the Frostgrave Folio.

    This is the simple MDF carcass, and plain version. Easy to put together, though there is a knack with getting the sides on – get the top lug in first and then the lower one is easy.

    These are the ones completed, painted with textured masonry paint, and then coloured.

    Nice and simple, and cheap.

    These are the more arcane ones, painted in metallic colours, I gave them a brief wash to pick out the details. I now have enough for two tables for the same scenario.

    The last three Chronochounds, painted with Foundry North American flesh, GW Druchii violet wash.

    FG: Sky Galleon

    Latest project finished, a Sky Galleon. Loosely based on the Sky Gondola in the Maze of Malcor. I bought the Blotz Plateau Martian Prowler.

    Little bit bigger than expected but an excellent item.

    MDF kit with plastic wings and stand., not bad for £12.

    The finished item, with old Citadel figures for size. You can fit a lot more than the four figures in the rules…so I’m calling it a Galleon.

    I decided not to glue the galleon to the stand, simply for transport and storage purposes. The fit is fairly robust so should be good for gaming purposes.

    I only used one wing on each side, as when I fitted three wings, the width was more than 9″ which is not much good for navigating the ruins of a city, and hey, they are actually magical anyway.

    The stand is also 5.5″ high, so I think I’ll have to propose some special rules for this beast:

    – up to 6 crew
    – may fly up to 6″ above ground
    – ascending or descending costs double movement
    – may only be attacked when at 1″ above ground
    – crew may only disembark at 2″ without falling penalty
    – crew may only embark at 1″.

    Comments welcome.

    Time Crystals & Chronohounds

    Reading the Perilous Dark, I found the scenario “The Dog Days”, and by coincidence have planned a gaming bash on the 29th April, so why not have a very “time” based scenario ?

    So I brought some of the Gale Force Nine crystals, here they are for size with a Knight (Foundry/Citadel) for size.

    And here are some more with the Chronohounds painted up – definitely not the Hounds of Tindalos ! 😉

    Obviously I thought of another jolly wheeze for the scenario which I’m writing up. Decisions on actions have to be completed within a timeframe until a certain item is destroyed, so I thought I’d get some traditional egg timers so each player has 3 minutes in each phase to declare their actions.

    The two egg timers arrived in the post today, in a box more than a foot long and nearly as wide and deep, with card wrapping, bubble wrap, for two items less than six inches already enclosed in plastic blister on card stock.

    Talk about waste !

    The scenario is entitled “Out of Time”, and I mean that both for the scenario and for our environment.


    A very long hiatus of posting due to a house purchase falling through, followed by a very loud gig late at night.

    So I have four AARs lined up and lots of photos to edit !

    I have another games session lined up tomorrow, with a home brew scenario featuring dungeon traps..a bit like these.

    They are from the Mantic Dungeon Crate.

    Ruinous Prevarication

    Ok, whilst busy with the house purchase, I have also been prevaricating about editing all the photos of the last game Alan and I played week before last. So after a cancelled meeting today have decided to pull my finger out as I have two more game AARs to write up from this week, and need them out the way before I have a games session with Jon next week !

    In the meantime I have been busy painting…

    A jungle terrace from Blotz, though I can’t see why it can’t be used for Frostgrave or Mordheim.

    The steps are separate pieces so you can move them to different sides or omit them. easy to put together and only £5 IIRC.

    I’ve used so much of the grey paint I’ve had to get another tester pot done up by B&Q.

    Mantic Terrain Crate treasure pile painted silver rather than gold – I intend to make it a query of “Is it Silver, or Platinum ?”.

    Renedra Frostgrave ruins, I bought 3 of the spurs to bulk out an order.

    The main archway. The kits are nice and chunky, being very thick (about 1cm+).

    The other two items. Not going to set the world alight, but still very useful items, so if you’re getting bases from Renadra, I’d “accidentally” include a few of these sprues.

    Now back to finishing off the cultists I painted, yup another war band is in the throes of formation.

    Stairways to Heaven (and more)

    As used in the Walenton Manor scenario, here are the stairways used.

    They are by Blotz.

    MDF, easy to put together and cheap.

    I have done stairways using balsa but these seemed an easy option.

    Painted the usual grey, weathered with brown and green to represent dirty footprints, and then highlighted light grey at the edges for definition.

    I hadn’t got round to the highlights in time for the Walenton Manor game.

    Candles on stands, from the Mantic Wizard’s library set.

    A pile of treasure chests and scrolls, again by Mantic.

    And finally, a very long awaited finished version ion the Northstar Lectern.

    And yet another double;e height bookcase…two Mantic bookcases glued together. That’ll make a good place to put a treasure and make adventurers climb for their loot !

    A change of Scenery ?

    Well I’ve been busy for the last 2 weeks, having finally put in a bid on a new house. Unfortunately it needs an extension, so I have been knee deep in estate agents, solicitors, surveyors and builders. And then I went to another property today that is more expensive but needs no work.

    So my head as been elsewhere.

    On the upside I have managed to finish some scenery, and had two games with Alan (which will come tomorrow).

    Here’s some Terrain Crate scenery by Mantic.

    Pile of armour and weapons – the sword handles are Spearshaft not red.

    Rear view of the pile, as commented earlier, this could be a specific treasure roll on a specific treasure table.

    Double height bookcase with library ladder.

    More bookcases, this time Spearshaft NOT Bay Brown. More of these beggars are on their way.

    A mirror, is it magical, is that a face looking out ?

    And finally…

    Small bridge by Blotz who deliver their stuff dead quick – there’s more of their MDF stuff on the way too.