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Tutorial – Line of sight blocking ruins

feb 13, 15 Tutorial – Line of sight blocking ruins

The following is a step-by-step guide on how I build and painted some line of sight blocking ruins terrain. We needed some more LoS blocking pieces for training days and tournaments but the main reason I made (a lot of) these is to form a sort of Zone Mortalis maze board. I have already made about 15 pieces but I will need to make some more to really fill a 4″ by 4″ board.



You will need foam material for the walls. I used a 2cm thick isolation foam that you can get at your local hardware store. I had them cut it in 10 cm strips so all my wall sections are the same height. For the base I used the wood/cardboard sheets that are used as back panels for closets. One side is smooth (white) and the other side is rough (brown). I will be working on the smooth side since the rough side helps keep the terrain in place as it doesn’t slide about so easily on the table. I had the hardware store also cut these in smaller sheets. You will also need PVA glue, sand, small rocks, kitty litter, something to cut foam (an elektric foam cutter works best but a sharp knife will do as well) and wood (I used a jigsaw), some plyers and measuring tools.

Step 1 : Buy your basic supplies

On the brown side of the panel, draw out the shape of the bases you want to make. I made sure I had about an inch of free space on all sides of the wall. I made some straight pieces as well but they tend to fall over more easily so I recommend making T shaped pieces.

Step 2 : Draw the base shapes

Next cut these out with a jigsaw. It was the first time I used this tool and I was rather clumsy with it so my pieces are a bit uneven. But if you are making several of these pieces, this will be a lot faster than doing this with a small handsaw.

Step 3 : Cut out the bases

Since we will be glueing materials to the smooth (white) surface of the base, I recommend sanding the smooth surface to roughen it up. This will make the white glue stick to it much better. I sanded the edges a bit more so there’s a smooth edge rather than a hard edge. This will make the base go over more naturally on you tabletop surface.

Step 4 : Sand the base

Next mark on the bottom side the edges of where the wall section will be placed. And then measure the same distance on the foam.

Step 5 : Measure the wall sections


Now we can start on the wall pieces. After cutting of the piece you need from the foam strips, mark where you want the edges to be rough and then cut the wall to size.

Step 6 : Cut out the wall sections


Before continuing, make sure you dryfit the wall sections so they fit on the base as you intended.

Step 7 : dryfit the wall sections

Now it’s time roughen up the sides of the wall sections. I found a simple (although work intensive) technique on the internet. You take a needle nose plyer and pull out small chunks of foam from the side. This will create a rough surface that will be easily drybrushed in a later step. Make sure all the loosened foam bits are removed as they will come off in the drybrush stage and reveal unprimed foam underneath.

Step 8 : use plyers to roughen up edges

To get some surface detail on the wall’s sides, I used a small ball of aluminium foil and rolled it over the side of the foam. This roughens the foam up enough so a drybrush later will have enough effect. Make sure your movements are random enough. Use multiple balls to create enough variation in the effect. Don’t forget to add this effect also on the top of the walls.

Step 9 : use aluminium balls to roughen up sides

After the wall sections are roughened up, glue them together. I used white PVA glue. Dryfit these on the white side of the base before you glue them together.

Step 10 : glue the wall sections together

For these terrain pieces I chose not to glue the wall sections to the base for easy of storage and transport. The wall can also be removed mid game if you need space to place larger models that are halfway through the wall. To make sure the wall sections still remain fixed in place, I glued small rocks to the base at the outer points of the wall sections. Not only do they mark where the wall will be placed, they actually help to keep it there while playing. I used superglue to glue these in place.

Step 11 : glue rocks to the base

After the previous step has dried, apply a layer of white glue to the base. First press in some more rocks (or unused kitty litter) to create some rubble effect. Then apply sand to the rest of the base.

Step 12 : glue rubble and sand to the base


It’s now time to add some color to the terrain piece. I applied a black undercoat with my airbrush (vallejo black primer). Take care not to use spray cans as they have a tendency to eat away at the foam. If you apply paint with a brush try to avoid showing the strokes and also don’t fill in the small dents we made with the aluminium foil balls. Normally if you apply a thin coat of white glue over the foam to seal it, this should allow you to use spray cans if you don’t have access to an airbrush. I airbrushed the base and the wall section seperate.

Step 13 : airbrush black undercoat

I didn’t want to spend too much time on painting these pieces of terrain, so I added a drybrush off vallejo grey primer (since I have these in larger volume than small GW or Vallejo paint pots). This already gave enough depth to the piece for my taste.

Step 14 : drybrush grey

As a final step and to add more color to the terrain piece, I added some green flock to the edges. First apply a layer of white glue and then sprinkle the flock on top. You can use this to tie the terrain pieces to your gaming board.

Step 15 : add flock

This gives the following final result …


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