The Falling Tower

Stephen describes his latest building project…

I just fancied making a ruined tower.

And what gamer doesn’t love a ruined tower, eh?

The basis for this were some Wills Scenics embossed styrene sheets stuck to two layers of 5mm foam board to give the walls thickness. I cut the styrene and windows before sticking to the foam board because it would make it easier to both cut the styrene and so the styrene would act as a template when cutting the foamboard

The four wall sections

The next step was the render the inner walls. The inner walls of medieval stone buildings often had some kind of plaster on the wall and were then painted. So roughly applied Milliput on the inside would look like plaster rendered over rough stone. The broken edges of the walls were covered in Milliput as well and then jabbed with a bit of balsa to create a rough finish.

Once done, the walls were glued together and stuck on to the base. I also put a broken arch into the ground floor. When the glue was dry I finished off the Milliputting.

The assembled tower

As it was going to be a gaming piece I wanted some floors on it (let’s not worry about how the floors would have stayed up) and some detritus on the ground floor, but not so much that it prevented moving models around.

The floors

The wooden floors were made from balsa sticks.

The ground was given a sprinkle with some coarse sand with broken bits of plaster and cork in it. I then stuck on some Milliput bricks I’d made, and some broken balsa sticks to look like wooden rafters.

That was essentially it for the build.

With rubble and fallen floorboards added

So on to painting.

I use Humbrol model spray no.29 ‘Dark Brown’ for most of my undercoating, be it miniatures or models. This was no different.

This was then given an all-over wash with dark brown (GW’s Agrax Earthshade). I decided to paint the model to look all fresh, and then go in and weather and distress it afterwards.

My usual stone colour is a mix of brown and grey. I tend to make the first dry-brushing in a khaki colour. I then add a drop of grey to take off the brownness, but careful not to make it grey either – a sort of ‘is it/isn’t it’ colour. Successive blobs of white are then added in subsequent dry-brushes.

Castle interiors in medieval times were quite gaudy affairs. Although this is a ruined tower, I envisioned it being used in medieval/fantasy games, so probably a period not long after it had fallen to ruin. So some of that interior decoration would still be intact. The interior walls were all given a heavy dry brushing with a beige colour. This was then lightly dry brushed with white – not too heavy – I want to leave the beige showing beneath to make it look dirty. I then made a compromise. Medieval interior walls really were VERY gaudy affairs full of colour. But I couldn’t bring myself to do that. So I kept it simple and just some red dado railing.

I had to be careful with the wooden floors. As wood ages in the weather it tends to go a grey colour. But I’d used a mix of grey and brown on the walls so didn’t want to repeat that. So I just kept it with brown and white. Once the paint was dry I superglued the floors in place.

Painting completed and floors added

Now to make it all grubby. Dark brown washes in the corners to re-establish them were done, as well as on the outside. Then a dark green added to look like moss and damp. I thought that it would be likely that some of the interior plaster would have come away, so in some places I repeated the exterior stone colours – a dark brown base colour and then follow the same steps of brown/grey to match the tone of the exterior wall. I did this by stippling the brush to try and create some kind of texture.

And then the final phase: flocking.

Nothing special here, a coarse mix of railway ballasts first and then some static grass on top. I also added some bits of clump foliage to look like thistle and plant growth.

And there it is – a ruin worth exploring.