Saturday, 15 April 2017

4Ground Buildings - I ruined them!

Hi folks,

Bit of a play on words for the title - clickbait, almost!

So last week I had posted about my progress in building MDF buildings, the majority of which have been from 4Ground. I did a little video yesterday showing off the buildings I have finished, laid out in a sample town setup. This was just to help me visualise what I had, and what I wanted to do with what I already have.

Some pics I took at the time:

You can see in the last picture the scattering of ruined 4Ground buildings I have assembled. One of my aims for these is to make them look actually ruined while still retaining their ability to be used on the table and moved around between games.

I set about doing some experimenting with my first victim. Aided by a delivery of 15mm rubble piles from Total Battle Miniatures (which I'll review on their own in a while) I picked one of the buildings I foresaw I'd be having the most issues with, and got to work.

Victim #1:

A nice 'clean' ruined building. I'm not too bothered with the cleanliness of the colours, more the cleanliness of the ruined sections. The non straight line along the edge of the building would cause me issues for the newly aquired resin rubble piles - which have straight edges. So that edge needed straightening out. I thought about using various materials to do this, before realising that the bottom level of the house came from a 'push out' MDF sprue - which had the matching line on the sprue.

So, a little while later...

Now, the above picture has the cork rubble piled on while it dries. The cork rubble came from  'Serious Play' and s the only thing I've used other than some PVA and superglue that didn't come from the 4Ground building sprues.

I cut up bits of the sprues, picking the colours that match the building and layering them up to get the depth I wanted. For the 'end' of the house, I used the matching shaped sprue, and used other off-cuts to build up a wall shape then pile 'rubble' on top. The upper level used a similar process, putting the relevant shapes on and then using superglue to build up layers - without gluing the rubble to the floor.

I was happy with this, but still a little unhappy at the 'cleanliness' of the lower floor and of the resin rubble pile. So I set to work again.

A little while later, I had this:

I glued down some of the cork rubble onto the floors, as it does no harm and adds to the look. The resin base I put some bits of sprues on and then some of the cork rubble to fill in the spaces. Prior to this I had painted it brown with some rough bits and bobs painted similar colours to the building.

As you can see, the rubble is all removable, allowing the space to be used for figures.

I also made a similar attempt with another building. This one with a hole in the roof and damage descending through the house.

These small piles of rubble are also all removable, and the resin pile outside has now had the same treatment as the other one - painted, some colours blocked in then off cuts of building sprue glued on along with patches of cork rubble.

I'm really pleased with these, and I intend to progress with the other 3 buildings later on this week.

Also in the work pile has been some of my minefields. I'm waiting on some materials arriving to build up the edges of the cratered sections, so in the mean time did my 'clean' minefields.

The small minefield signs I made using some cut up sections of... you guessed it - the thinner bits of MDF building sprues. I used some plastic covered paperclips for the posts. The other minefield marker came from a pack of Royal Engineers I have for my Brits. I decided not to do any visible mines, but used some 'dead grass' tufts to show that there is perhaps something under the soil... I think visible mines would be a bit pointless to be honest.

I've 6 of these done now, with another 12 or so to do once I can finish the craters off.

the other immediate task I have is a whole lot of static grassing for edges of roads, rails, walls and fences...

Till next time!


  1. Your work on the ruins is amazing, looks realistic and wonderful, great job James!

    1. Thanks Phil, much appreciated. I'm really pleased with them.

  2. Great looking buildings and the ruined look is very effective.
    Cheers Dan.

    1. Thanks Dan, I'm glad I tried it - just should have taken more pictures as I went!

  3. That works really well James, very effective. Now funny enough I have also kept all of the mdf sheets and offcuts etc, I had thought of cutting individual bricks from them, but your rubble sections look better, I especially like the fallen timbers. Great work.

    1. Thanks Lee, it is very easy to do and has made me a lot more confident about getting that 4Ground church. I think if you look closely its not a great effect, but from a distance it looks really cool. Certainly got the wife's seal of approval, which is pretty rare!

  4. Really nice job of sprucing those buildings up mate!

    1. Thanks - as ever, still a lot more to do!

  5. Nice work. Massive envy at your stash of 15mm MDF structures. You totally got me with the title of the article. I was expecting the second batch of photos to show the results of a broken water pipe spilling over the table.

    1. Sorry Ric! I built the collection up over a good few visits to shows where there were no 15mm models for me to buy. Decided I may as well extend my terrain collections. Some of them have been sitting unbuilt for over a year.


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