Monday, September 29, 2014

Desert Ruins Terrain

This coming Saturday (October 4th) will be the first ever Beef and Wing Brawl being held in Buffalo NY. (I do believe that there is still openings available and I do believe that walk-ins are welcomed as well. Check their site for full details.) As I've wrote about in past postings, these are a great group of guys who have really made strides in promoting the gaming community in the Buffalo area. When they first brought up the idea of putting on an event in Buffalo I quickly offered to bring any terrain I had plus I'd be willing to make more. So over the course of the past month or so while I was working on the swamp terrain I have also been working on two tables worth of new terrain for the event and you are about to see the results of the Desert Ruins terrain. I'll be showing all of the pieces at once rather than the piece by piece sections like I have in the past so that I can devote next weeks post to the results of the Brawl. So let's take a look at what I came up with for the Desert Ruins.

First up is the large temple structure

This thing is pretty massive for the table top. The width is around 14 inches and the length is almost double that. Here is a plague bearer model for scale.

If you look closely at the front of the temple you will see that I glued in a series of magnets.

I also glued magnets to the base of some plastic cake pillars.

To achieve the following look.

This allows me to store the terrain in a plastic tote bin and not have to worry about the pillars snapping off. I can simply remove them during storage and then pop them onto the board when its time to set up.

To keep the center of the temple from being empty I created an obelisk...

This helps create some line of sight blocking over the center piece. But why stop at just 1 obelisk?

I created a total of 4 so that they can be set up in any formation on the temple surface to either add more line of sight blocking terrain or just to create an interesting and different layout each time I use this piece.

But what do I do if I want to use some obelisks in other parts of the board? I created some flat pieces and left an area in the center where I can put the obelisk bases so that fit flush to the terrain.

Plague bearer for scale.

I wanted to create some more pillar structure that were independent from the main temple piece. I also magnetized these pillars as well.

I had one extra cake pillar so I created this lone pillar on a rock formation.

Next up a created a series of three different ruins.

Ruins 1

Ruins 2

Ruins 3

I also created a large ruin that resembles a more "intact" structure.

Here is a group shot of all the pieces.

This nice thing about this project is that it was relatively easy to build since all of the pieces mainly consist of Hirst Arts blocks, Shale, Pink Foam and Foam Board. I can easily see myself going back and creating more pieces for this set over the winter months.

Here are some work in progress shots.

The main structure of the temple is built around a pink foam base. 

Originally I was going to have a large structure occupy the center of the temple but I wanted to have the freedom to alter and more thing around on the temple so I decided against adding any permanent structures to the temple. The structure shown below in the center eventually became the larger ruin shown above.

Building up the walls.

I hope you all enjoyed looking at these pictures. You can see these pieces in person at the Beef and Wing Brawl this weekend and I will be bringing them to the Da Boyz GT in November as well.

Feel free to shoot me any questions about the materials used in this project or any other terrain questions you may have and I'd be glad to share any tips or ideas that I may have.


  1. This is a fantastic grouping of terrain pieces. I thought just the paintjob and execution on the temple was good...then kept scrolling and it kept getting better! Really nice job!

    Something fun to do (don't know how cinematic your games are). You could model up some broken columns, and swap them in as the game progresses :).

  2. More awesome terrain. I've probably made 2-3 tables worth of terrain so far, total. But never in such a short span, it has taken me years to do so much. So, impressive work ethic on that count! They also look fantastic, and what's nice is they can be used for any game.

    1. Are you and your brother going to the brawl? It's been awhile since we've seen you guys.

    2. I'm gonna ask him tomorrow. I'm pretty sure we have to work though. :/ Been missing all the tourneys.

    3. We will in fact be attending. See you there!

  3. Really impressive. Makes me wish I lived in Buffalo. Thanks for sharing.

  4. Excellent job as expected! I officially dub thee terrain-smith of our club, keep up the good work, cant wait to see this saturday at the brawl

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