Epic: Gothic Ruins

Whilst I catch back up with the backlog I dug out another archive post from the old Epic site. The old plastic Gothic ruins from the games Epic 40K era were something of a classic and after its demise were significantly sought after. Hardly surprising as the set was fantastically flexible and at the time there really was nothing else on the market like it for Epic. This article was originally done when the buildings were salvaged from the previous permanent gaming table and re-cycled into a more modular arrangement. A much better use for them in my humble opinion.

Epic scale ruined Gothic Building

Simple Gothic Ruins

The plastic gothic ruins I salvaged from my old Games Day boards were originally fixed in place, which meant they needed to be completely re-based not to mention re-painted as they were looking more than a little tired. Most of them were still fairly intact having been simply levered off the MDF and were still more or less fully assembled requiring little more than being cleaned up underneath before remounting. As these would now be scatter terrain I needed to ensure they blended in with the new boards and were as flexible as possible positioning wise. Using sheets of foam core card for the base, I marked out the rough building layouts I wanted with a marker pen. Using a craft knife I then cut them out at an angle so as to give the edges a slight bevel giving me eight sets of ruins in total. Using a hot melt glue gun, I then remounted the ruins onto their new bases and stuck down a few piles of debris consisting of small pieces of slate and stone where walls had collapsed using a white wood glue. I find it’s best not to water down the PVA glue much when working with foam core or card as they have a nasty habit of warping.

Epic scale ruined Gothic Building Once the debris was in place I covered the rest of the bases with the usual coarse sand and gravel mix before letting them set overnight.

After giving them a fresh coat of black primer I started with the bases by giving each a heavy over-brush of bestial brown. Once this had dried two further lighter dry brushes of Vomit Brown and finally 50/50 Vomit Brown and White were applied. This was the same mix I used on the main boards and helped ensure wherever the ruins were placed, they blended into the gaming surface.

For the stonework I began with a 50/50 mix of Codex Grey and Graveyard Earth. This was then followed with a light dry brush of Fortress Grey and a final very light dry brush of Bleached Bone. The addition of the graveyard earth to the base mix and bleached bone as the final highlight helped to reduce the overall blue-grey tint that my previous version was overly strong in and resulted in a colour for the buildings that I thought a lot more natural and pleasing to the eye. To break up the sea of grey a bit more I took some inspiration from the current 40K cities of Death building sets and added some gold and bronze to some of the detailing. This started as a 50/50 mix of brazen brass and burnished gold which I dry brushed over any areas of banding, or, as in the case of the administratum building above, the gothic style windows.

Epic scale ruined Gothic Building These were then highlighted with burnished gold before being given a heavy wash of Devlan Mud. In the case of the banding on the building to the right, a final additional highlight of boltgun metal was also applied on the upper edges.

In total, eight sets of ruins of varying sizes and shapes were salvaged successfully from the old boards proving that with a bit of care and attention it really doesn’t take much to give your old terrain a fresh overhaul once in a while. At no stage did I need to strip any old paint off or in any way feel the end result would be lessened just because the buildings themselves were being recycled as opposed to being pristine new frames. The great thing about gaming terrain in my opinion is it tends to get better with age and can only benefit from having an additional coat or two of texture and paint.

Themed and medium sized buildings

Epic scale ruined Gothic Building The second set of buildings that needed some attention were the ones I made for the inner city sections of the old boards. Unlike the simple ruins above, these were not permanently fixed onto the boards originally but were mounted on hard board and were designed to be fairly modular so they could be placed in between the roads and such like. Other than a few minor repairs here and there they only required a little repainting to help them blend in with the rest of the buildings and they would be ready for use. Following exactly the same palette as above I over brushed the areas of earth with Bestial Brown and dry-brushed accordingly to match. The walls were then given exactly the same codex grey/graveyard earth treatment and the metal detailing picked out the same way as I did with the simple ruins.

To break up the colours even further and give additional contrast I decided to repaint the gothic windows of the central tower with a 50/50 mix of bleached bone and skull white. This proved to be so successful, I also repeated it on two of the other large buildings.

In total, the second set consisted of three medium sized ruins similar to the one on the left and three smaller sections including one which I constructed to be a thermal generatorium, or some such building. This was built using a combination of the old Warhammer 40,000 plastic building sprue (the one included in the 3rd Edition boxed set) and the Epic 40,000 ones shown here with a few machinery gubbins from the bits box.

It’s something I intend to revisit at some stage in the future when I work on the ‘wave two’ buildings, but in the meantime you can see it in the main picture at the top towards the extreme left and will be shown in more detail when I get around to completing the next batch of larger complexes. Perhaps I should consider a terrain refresher week in March or April, that probably wouldn’t be a bad idea as the woods and trees have been getting something of a pounding from being dragged around for the Flames of War games. I feel an Epic scale terrain itch coming on as part of the exercise.

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