Monday, July 6, 2015

Frostgrave ruins + Modelling with air hardening clay How To

With my first Frostgrave game behind me I knew I needed some more terrain and since the game is situated in a frozen city, we're talking about ruins - lots of ruins.

There's definitely plenty of suitable terrain on the market, 4Ground just released a brand new ruins set Ruins of Daldorr but even though these are lovely, they tend to be a bit pricey + I do enjoy building terrain pieces myself. All you need is a piece of cardboard (I use 2 mm thick one), PVA glue and DAS clay (or any other similar air hardening clay)

My first mini set was a set of two broken down walls - I plan on glueing them together as they will form what is left of one house.

My first two walls for Frostgrave, all done in 90 minutes.

The 'how-to' of working with cardboard and DAS clay is pretty simple - cut the cardboard as you want your walls to look like, then take a piece of clay, take a rolling pin so you end up with a pretty thin layer of clay (1-3 mm thick). Apply PVA glue to the wall and put the clay on it - you want to press it together hard, so it stays there.
Now comes the hardest part - waiting. You need to give the clay some time to dry - the harder it is, the more precise your scribing will be. My approximate drying times are as follows:

  • For medieval/fantasy rough stone walls - around 45 minutes
  • For bricks - an hour, hour and a half

Of course anything longer than that, you end up with pretty much solid layer of clay, that requires quite some force to be scribed (nothing impossible, just my personal preference to work with clay that is still 'alive').
The drying times depend on thickness of your clay layer, temperature, current moon phase, ... so best thing to do is to try and see - when the clay is still very fresh, creating any precise shapes will be close to impossible - there will be too much of wet clay coming off - give it a few more minutes and you will be good to go for the rough fantasy/medieval stone structures.

For scribing I use a set of sculpting tools, but pretty much anything with a sharp edge will do - even a toothpick! Usually I create some sort of a grid to help me get the stones have a similar-ish size and then carry on with the most fun part - every single stone/brick needs to be scribed, usually more than once - first the rough shape of everything is scribed, then after the clay has dried a bit, I go around the second time to clean after myself, to make the edges sharper, add a detail or two here and there.

It's also pretty easy to glue another layer of clay on top of another one - just wait for the first one to dry completely, then add a new one.

An important note - you want to do this before you glue the individual walls together! You can do it all on a completed structure, it's just so much easier to do one wall at a time, not needing to worry about 'how to hold this, how do I get here'.

My next project for Frostgrave is a bigger house, or actually ruins of a bigger house and with me being currently not at home, I had to use every piece of cardboard I still had, so it wasn't a properly planned project - I just made one section of wall, then moved onto the next one.
The house is approximately 15 x 21 cm, the highest wall is close to 7 cm. I will need to glue some of the walls together and then I will move on to clay laying.

All the walls ready for stoning!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for posting the secret technique to using DaS clay. I tried it and it did not work. I will try the layer of PVA glue next time.
    Your terrain is great.