Terrain Tuesday – Ancient Ruins



By: Kitbasha Jay

A few months ago I had an idea for some ancient stone temples. I wanted to create a gaming table that could be used for nearly any gaming system. So I began to look to the internet for inspiration. My hope was that I could create something that could be used in any fantasy world. For anything from 40k, to Malifaux, to D&D.

After searching the internet for photos of ancient temples and stone structures I decided to go with a Celtic theme. Being of British ancestry these ruined houses and walls really spoke to me. They were something I could easily build and would fit in nearly any fantasy world. These are some of the pics I used for inspiration.


With these in mind I grabbed a rubber foam mat that they were throwing out at the shop I was working in at the time. You can purchase these jigsaw shaped mats at Canadian Tire or other hardware and autoparts stores. I had been looking for an excuse to start working with this material. This was the perfect use for it.

I began by taking an xacto knife and cutting the mat into long strips. I then cut these into small brick shaped pieces. Once I had a bunch of bricks I could use to build the structures, I took a pair of scissors and trimmed off the majority of the sharp edges. This made them look more like rough stone blocks rather than bricks. These were to be my building blocks.

I then used PVA glue to start building the walls. Squeezing it directly out of the bottle i put a large blob anywhere I wanted to place a brick. With little thought or planning I just started building. I kept the inspiration pics on my laptop screen near me as a guide. It was actually quite therapeutic building these little houses.

Pro Tip: The PVA takes a long time to dry. You may find that as you stack higher and higher the wall begins to sag. This can be easily fixed by standing a bottle of paint or glue against the wall to prevent it from leaning as the glue dries. If you find this too clumsy then wait for the first few rows to harden before going on to the next few.

You could use other forms of adhesive for this. Super glue and hot glue will dry very quickly. Superglue, however, can leave a rough texture on the stones that doesn’t look natural. The hot glue can leave globs between the stones which does not look pretty once it’s dry and painted. If hot enough it can also melt the rubber foam in undesirable spots.

The PVA will soak into the blocks and still stick them together. Because it soaks in, even being globby with it will not leave globs on the final product. So be patient and take your time. The results will be worth it.

I finished the pieces off by adding some slate to the set as walking stones. Also I put on some rough gravel closer to the walls themselves before adding the fine sand to the majority of the pieces. I think they turned out pretty well.

On tomorrow’s blog we’ll continue the process by painting these sweet little terrain pieces. I had originally built these for my own personal use. A few months back the FLGS that Hogtown 40k usually plays at changed ownership. Long story short, the previous owner took all his terrain with him.

The club was scrambling to rebuild enough terrain to host our gaming events. So I decided to donate these to the new store. If you’re in Toronto and you want to see these terrain pieces in person then head on over to The Sword and Board. You can even use them for a game if you want. Also check out their website at the link below.

The Sword and Board Toronto

I’m also interested in hearing about your Terrain projects. What unusual materials have you used to make terrain pieces? Have you used any materials for the first time and had amazing or horrifying results? Leave a comment below, on our Facebook or Instagram feeds, or simply email your response to encounterwargaming@gmail.com

Until our next Encounter!

One thought on “Terrain Tuesday – Ancient Ruins

  1. Love how the stone looks, never would’ve thought about using a rubber mat. I’ve dabbled a bit with terrain but haven’t really had any success. I’ll definitely be borrowing ideas like this to make terrain for my D&D game that I run. There’s some ruined temples in my group’s future and things like these would really help bring the game to life. Keep it up Jay, this shit is awesome!

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