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Bare ruined choirs

"Upon those boughs which shake against the cold, bare ruin'd choirs, where late the sweet birds sang." Sonnet 73

Another Ziterdes piece, this time a ruined monastery/church etc. Another really great centrepiece for a whole series of games. I can see this in Frostgrave, Burrows and Badgers as well Lord of the rings and more obvious fantasy systems.

As with all Ziterdes pieces it could be used straight up as can be seen in the picture below - probably not with the Daleks from a different commission...

First step then was deciding how to pimp my ruin. I was going to take the easy route and do the flags in browns but then remembered some church interiors i had seen in Belgium and as the customer wanted a Spanish colonial feel i decided to go with Black and White in the main part of the church. I sprayed the whole floor a dark grey as a base, then went over the white tiles with ivory passing several times rather than trying to get an opaque coat. The passing and repassing gives a more "organic" and less blotchy finish.

The pic below shows the top part with the grey still visible whilst the bottom shows after the grey was covered in the thinned down black sprayed through the Badger Krome with the finer needle i reserve for the finest lines etc.

Below you can see the whole floor once its been tidied up and the rubble given a quick shadow covering of the usual german dark camo brown to get some depth/contrast.

I then started in on the random paving in the vestry(?) while I had the dark camo brown in the airbrush. First up outlining the actual slabs then using cork brown on each slab in the pass and repass method. This is a bit time consuming but easy enough and worth it.

With cork in the brush i started on the random stonework. The guide here is to be as mindless as possible as you can overthink being random. Fortunately I'm a natural at mindless.... The stone windows were also continually lightened in a non random way including any rubbled sections on the ground. The upper parts of the foundation stones were also lightened up to give the impression of depth.

As you can see in the pic below i had already done the random dark stones earlier with dark camo brown in the brush but forgot to mention it.

I also applied the same process to the steps and the rougher stonework just as randomly except making sure the risers were dark.

I then returned to the interior randomising the stonework and increasingly lightening the rubble, especially the larger bits and pieces.

Switching to desert yellow i carried on with the rubble and the upper edges of the walls but also as a basecoat for the two columns in the aspe. These would be successively lightened up with dark sand and then dark sand/ivory 50/50

In the picture above and below you can see the desert yellow also used to "dust"on the tiled surface around the edges where i imagined the dirt from the falling stonework would be thickest. I had already put a thin spray of flat earth closer to the edges earlier where i think there would be thicker dust. Maybe.

The tops of the walls and the step shading are particularly visible in this photo.

The broken columns being lightened as described earlier.

With the ruin work complete it was time to look at the flock which is fine just a bit too sprig bright for the bare ruined choirs feel we were going for. I wanted to go autumny and maybe a bit snowy but apparently there were few snowy winters in the Spanish Empire/ Ghost Archipelago and the golden rule is he who has the gold makes the rules - Jafaar (disney Aladdin)

Airbrushing makes changing the flock colour a doddle and i used german camo dark green, luftwaffe green and the old desert yellow to vary the shades.

Finally the shrubbery with a nice variety of tufts. As with the Aztecy pyramid you could permanently fix the jungly plants available off Ebay but Im not sure this is a good idea either structurally in the foam or from a gaming point of view as would limit space.

Anyway that was the piece finished and its time for a few celebrity endorsements firstly from Saruman who sees potential as a fixer upper.

Uruk Hai see the potential for displaying their head collection..

Burrows and Badgers just as cool terrain!


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