In addition to the foamboard ruins I’ve been building for our Frostgrave table, Wyrm and I also purchased some of the Gothic Ruins range from Knights of Dice to help fill out our tables and provide some variation. I picked up the Gothic Cathedral (2) set and the Gothic Ruin (6) kit, as I thought these would provide the most interesting pieces next to what I’d already scratch built.
One thing to note about this range is that there are no instructions for assembling them. For the basic ruins this isn’t a massive issue as they are relatively straightforward if you’ve built mdf kits before or are an intermediate modeller/hobbyist. That said, I struggled a lot with the cathedral on two fronts: working out exactly how everything fit together (that whole lack of instructions piece); and, secondly, I had huge amounts of difficulty popping out the pieces from the board. Even after using a stanley knife first and then attempting to use a scalpel to run around the pieces, I still barely got them out, and snapped probably a third of the window frames getting them out. Hopefully this is an isolated issue, and given that every other experience with KoD kits (probably pushing 20 now) has been the exact opposite (with everything popping out incredibly easily) I’m inclined to believe that it is.
As you may recall from the last time I discussed building these kits, I’d recommend having rubber bands and foldback clips on hand to help hold pieces in place as they dry (assuming you’re using PVA glue). I have bought a hot glue gun and was tempted to try it out here, but am glad I didn’t given the challenges with building the cathedral. Also, it’s worth laying down some baking paper to build on, as PVA won’t adhere to it, so if you get any leaks you won’t have the pain of trying to free your constructed kit from the dining room table.
Once together, I was happy with how they looked, although I didn’t like the gap between the ground floor and the ground itself. Luckily I was able to easily correct this, as that gap was about 5mm and I had a few pieces of 5mm foamboard from my previous construction, it was simple to cut a piece to the shape needed, beville the edge, and them glue it in place. I then used some rocks and ballast/sand mix to match it into the other ruins I’d built.
After this, to add a little more texture and interest to the flat walls, I randomly splattered on some filler stippling and scraping it with a sculpting tool until it looked random and rough. I also used the filler to cover over some of the tag slots so they weren’t quite as obvious.
To better seal the sand on the foam board and also prevent the MDF from drinking too much paint, I used a small pump bottle of watered down PVA glue (I think it was 1:4 PVA:water) and sprayed the ruins all over with this. I haven’t done this for any other kits and in hindsight am not sure if it made much of a difference, outside of sealing the sand properly so it wouldn’t rub off.
I’ve used some cheap spray paint – black and two shades of grey – to put down an initial basecoat, making the grey paint patchy to add depth to the model. After I got the grey down, I also used some of the Dirt Brown Weathering Spray from Plastic Soldier, which adds further depth and makes the pieces look a little more ‘used’. This spray has been great for the Frostgrave terrain project, giving slightly more realistic look to the ruins in a relatively short time.
Just a note on the spray paint, I’ve since bought and used some artist rattlecans (Liquitex and Ironlak) which are used for graffiti/street art and found them to be significantly better in terms of coverage than the cheap cans from Bunnings. If you’re on a budget or doing significant amounts of MDF terrain it’s probably still more cash efficient to use the cheap ones, but it saved me a lot of time in getting my Chinatown buildings basecoated as I could cut down the number of coats I laid down. Viv also uses something similar over on the Knights of Dice YouTube channel in their how to paint videos.
After the sprays are dry, I cracked on with the airbrush and used several different Vallejo Air browns to paint the edges initially. After this, I brush painted the rocks and then used a little baking powder mixed with PVA for fresh snow.
And there we have it, two more ruins ready to hit the table for our next game of Frostgrave! I’ve been really impressed with the Knights of Dice kits so far, and despite my issues with the cathedral, these otherwise did not disappoint.