Friday, 8 January 2016

Terrain Building: Minas Urgal

A few months ago I wanted some terrain for an ongoing (very slow) Middle Earth campaign. The battle (report of which will hopefully follow next week) was an ambush by some Elves and Rangers (and one Dwarf) who had tracked some orcs back to their camp.
The evil doers are camped around an ancient tower, Minas Urgal, and it was this tower I needed.
I started with two squares of insulation foam, one about three inches square, the other about four, and a piece of mdf, about 6 inches square. 
I arranged the foam on the board at angles, I didn't glue it at this stage as I wanted to get everything in place first.
I cut some smaller cubes of the insulation foam, and arranged them as shown above, these were to form the stairway to the tower.
When I had got an arrangement I liked I glued bigger pieces of foam with PVA, not the smaller ones yet though.

I then cut the smaller cubes into stair sections with a craft knife, I wasn't too worried about being neat with this, it is a ruin after all.
I also cut stone block texture into the top (smaller) foam square, this will be the foundations of the tower.
Next is the ground floor. I cut four wall sections from foam, so they would sit flush with the foam underneath. I cut a door way in one (so it matched up with the stairs) and covered these in stone block texture again.

A small stair section, slightly shorter than the height of the walls was cut, and again textured to look like blocks.

I cut some small square section lengths of foam, about 1/4" wide, three lengths were attached to the top of the inside of the walls, as shown above, this will provide something for the upper floor to sit on.

An upper floor was built from one full wall (with arrow slots) and two partial walls, again textured with block pattern. They were glued so they sat above the floor supports added in the last stage.

I built a floor from plasticard planks glued to balsawood struts, it was made to fit the floor supports.

I mercilessly hacked at the bottom square of foam, rounding off corners and making it less square.
I splathered the bottom layer of foam, and some of the 2nd tier with polyfilla to form the hill. I made sure everything that didn't have a block texture was covered, and even some that did was as well, this made it look as if the foundations went right into the ground.

PVA glue and sand was liberally splashed over the polyfilla

The whole building was then sprayed black. I brought out the stone work, and some of the rocks, with dry brushes of grey, the ground I did in browns and greens. 

Then a layer of flock (and a very blurry photo)
Some static grass was added to the ground, and scatter glued to the walls for creepers. Finally I used rubberised horse hair and the same scatter to make bushes which I added to the base.
And there we have it, Minas Urgal.


  1. That looks great!


  2. Thanks! Some good looking stuff on your blog too. I've also had a go at doing versions of the old GW cut out buildings. And I've got Tony Harwood's books.

    1. Thanks, mate :) I'm currently building another of the old GW buildings, should be done in a few weeks' time... :)


  3. That came out very well indeed. And a great tutorial, I might add. Thank you!

  4. Thanks, quite simply to make but I was pleased with how it came out.