Building an Old Crypt

Continuing on my building spree from the last post, I decided I needed a way among the ruins for my party to go underground, I needed something which would contain a stairway or tunnel entrance. I settled on a small building which could also double as a crypt or a small mausoleum.

I am not adept at terrain building. So, I decided to modify a paper building rather than constructing a building from scratch. The perfect building to modify is the Hovel from Dave Graffam Models. The paper terrain from Dave Graffam Models is fantastic. The Hovel is a free building and while the building is for use with 28mm, he includes the reduction percentages for 25mm, 20mm, 15mm, 10mm and 6mm.

The Hovel on the left printed on cardstock & the Hovel on the right with a foam brick veneer.

First step was the assemble the Hovel per instructions, but without gluing the roof in place. The second step was to get some pieces of dollar store foam core from my terrain building bin. It is important to use the foam core sold in dollar stores instead of the foam core you can purchase in craft stores such as Michaels, Hobby Lobby or even Wal-Mart. Why? Well, the paper covering the foam on the dollar store foam core peels off very easily whereas the paper on the foam core from the craft stores takes more effort to remove. Anyway, the foam in the foam core is about 1/4″ thick and I cut this in strips 3 1/8″ long and 1/8″ wide.

Next, I made a door from cardstock and glued it to one of the narrow sides. Then I glued the foam strips to the Hovel walls cutting them to fit as needed. When the glue was dry, I used a fine tip Sharpie to create the mortar lines in the foam strips creating the appearance of bricks. Using a ball of crumpled aluminum foil, I rolled it across the bricks creating a texture of old brick work.

Once the walls were done, I glued on the roof. The original card stock roof presented two problems. One, the printed roof had no texture and two, with the added brick veneer, the roof really didn’t look big enough for the building. So, I created strips of shingles from card stock and glued them to the existing roof to make a larger roof with some texture.

Once the roof was completed, I coated the building in a coat of Modpoge mixed with black paint. After it dried, I painted the walls with a heavy drybrush of a brown, a drybrush of lighter brown and a light drybrush of an off-white. I painted the roof with a slate gray and painted the door. I rummaged through my bits box and found a hanging skeleton from an old GW undead sprue and for the device above the door I used the top of a parasol from Old Glory’s African Explorers set. I painted the skeleton off-white and the device with a metallic bronze (from a 30-year-old bottle of Ral Partha Brass that for some reason is still good). Once everything was painted, I coated the entire building with a black wash.

When the wash was dry, I applied a very light drybrush to restore the highlights to the walls and roof. Finally, I gave the skeleton a good drybrush.

Now I have an old crumbly, creepy building for the table top! The actual build time wasn’t long at all. However, I used white PVA glue instead of the hot glue gun I used in the last build. Using white glue isn’t as messy as using the hot glue gun, but you do need to stop every few layers of foam strips and let the glue dry. If you don’t, the strips will shift and maybe even collapse.

This was a fun little project using a free paper building and left over bits and pieces. I hope this post is useful to you and illustrate that even those of us who are all thumbs can build terrain for our games. Let me know what you think! Comments are always welcome.

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