Monday, September 18, 2017

Something Else Wicked Also Comes This Way

For Privateer Press Grymkin commission, I also made a few buildings. These were based on the existing structures on their city table, but broken open and overgrown with creepy trees.


The trees were made the same way as the large tree portal– a foam core, wrapped with wire and then covered with Aves Apoxie Sculpt® textured like bark.


Woodland Scenics plastic tree armatures were attached to make the individual branches.


The buildings were framed out with foam core board over a base "footprint" of two-inch thick pink insulation foam. The rooftops were made out of thick styrene card and the large trees plugged unto the roofs.


For the detailing of the building exteriors, I used brick-textured styrene sheets, and a mix of plastic strips, I-beams, L-beams, and basswood. Privateer sent some molds of windows, chimneys, and other bits that I used to cast the windows and some of the stonework.


Plastic tubing and thick floral wire were used to make the pipes.


This corner building also had a few smaller growths coming out of the windows. The plastic of the roof was melted with a heat gun to make it appear bent and twisted by the tree breaking through.


The finished corner building:



The corner building and the tall building connect together to form a single, large structure.


The back side of the tall building has a large wooden addition, and high roofs.


The front has an extended bay window that butts up against the edge of the table. This was a challenge to match the shapes and scale of the original building.


The roof of the building was peeled back, exposing its underside and some of the interior, which meant that I had to add some structural framework inside the roof and build other details like the chimney and texture the interior walls where they were visible.


Here are a few shots of the painting in progress. The brick, wood, and stone are finished and only the metal components need to be painted and weathered.


The finished tall building:



The last, and probably most complex, building was this house. The entire structure was cracked in half, with a tree growing right up the center and its chimney twisted and distorted.


A block of insulation foam makes up the "ground floor," and a second story floor was built atop this with foam core board. Each half of the floor was angled and fit around the tree growing up the center. After I sculpted the texture of the tree, the floor was covered with basswood strips, broken and angled around the tree.


Each half of the house was made out of foam core, and these fit around the floor.


The chimney was made out of a few blocks of foam, cut at angles, and glued together to give the impression that the chimney was twisting around. The stones were individually cut into the foam.


One branch of the tree trunk passes up and into the water tower atop the house. I used plastic card to detail the water tower, built around a cylinder of insulation foam. The top of the chimney was a resin bit. 


The windows that ran along the split in the building were cast in resin and then cut to appear broken in half.


The base of the building was covered with brick-textured styrene, with the front door burst out by the tree. The halves of the building wee detailed with resin windows and styrene strips. It's difficult to see because it's sprayed black, but there is a top floor inside the roof, made from broken basswood strips, just like the main floor.


Some painting progress– as above, this is the step just before painting the metal and adding the weathering.


The finished house, probably one of my favorite buildings I've ever made:


This set of Grymkin-themed terrain was a real challenge to work on, but a lot of fun to build. Seeing it all together is really satisfying.

'Til next time!


  1. Superb! All the buildings are just excellent.

  2. Amazing. Probably some of your best work yet!

  3. Great work! That corner building in particular is just lovely.

    Where are the windows from? Did you make them, or are they a commercial product?

    1. Most of the windows are pieces that I scratch-built and made molds of when I worked at PP. They sent those for me to use, along with some other molds for things like the stonework, chimney tops, a door, and a couple other windows.

  4. Stunning job, feeric and superb!

  5. "I told you that a rubber tree should stay in the pot, but no, someone decided it would be a good tree for the courtyard..."

    This is amazing stuff, Rob, truly inspired. A table that any gamer would love to play on!

  6. I really enjoyed it in person at GenCon. The pictures don't give the size and scope of the project

  7. I saw this at GenCon. It was truly amazing. Great work!


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