Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Reference material for stone ruins?

This topic contains 14 replies, has 7 voices, and was last updated by Thorsten Frank Thorsten Frank 1 month ago.

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  • #118065
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    I’m looking at photos of ancient and medieval stone ruins to soak up inspiration and reference material for future terrain builds. Of course, these ruins, being heritage sites, have all been neatly excavated and/or tidied up for tourism. It seems to me that wargames terrain pieces representing old ruins are also typically made to look like this, though I suspect the modellers in question aren’t always fully aware of that fact and the implications of it for the story that is being intrinsically told by the terrain set-up (in much the same way that the presence of copses of trees without concomitant bushes and shrubs often suggests that someone has been around and cleared away the undergrowth, as in a landscaped park area).

    I’m mainly interested in making ruins in a more “natural” (albeit possibly Hollywoodised) state – undiscovered, rarely visited or “forbidden” sites where adventures happen. Some of the stones might have been robbed away for other constructions in the past, and perhaps some tomb robbers have left their mark in the form of tunnels and trenches, but certainly no one has been around to conduct rigorous archeological excavations or to landscape the sites for tourism.

    To that end I’m asking for suggestions of reference material as to what ruins might look like in this state. Perhaps films or TV shows about real 19th-20th century archeological discoveries? Or just adventure films and series where some of the scenes are set amongst old ruins (fantasy is perfectly fine, and to that end I’ve already thought of the first Peter Jackson LotR film and the scene in GoT where they sail past Old Valyria). Comics, video games and sundry photos and videos with relevant content are also welcome suggestions. There are the Tomb Raider games and films, of course, but they tend to place their ruins inside giant caverns and other underground locations. I’m asking this as a generic topic that covers all cultures (at least stone-builder cultures) and places, both real and fictional. For that matter, part of what I’m interested in understanding better is the effect of different climates and timespans on ruins.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 1 week ago by Rhoderic Rhoderic.
    #118068
    Angel Barracks
    Angel Barracks
    Moderator
    #118080
    trenchfoot
    trenchfoot
    Participant

    A good source are the 17th and 18th century classical art paintings, however the subject material is usually Greek/Roman ruins. Search on Google images “classical ruins painting” or “classical buildings paintings”. I’m sure there could be some inspiration from these especially as the artists inspiration often came from ruins they often visited during their tours of Italy.

    hope this helps

    #118087

    Mr. Average
    Participant

    The works of Thomas Cole and the other American Sublime artists would have a lot of merit as sources.

    #118091
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Excellent suggestions! Thanks. Old paintings completely slipped my mind.

    Certainly the ruins of the “classical world” qualify. The thing that most immediately spurred me to ask the question was the frustration I felt when Googling for photos of Greek ruins. The stripped-bare “cleanness” of those ruins today may be useful for better extrapolating what the structures would have been like when they were intact and functional (which ultimately is the insight with more tangible utilitarian value), but it does nothing to evoke the romantic, adventurous image of bones of old empires and civilisations jutting out from the wilderness. Granted, with these paintings it’s more about pastoral landscapes than true wilderness, but it honestly doesn’t matter that much to me.

    The suggestions so far have also reminded me to search for engravings of ruin scenes, as well as Victorian paintings of gothic ruins. Good stuff.

    #118146
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    I don´t know if that helps but there are several castles that are in ruins and villages which were left in various centuries in my region. I start with Castle  Rodenstein. This has it´s own haunting ghost story which is closely related to The Wild Hunt. I post some pictures and links:

    http://englishspeakingodenwald.blogspot.com/2017/08/the-ruins-of-rodenstein-and.html

    Buch Rodenstein

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #118147
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Don´t miss the english language blog in my post above.
    There´s also a nice video:

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #118149
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Ok, another one. This time Castle Freienstein (approx 15km south from where I live. Rodenstein is 20km to the north.)

    https://www.tourismus-odenwald.de/de/poi/detail/589d7508975aca0dd3a95657/
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Burg_Freienstein#/media/Datei:Burg_Freienstein06.jpg

    https://www.alleburgen.de/bd.php?id=13798


    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #118150
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    The following is from the abandonded village Ferdinandsdorf.
    This is an interesting case. It was abandonded in the time around the late 18th and the early 19th century and not because of war or something like that but because of environmental issues – soil erosion. And the people back then managed to destroy the soil so complete that it´s still very infertile for agriculture as we tested 15 years ago (I´m not only into wargaming and trolling the net…). This site is 25km north-east of the place where I live.

    (
    http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_6EnxDlQlWWM/Sh6s7BGzUQI/AAAAAAAAAQI/F7hJBxqSe_Y/w1200-h630-p-k-no-nu/Unterferdinandsdorf+Ruine_Bildrechte+HAHL0108komp.JPG

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #118151
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    Next the abandonded village of Galmbach. The place is today called Eduardsthal and is actually settled again a few metres  from the original village as some kind of hamlet (three houses and no agriculture again). Same reason as above but 50 years earlier.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galmbach_(Kailbach)#/media/Datei:Mauerreste_Galmbach.jpg

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galmbach_(Kailbach)#/media/Datei:Forsthaus_Eduardsthal_2017.jpg

    Following is an interesting picture from an artificial lake from the middle ages – the village is gone but the lake is still there.
    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galmbach_(Kailbach)#/media/Datei:Stauweiher_Galmbach.jpg

    https://de.wikipedia.org/wiki/Galmbach_(Kailbach)#/media/Datei:Stauweiher_Galmbach.jpg

    https://iiif.deutsche-digitale-bibliothek.de/image/2/b694a5f7-e0b4-448f-bef0-b4eded2c4e1e/full/!800,600/0/default.jpg

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

    #118152
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant
    #118154
    irishserb
    irishserb
    Participant

    Some of the art by Frederick Catherwood may be of some interest, here is a link to a yahoo search:

    https://images.search.yahoo.com/search/images;_ylt=AwrJ6R.iGzFdTcoAjgBXNyoA;_ylu=X3oDMTE0NTg2bDUxBGNvbG8DYmYxBHBvcwMxBHZ0aWQDQjI5NDRfMQRzZWMDcGl2cw–?p=frederick+catherwood&fr2=piv-web&fr=yfp-t-s

    Unfortunately, there is a lot repetition in the link, but some interesting illustrations of freshly or recently discovered ruins in his day (circa 1840).

    #118383
    Rhoderic
    Rhoderic
    Participant

    Sorry for not stating my appreciation for all the further suggestions until now – I just got back from a weekend in the woods.

    This is great stuff, and I’m going to start looking more closely at all of it now. Thanks!

    #118392
    Harry Faversham
    Harry Faversham
    Participant

    In the wooded hills around Sheffield there were shadow factories (some of the first Churchill tanks were built in one of these) and anti aircraft gun sites built during the war. As kids, fifty years ago, we played in them and used them for dens. They were pretty much intact then, I still have a couple of tin hats and some ’37 pattern webbing gleaned from one of ’em. A stroll through these same woods recently and the structures have all but disappeared. They’ve just collapsed and fallen down, even the concrete hard standings have become invisible, as nature’s reclaimed and overgrown them. For many years this Churchill tank stood on a concrete hard standing at the edge of the woods…

    Might be something to bear in mind when making our old,  and abandoned ruins… Mother Nature re-camouflaging ’em!

    "Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

    "I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

    #118435
    Thorsten Frank
    Thorsten Frank
    Participant

    @rhoderic (and anyone else interested) if you need any explanations or further explanations on my links just ask.
    Actually I´m looking for such things too but in a sci-fi environment for my Scavenger/Koronis setting and I always look for lost places pictures etc. Same goes for Harry Faversham´s picture/example, always interested in such things.

    "In strange grammar this one writes" - Master Yoda

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