Stone walls

or pushing through failure.

In this tutorial you’ll learn how to build stone walls for your wargaming needs. Despite being a simple terrain piece, it adds a lot of tactical play-ability, such as obstacle and cover .

Inspiration to write this tutorial about stone walls for wargaming

This tutorial is something I wanted to write since last summer. During my vacation in France, I was intrigued by the many stone walls I saw in the Cantal region in the heart of the Massif Central mountains. They reminded me of walls I saw in the past in the UK and in Ireland. The wargamer in me immediately got inspired to build similar stone walls for historical miniature war games such as Lion Rampant, Saga or any Fantasy game.

Half a year later, I finally got the time and motivation to tackle this project. What I thought to be a piece of cake, turned out to be a little more tricky. However don’t worry, it’s still an easy built, despite a messy process.

So cover your table for this tutorial and let’s build stone walls for wargaming


  • Styrofoam
  • Hobby knife or Proxxon hot wire
  • Large brush(es)
  • (Aquarium) gravel
  • Small stones and sand
  • PVA glue
  • Black, grey, brown/beige, white acrylic craft paints
  • Something to cover your desk since this project is very, very messy.


  • Mod Podge
  • Flock (I used coffee grounds and tea)
  • Tufts

Failure and how to spark your creativity

I thought this was going to be an easy project. I mean: cut some foam blocks on my Proxxon wire cutter, apply some PVA-glue all over it and done!


Let me explain how things were way more tricky than I thought.

It started already when I was cutting the pieces of Styrofoam. I somehow managed to cut the slopes at different angles for each piece, even though I adjusted the wire on my hot wire once and didn’t touch it afterwards. That what happens when you think your piece is square in profile, but it really isn’t. Anyway, this turned out to be not so bad as I thought.

The real problem was the gluing and applying of the stones. I first dipped the piece in a tray filled with my aquarium gravel. As soon as I took it out to let it dry, all the stones were falling off…

Then I tried to do it the opposite way, by applying PVA-glue and sprinkling the stones into the wet glue. The were then just sliding off the beveled slopes of my Styrofoam blocks.

Frustrated, I completely covered the piece in grave and let it sit. With the result that the stones stuck after the piece had dried, but that the wall looked more than a pile of rubble, as David pointed it out to me, then a carefully laid stone wall.

Tutorial: Stone walls for wargaming

That’s when I thought to myself: how did people build these walls? Certainly not by dumping stone blocks with a bulldozer or other contraption onto a pile. Rather did they carefully lay out these very heavy stone blocks on top of each other, making sure they were interlocking, had the same width and height and basically making sure the borders of their plots of land were correctly traced.

Thus care and endurance were the solution to my problem.

The build

I applied PVA-glue on one side of the foam wedges to stick on the largest stones first by placing them stone by stone. I then filled the gaps with smaller and smaller stones, until I filled every remaining crack with fine sand. Than I left the wall segments to fully dry for 24hours until I tackled the other side and after another drying period covered the top sides and the short ends in stones.

This project is very messy, with all the gravel, sand, glue, Mod Podge and paint going everywhere. So make sure to cover your work surface!

It didn’t make this build easy, but then again, why was I expecting otherwise?

So, let’s see if this project will end in a complete fail?

Spoiler Alert: It doesn’t.

Once every side was dry and covered in gravel, I gave everything a good coat of my Mod Podge and black acrylic paint concoction and let it dry over night. You don’t really need to do this step, but I find it helped strengthening the wall further and priming the wall segments in black.

Tutorial: Stone walls for wargaming

Painting the stone walls

Once the Mod Podge was fully dry, I dry brushed the stone walls with a dark brown, followed by grey and beige. Finally I lightly dry brushed everything in white from above.

As a final painting step, I gave every stone wall a healthy covering in my home made terrain wash, to blend everything together.

Tutorial: Stone walls for wargaming

Finishing touches

Once the Mod Podge has fully dried, I sprinkled some coffee grounds followed by dried herbal tea on the stone walls to simulate debris and vegetation.

To seal everything into place, I first sprayed some alcohol on all the walls. Then I dropped a water-PVA-glue mix onto all the pieces using a pipette. And I let everything fully dry.

Tutorial: Stone walls for wargaming

As a final touch, I applied some grass tufts and sealed everything with a clear matte varnish. At this stage I called the stone walls done.

And here’s the finished result:

Tutorial: Stone walls for wargaming

Not too bad, dare I say.

Have fun with this tutorial to build your own stone walls for wargaming!

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