Working with hard foam

Conversion and genre change

Conversion of a ZITERDES ruin? From the urban combat module to a fantasy ruin.
In the course of this workshop, I will carve, glue, decorate and decorate this old town ruin with a scrapped car until I get a classic fantasy ruin.
In the place of the car, there will be a small pond that invites you to linger. I will now show you step by step how this works.
Note: This terrain piece is representative for all other terrain pieces by ZITERDES, which are made of the unique ZITERDES structural hard foam. The steps I show here can of course also be used with the other hard foam models.
Have fun

Step-by-step instruction

Instructions from Thomas (Thommy) Doll

atom/icons/craft Medium
atom/icons/time 120 min.

You need that

Cutter or carpet knife
ZITERDES Textured Hard Foam
Various landscaping materials
Away with the car wreck

Since I would like to use the example model for a fantasy scenario, the wrecked car must of course be removed. This can be done quite easily with a carpet knife.

Create pond

The cut surface could be smoothed with sandpaper and later covered with scattering material. However, I would like to create a small pond in the place of the car wreck and deepen the area accordingly. But you should be careful not to cut a hole in the base plate... By the way, the resulting hard foam waste can be used well for the representation of rubble on the other side of the pond.

Draw in structures

To embellish the base plate a bit more, I pave the pavement. Although the hard foam is very stable and impact-resistant, you can press it in with a pointed tool. A biro is very suitable here, with which you press the joints into the floor slab. I would also like to leave remnants of the floor peeking out on the inside of the ruin. You should also always use a ruler to help with a ruin.

Now the model can be painted. The models produced by Ziterdes are usually "pre-painted", but sometimes the colour of the delivery form gets in the way of the planned end result. For the primer I use landscape paints from ZITERDES. Here the colours are dark grey (a mixture of black and grey), medium grey (a mixture of black and grey), dark brown (mixture of black and brown), brown and dark green.

Next, the model is planted with different materials, starting with a tree.
Trees, scatter material and ground cover are available in our shop (see after the workshop).

The roots are not ideal, so I put the tree on first and later cover the roots with scatter material. Since the roots are also too big for the place where I want to put the tree, I cut them to size with scissors. Then I glue the tree on with a hot glue gun.

Water plants

I would like to have water plants in the pond. In principle, all ZITERDES ground covers can be used for this. If you like water lilies, you can also use the Lasercut miniature plants. Simply stick them in the desired places - that's all. One or the other material can also be used to create climbing or hanging vines.

Ground cover and static grass

Now I apply the floor covering. The glue I use is Noch/Ziterdes grass glue, which has the great advantage that it hardens slowly and evenly, transparently. This means I can cover large areas without the surface of the glue drying out. You can also find the glue in our shop (see after the workshop).

You can "paint" the glue on finely with a hair brush, just to cover stone cracks or wall joints or to fill them with scattering material. Or you can use a bristle brush to apply a larger amount of model landscaping glue to cover larger areas with grass or to add another texture such as flock, foliage or stones. Our tufts of grass also create a great effect.

You can also mix different materials. In my case, I mixed foliage and the tabletop model sand from ZITERDES.

Simply apply the scattering material generously to the glue and let it dry. Simply tap off the rest by turning your model upside down. Simply collect the excess material and use it again for the next project.

There is also statically chargeable scatter grass, which I use on this model to make grass grow out of gaps and crevices. Again, I apply grass glue with a thin brush and "paint" the glue on the places where the taller grass will grow later.

The material is filled into a special plastic bottle, the so-called grass spray can. This is then shaken vigorously. The viscose fibre is electrostatically charged by the friction on the plastic bottle. Now move the bottle down perpendicular to the model and press hard. The statically charged material is literally shot into the grass glue. Simply collect the grass that falls next to it and use it again the next time.

The result is impressive.

Bushes and miniature plants

Now I am adding a few smaller plants. There are bushes in various colours, tufts of grass or flowers and also so-called "lasercut miniatures". You can find the decorative moss and a selection of miniature plants in our shop.

You can attach the moss tufts with a hot glue gun. However, you should make sure that you glue the tear-off point downwards.

The Lasercut miniature plants are detached from the backing and shaped. To do this, simply twist the special paper slightly between your thumb and forefinger. This gives the plant a three-dimensionality and it can be placed directly in the diorama, ruin or base with a little hot-melt glue.


The last step is to depict the water. For this I prefer to use a two-component material, the 2k water gel from Ziterdes. You can also find model water in our shop.

The general production of artificial water and the design of model water bodies is one of the greatest challenges for the model landscaper.

2K water gel is a two-component material that is mixed in a 1:1 ratio. Lakes and rivers as well as streams and ponds can be created with fascinating realism using this material, which is very easy to work with. The two components are heated for approx. 15 minutes in a 50-60° warm water bath (better flowability) and then mixed in a 1:1 ratio and stirred well! (Do not beat or bubbles will form).

VERY IMPORTANT: Mix the two components extremely thoroughly. Both components must be completely mixed together! Do not forget the rim and bottom of the mixing vessel.

After mixing, the 2C water gel is thin, after approx. 30 minutes it becomes honey-like, after approx. 60 minutes thick and after approx. 90 minutes viscous. This makes the 2C water gel ideal for designing water bodies in the model.

Pour in the 2K water gel within the first 30 minutes after mixing. Use a flat brush to distribute the casting compound and brush out any air bubbles that have formed. Repeat this process until a mirror-smooth surface has been created.

Pour in 2C water gel after approx. 30 to 60 minutes and spread with a brush to remove air pockets.

Streams on a slope:
Apply 2C water gel in a viscous state (after approx. 90 to 120 minutes) with a brush.

2K water gel is completely scratch- and dust-proof hardened after approx. 18 hours. Cover your model water during this time to avoid contamination by dust.

2K water gel can be used on materials such as wood, plaster, polystyrene, metal, glass, ceramics and on polystyrene (ZITERDES Modular Gaming Table).

The cured 2K water gel is water- and weather-resistant and acid- and alkali-proof.

In the end, I get a completely new ruin with many great and new highlights, all of which I designed myself.

Resumee: Dare! It's not that difficult to convert or customise a piece of terrain.

Thommy (formerly Thomarillion) from the ZITERDES team wishes you lots of fun with your handicrafts and painting.

Your crafted results

Thommy (then still at Thomarillion) at the craft workshop at the SPIEL in Essen

Featured products

Shopping List

€2.69* (€0.13* / 1 kg)

Available, delivery time 2-5 days


Available, delivery time 2-5 days

€3.19* (€177.22* / 1 kg)

Available, delivery time 2-5 days

€9.79* (€195.80* / 1 qm)

Available, only while stocks last, delivery time 2-5 days


Available, delivery time 2-5 days


Are you interested in handicrafts?

Here you can find more interesting craft tips!
Conversion of two desert houses
Two flat buildings become one two-storey building.
Learn more
Conversion of the fieldstone cottage
How can I change the look of a building with just a few add-on parts?
Learn more
Conversion of the Druid House
A gloomy druid's hut becomes a friendly water mill.
Learn more
Dunkelstadt - How to paint the modules
The painting technique shown also works for other hard foam models.
Learn more
Dunkelstadt - Various conversions explained in a video
Presentation of previous Dunkelstadt crafting tips, plus "bonus" tip.
Learn more
Base design
Sand, gravel, grass, desert, water, ice and snow. The list is almost endless...
Learn more
Dark City - Reconstruction of Module 17 (Rock Gate)
A secret door behind the waterfall? Cliché but cool!
Learn more
From crow's nest to bow fort
A kit is misappropriated...
Learn more
Dwarf fortress conversion
Bring together what belongs together...
Learn more
Dunkelstadt - How to remove a wall
You need another door opening for your Dunkelstadt module? No problem!
Learn more