Apocalypse Terrain Prep: Painting Buildings

So, I’ve had some buildings assembled for a while now that have been crying out for paint, but I just haven’t made them a priority.  If you asked me how long I’ve had these buildings, I would’ve guessed years, but thanks to a quick search of the blog, I can see that I never got around to assembling them until September of 2013.  Granted, they sat languishing in a box prior to that since December 2010, but I’ve already paid the penance for that sin.

wh39kRustedBuildings (2)Now that I think about it, these models haven’t been neglected for even a full year–what the heck am I doing, painting them?  They still need time to ripen!

Oh yeah, I wanted our upcoming Apocalypse game to look good–that’s why.

Anywho, we forwent our normal weekly game night and instead I put out a request for help painting these guys and, much to my surprise, Brandon and Brian both volunteered to help.  So, for the lowly price of a few chili cheese dogs, I enlisted the help of two able bodied airbrushers to work on the terrain with me.  I want to throw out a big shout out to both of them, though the progress doesn’t seem like it, they were a big help–both in the actual painting, and helping me to understand more about using an airbrush (which I successfully used for the first time this weekend).

So, we parsed out the buildings and debated a bit on the color schemes, and then opted to use a rusting effect undercoat (which really ate up about all of the evening).  I found a tutorial online about salt-weathering (one of many, I’m sure) and tweaked it a bit based upon other suggestions we had seen, and a bit of trial and error.  The basic gidst of the process was:

  1. Spray the models with Rustoleum “Rusty metal primer”
  2. Let it dry
  3. Stipple a “darker” orange (Apple Barrel “Harvest Orange”)
  4. Stipple a lighter orange on (Apple Barrel “Jack-o-lantern)
  5. Let it dry
  6. Apply a wash of water to the area (lightly)
  7. Apply a coat of salt to the area
  8. Paint the entire model
  9. Wash/brush/scrape the salt off

The last two steps worked on a test model (though we had been using the salt sparingly on them, and determined we need to be a little heavier-handed with it on the buildings), but we haven’t really tested it on the buildings because I haven’t finished the painting stages.  I’m also running into some confusion on the order of operations when it comes to airbrushing as well.  I’m still learning that, so I’m sure it will come to me eventually.  I’m guessing the entire process should be something like:

  1. wh39kRustedBuildings (1)Salting undercoat
  2. Paint building with airbrush
  3. Hand-paint details
  4. Remove Salt
  5. Paint Black shading
  6. Paint lighting effects

I think that’s basically how it’s supposed to work.  The problem is that we got through step 1 on Friday, and then I started proceeding without thinking through the plan entirely.  So I accomplished much of step 2, and then skipped to step 5 (and in one instance, did a little of step 4).  So I have to go back and do the process in order.

No bother.. it’s a learning experience, and I’m quite happy with how things are progressing (if they are a bit sluggish).

You can see a couple pictures of work in progress pieces that are on my table throughout this blog post.  The one that’s most complete is the “rusted out” building.  I had been playing around with rust undercoating, but I also wanted to try a building that was almost completely rusted.  The effect looks good, but it’s a little too one-note to me, and could definitely use a bit of color variation.   Oddly enough, that building we hadn’t even touched on Friday, and I did it all from scratch after the guys had left.  It was just a nice little practice piece, and while it’s not perfect, I’m pleased enough that it will work for my needs.

wh39kRustedBuildings (3)The others are both much more raw.  One shows some weathering applied to a “stone” building, and it’s coming along nicely but has faults.  First, I tried to paint the top in a metallic coat (to justify why it was rusting and the rest of the building was not), but I hate the look, so I figure I’m going to go back and paint it that same stone grey, and either explain it away by saying that they painted the metal to match the stone below, or by simply blowing it off.  Perhaps if you wait 40,000 years, stone actually starts to rust!

The other building (The shrine of the Aquila) is just an off-white basecoat on the rust base.  It’s by far the most infant in it’s paint job, but I wanted to snap a picture because I’m really happy with the color choice (it was really done on a whim).  I’m thinking it’s because the scheme is reminiscent of pre-heresy death guard…

Anywho, that’s all the status update I have this week.  Again, I’d like to thank Brandon & Brian for their assistance in beautifying my gaming tables, and to everyone else for stopping by.

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