A Table Full of Buildings

WH39kPaintedBuildings (1) (Medium)I had made quite an extensive series of posts on buildings over the last few months.  They covered everything from purchasing, to assembly, to painting, and more.  Without a doubt, the most frequent question/comment I get was when was I going to take a picture of all of the buildings on one table?

WH39kPaintedBuildings (2) (Medium)Honestly, I thought I was done with the whole series, but I’ve gotten so many people asking (read: upwards of two, but that’s huge on this blog), that I thought I’d cave to the hysterical masses and follow through with one of their requests.  So, I wound up accomplishing just what they asked: put all of the buildings on the table and take a picture.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (3) (Medium)Dammit, no, I didn’t.  I just realized that I did put the rusted out building on the table.

I also didn’t put all of the statues and other miscellaneous terrain on the board, but I did manage to sneak in most of those statues.  We had some space where we could’ve jammed in some more terrain, but we were actually setting up for a game, and wanted to have some place to maneuver.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (4) (Medium)Anywho, throughout this post are thumbnails of the table as it was setup before that game.  I tried to take pictures from basically every possible angle to get you whatever view it was you wanted.  I’m a little sad that we used the grass mat, and not the dirty one, as it seems to be the better choice for playing with buildings.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (5) (Medium)Oh well.  Hopefully this helps to show people the general look and feel of the terrain and get an idea of the total size of all of the buildings combined.  As always, please feel free to click on any of the thumbnails to view larger pictures.

WH39kPaintedBuildings (7) (Medium)By the way, since I’ve written so many posts on the subject, I took the liberty to go back and make a tag for Building Progress.  You can click on that link to go back and see all of the posts covering every stage of the process.


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Buildings, Buildings, Buildings! (Part 3)

So this is my third (and final) post on the series.  For those of you who didn’t catch my earlier posts,  you can see them here and here.  I’m recapping the various buildings I own, and elaborating a little bit as to what went into them.

For those that are interested in how I achieved the various effects, you can find out more about them at the following links:

Otherwise, I’m just going building by building, giving them a kitschy name and telling a little story about them.  So, here goes…

Blood Stain:

Wh39kBuildings (18)I was originally going to call this “half door” because I lost part of the hinge and had to glue half of the door shut, but then I thought “Wow, I’m really scraping the bottom of the barrel on this one.”  Blood stain is a little better, though it doesn’t quite capture the essence of the building.  It does, of course, have a blood stain right on the marble.

I’ve talked about how to achieve this blood effect before here.   It’s an older style from before GW came out with it’s new technical paints (which I still haven’t tried).  Anywho, I went ahead and painted a blood splotch on the marble, in the hopes that it’d stand out a little more than elsewhere on the piece.  Since I did it near the edge of the floor, I wound up painting it as if it leaked down to the bottom floor and is soaking into the ground.

Now that I look at it, this particular building contains pretty much all of the special effects I used on my terrain this year (except for stained glass, of course): Rust, Marble, Blood, OSL, & Posters.  There’s even a little patina on one of the brass-etched signs.  It really does have it all.

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Wh39kBuildings (10)Another building, another lame name.  And again, it’s sad because I’m rather fond of this one.  This was one of the first buildings that I used the rust effect on, and it stands out rather well at the top of the building.

By the way, people have asked me if I like the GW buildings or the Pegasus hobby buildings better, and I think the answer is that I prefer the Pegasus buildings–if you also have the GW ones.  What I mean by that is the size and openness of the Pegasus buildings is great, but they are rather plain.  Adding some leftover details from the various GW kits really makes them shine though.  Without the leftover parapets from my GW kits, these would look pretty blah.  But little additions like those, and an occasional light fixture really help to make them shine.

Another addition that I threw in to several of these buildings were some old GW ruin kits.  For those of you who have been playing in in excess of a dozen years, you may remember the 3rd edition starter box came with some plastic ruins.  I wound up incorporating them into these buildings to give them a stopping point without eating up too many extra wall sections.  I really like how they blend in–to me, they’re not immediately noticeable.

As a side note, I have like 20+ sets of those jungle trees still on the sprue as well.  Someone out there really should trade/buy them from me…

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The Chapel:

Wh39kBuildings (13)For two buildings I wound up using a bit of foam board to give them roofs.  For some reason, both of them really look like chapels to me.  I decided to dub this one the chapel because the other had a more obvious name (see below), but I could’ve just as easily called it “Back to the Future” (for the giant clock on the back of it).  I really like how the roof turned out, but at the same time, I’m also glad I didn’t use the effect more extensively.  I think it might look overdone if I used it much more, and besides, it can be difficult to reach under and move models around.

This is one of the few buildings that I used the OSL effect for fire instead of just for the lights.  I did the flame effects first, and it was too watery, but I feel that worked to my advantage.  Coincidentally, both of these “chapels” that I did have figures from–as luck would have it–the Warhammer Fantasy “Chapel” model.

Or maybe that was intentional, because I felt they looked like churches and those often have large statues inside them?

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Wh39kBuildings (7)So this is “chapel #2.”  If you look at the various photos, I think you can agree that it’s a rather fitting name.  When I painted it up, it actually had a brass etch Ultramarine symbol on the back side of it, but when it came to affixing posters, I felt that I just had to put the “starbucks” logo somewhere, and that seemed like a pretty perfect fit.

The logo actually says “Imperial Best Recaf Station.”

Otherwise, this has all of the same effects as the other chapel above.  Another part I should probably mention eventually is the inclusion of bass-wood for the floors.  Since the Pegasus buildings don’t come with much in the way of floors (just the four marble floor sections), I had to find another solution. So, I went to Michael’s and picked up some bass-wood to use.  For those that haven’t used it before, this is essentially the same as balsa wood, except a whole lot sturdier.  Think of it like a really small/thin sheet of plywood.  After scuffing them up and using a few supports from the GW buildings, I think they make decent additions.

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Notre Dame:

Wh39kBuildings (1)So, I’m calling this one Notre Dame because the front façade really reminds me of that iconic church.   Granted, it’s nowhere near as massive or ornate as the real thing–nor was it modeled after it either), it just has a nice opening up top with an open double-door that makes it seem fairly majestic to me.

I don’t think there’s anything particularly impressive about this paint job and it doesn’t seem to include any tricks that I didn’t include/explain in my other buildings, so we’ll leave it at that.  It’s just a cool looking building, but ultimately nothing special.

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And that, ladies and gentlemen, concludes my recap of my buildings.  Again, if you want to see more, I’d encourage you to check out my earlier posts  here and here that talk about the first ten buildings I did.  As always, thanks for dropping by…

Buildings, Buildings, Buildings! (Part 2)

This is a continuation of my earlier post.  Actually this has turned into part two of a three part series in which I’m showing pictures of the various buildings Brandon and I worked on for the last Apoc game (and for basically every game that I’ll play at my house until the end of time).

For those that are interested in how I achieved the various effects, you can find out more about them at the following links:

Otherwise, I’m just going building by building, giving them a kitschy name and telling a little story about them.  So, here goes…


The White House:

Wh39kBuildings (42)This is honestly one of my least favorite of all of the buildings.  When I was basecoating things, I wound up doing a lot of them in drab colors (like silver and black) and wanted to mix things up a bit.  When I got to the Shrine of the Aquila, I tried a light beige, and really liked it.  So, in an attempt to mix a little extra variation into the buildings, I painted this to match.  It just didn’t seem to work as well with this as it did the shrine.  To resolve it, I went a little heavier on the black airbrush for some extra depth.

I guess it doesn’t look bad, but I’m definitely not in love with it.

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The Fuel Depot:

Much like the ammo depot, I wanted to consolidate the fuel casts into a single building to give it a sense of purpose.  Part of my thought process was that I wanted to be able to use these buildings thematically in games to give them some benefit.  Wh39kBuildings (38)For example, in an Apoc game, maybe you could reroll misses or overheats if you were in the ammo depot, or maybe the fuel depot might have rules similar to the promethium pipes?

This was also the only building that I didn’t have a hand in assembling.  While it’s true that Brandon assembled a fair number of these buildings with me, I was at least in the room doing some brainstorming and such.  This particular building came as part of a purchase I did back in 2012 (along with the rusted out ruins–see below).  I wasn’t particularly happy about how it was assembled because it’s pretty small and tight, but what the heck–it’s a building right?

This is also the first building I wound up painting up to completion (well, aside from the rusted one).  I think the mindset was that I could experiment on these because they weren’t really mine.  In doing so, I toyed with painting the various floor tiles in different patterns, but ultimately scrapped that because I didn’t feel it added enough to justify the time spent.

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The Shrine of the Aquila:

Wh39kBuildings (32)What can I say about this one?  I’ve already done a fairly extensive post on the stained glass work, so I’m left with a bit of a void here.  While I did use some other techniques around this model, most of those have already been explained in the other buildings.  Other things I think that stand out nicely are the NOD recruitment poster and the use of a little bit of blue on the model.

In most of the buildings I stayed with relatively drab/dark colors.  I forget who suggested this, but they told me that your buildings should fade into the background and not draw your attention away from the models.  I’m not sure I agree with this 100%, but I do think the primary focus should be the models.  To address this, I tried not to reduce the overall quality of the paintjobs, but rather to tone down the color palette.  As a result, many of the buildings are very drab.  This building was looking particularly so, and I was running out of colors to use in it, so I opted to through a little blue beneath each of the large windows.  That little color really seems to help liven the piece up.

Or maybe it’s the giant stained glass windows…

Two other things worth mentioning are that the marble effect was done by Brandon (his first attempt at it), and the windows, although really cool looking, are quite hard to shoot out of.  Because of that, it isn’t exactly an ideal piece of terrain to have in your deployment zone.  Sure, guys can go on the top, but anyone on the second level really has very little they can shoot at (assuming you use true LoS).

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Rusted Ruins:

Wh39kBuildings (25)This was the first building I completed because I was wondering how much rust would be too much on a building.  I also wondered if I could do the rust effect in reverse (ie. paint the building silver, salt it, and then paint rust over the top).  I’d say that it worked out pretty well.

I’m not sure that I’d do it again on something quite this large, but it would be a great effect on something like a barrel or a tank that had been abandoned in the woods.

I’m also fond of the “Warning: Xenos Infested Area” poster, but I can’t say why.  I think I like the yellow background and it seems to show that even though the building has been neglected, they still care enough to put up relatively new warning signs to keep the populace safe.

The emperor protects.

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The Spire:

Wh39kBuildings (20)Ok, I think earlier I said that “the White House” was my least favorite building, but I could be wrong about that.  This one I find particularly offensive as well.  The sad part, is I sort of did that on purpose.

The thing is that when we were assembling things, it became very clear that most buildings would be 2-3 stories tall (in hindsight, I’m not sure I even considered a 1-story building, but that could’ve been cool).  Anyway, I wanted to put in some tall buildings for clear line-of-sight across the table.  The problem with that is that it takes up A LOT of building pieces to make a tall building.

The way to avoid that?  Well, make it really skinny.

So now I have a five-story building that is indeed really skinny, but the top floor or two really aren’t big enough to put many units up there.  Furthermore, the building is just too tall to store with the rest of them, so it’s always in the way.

That aside, I don’t mind the overall aesthetic of the building.  I also took the time to paint OSL on all of the little lights (at least those on the ground level), and then decided that was going to be too much work to repeat on the rest of the buildings.  And, like the Shrine of the Aquila, I threw a splash of color into this by painting the doors blue (and even a bit of red on the Adeptus Mechanicus symbol).

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And we’ll call this here as well, allowing me to put exactly five building summaries in each of the three posts.  So, for those of you who are annoyed with these: you only have to endure one more!

Buildings, Buildings, Buildings! (Part 1)

I realize now that in my earlier series of posts that covered the creation of my buildings, I didn’t do an over-reaching “this is the final product” summation.  For those that are curious, my earlier posts were on:

And now this one, which will really conclude the series on my city terrain (well, at least until I get around to painting up the little gubbinz like lightposts and such).  Sadly, I don’t have all that much to add that I haven’t covered in my earlier posts.  I guess I could do another post altogether on marbling and on blood effects, since I did use quite a bit of each in these buildings, but I’ll refrain from that.  If you’re interested in how I did either, you can find out more in the Dishonored Imperium post from January 2014 (which is worth looking into again if I do say so myself: I’m proud of how that model came out, and particularly so of the photos–which are far better than the actual product).

I wasn’t sure how I was going to do this, other than throw in a bunch of pictures of the finished buildings in, but now that I’m looking at them, this is clearly going to be way too long for one blog post, so I guess maybe this is the start of a mini-series on the completed buildings I’ve done.  Anywho, I think I’ll go through each building and show the pictures of it, along with a little blurb about them.  So, in no particularly order, here are:

The Doritos Factory:

Wh39kBuildings (61)I decided just a moment ago that I needed to have a name for each of the buildings, but then right off the bat, I came up with a building that doesn’t have a definitive name.  So, since I managed to sneak in a bag of Doritos in the rubble.  It also was one of the four buildings I did with marble floors, but I’ll probably go over that on another building, so let’s skip that for now.

Other interesting tidbits on this particular building are that it has some plaster of paris cast bits (in the form of the three trunks).  A friend of mine really got into casting models for a while, and when he gave up, he wound up giving me most of the molds to me.  I really have done next to nothing with them, but there are some great molds there.  I know one day I went ahead and was playing around with them and wound up casting a few little pieces with plaster of paris, and many of those wound up scattered around these buildings.

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The Ammo Dump:

Wh39kBuildings (39)Ok, I cheated and changed up the order a bit, but it serves a purpose.  I wanted to show a little more of the output from those rubber molds, and this piece had a lot of them.  Scattered around the base are ammo boxes and open crates of missiles.  These are also plaster of paris.  The two lines of crates/boxes in the corner of the board are actually some resin bits that I got from… well, I don’t rightfully recall.  When my friend Marshall was getting out of 40k, he wound up giving me a small box of various gubbinz and these might have been included in there?  I don’t know anything about them, but from the looks of them and the yellowish resin used, I wouldn’t be surprised if they were armorcast models from back in the day.

I wound up including some more marble on this piece, as well as a couple of pieces from the Forgeworld brass etch sheet for Ultramarines.

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Wh39kBuildings (56)I’m naming this building for the Total Recall reference in the poster, and it kind of has relevance in the fact that it also has an Ork campaign poster plastered to the door (I’m assuming that most Ork politicians are recalled at some point during their tenure).

As an added bonus?  The post spells “Rekall” with an Orky twist.  I could’ve have planned it better if I tried.

I also added some blood effects (not so successfully trying to include multiple levels, dripping down–an effect I think I achieved on another building and then tried to duplicate here).  I think I’ll probably save that for the building that I achieved a better end result to talk about it.

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The Balcony:

Wh39kBuildings (52)Ok, perhaps naming these is going to be harder than I thought.  What would you call this building though?   What sticks out in my head is that it’s an unusually long and skinny building, that it was one of only a couple that I had sprayed silver as a basecoat and that balcony at the front.  That balcony really seems like a spot where an evil dictator spouts of inane rants to a crowd of mindless drones.

This one really seems to have a lot of posters in it.  I’m not sure if it’s unusually high or not, but it seems like it from the photos.  As for other interesting tidbits, there aren’t many.  I did wind up shading each of the parts in the flooring.  I know that the first building I did (see the “fuel depot” below), I wound up painting more detailed patterns onto the floor.  After attempting a few random designs, I didn’t feel like it added enough to the model to justify spending all of that time on all of those squares, so I eventually gave up.  Interestingly enough, I don’t think I really did much in the way of shading any of the other buildings’ floors–certainly not to this extent.  I’m not sure why this one warranted such special attention…

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The Big “L”

Wh39kBuildings (49)Wow, that’s two lame names in a row.  And that’s really a travesty, because I think this is one of the cooler buildings I own.  Interesting footnote on this one: it really is one of the main reasons why I didn’t buy the city map from frontline gaming.  It really looked great, but it was immediately clear that I wasn’t going to be able to fit several (if not most) of my existing buildings within the confines of that map without overlapping streets.

I think this building is close to two feet long.  Maybe, in hindsight, it should’ve been two separate buildings, but when we were assembling them I was winding up with too many plain/square buildings and I wanted to mix it up.  I also like that it’s big enough that you can have an actually battle fully contained within the confines of the building.

Wh39kBuildings (48)So let’s talk a little about marbling.  It’s an effect that I’ve used to some success in the past, and the only floors that come with the Pegasus hobbies building kits are these large dilapidated floors that are cut into tile squares.  The natural inclination for me us to paint these up as marble (especially since I already have a technique for it).  I could’ve just made them a single solid color, but I opted to alternate between black and white to make it stand out a little more.  On some of the buildings, I even threw in some green tiles, but those were mostly painted over because it just didn’t have the same contrast/effect that black/white did.  I even took the time to vary the direction of the striations between the black and white tiles by 90 degrees.

When it was all done, I wound up going over them with a gloss paint, per usual, and in this particular building I also hit the marble with a little OSL effect.  I s’pose I should’ve gone back and glossed that over too…

I also included a few blood drops on this building, and was particularly happy with the little bit of blood leaking out of the window on the second floor and dribbling down to the ground below.  I tried to emulate that on other buildings, but it didn’t turn out as nice.  I think what worked on this particular instance was that it was subtle.

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So, we’ll call that a stopping point for now.  It looks like this will probably stretch into about three total posts when all is said and done.  It almost seems like I’m stretching it out, but then again, I wound up working on these silently for about 3 months behind the scenes, so I’m probably allowed to stretch it into at least a few blog posts, right?

Object Source Lighting

Wh39kBuildings (46)Object Source Lighting, or “OSL,” is the practice where you paint part of a model as if it’s being affected by a light source (most often on the model itself).  Generally speaking, something on the model that would normally emit a light (torches, lamps, plasma weapons, etc.) is and the surrounding area is painted so that it appears to actually be glowing.

There are plenty of tutorials online that can demonstrate how to do this far better than I can, so I’m going to refrain from posting a step-by-step tutorial as to how to create the effect.  Instead, I figured I’d go through a high-level overview of what went into it, what I think went right, and what I’d like to improve upon for future endeavors.

I should first make a disclaimer that this isn’t the first time I’ve attempted this effect.  Years ago, this style took over professional painters everywhere (Coolminiornot has OSL examples as far back as 2002).  I did try back around that time on a few models from my Descent boxed set with very mild success.  I should probably dig them out to take a picture.  Suffice it to say, they don’t look nearly as effective, which I chalk up in part to 10 years of painting, but most likely due to the fact that I didn’t have an airbrush.

Wh39kBuildings (10)So yeah, I haven’t had an airbrush for very long (which is an outright lie–since I’ve had one since not long after high school), but I haven’t really used it much.  I had very little success with anything remotely detailed, and have only used it for basecoating for the most part.  My recent terrain experiment was the first time I really used the airbrush on models.  So, when I had the buildings all painted up, I decided to have a go at OSL.

Part of the reason why I never had much success with the airbrush is that I didn’t really have the right paints.  This summer, Simon wound up buying a set of badger minitaire paints and he liked them so much that I bought them based upon his recommendation alone.  I wanted to paint up the terrain, so that would help, but I really bit off more than I could chew with those paints.  I had so many spare colors laying around, so why not throw in some extra colors on the terrain?

I started off with the blue lights and wound up using three different colors: Dark blue, light blue, and white.  As for technique, I didn’t do anything official, just a quick and dirty spray.  I tried to spray around the light and surrounding areas with the dark blue, and then gradually added smaller amounts of each of the lighter hues.  The white was saved for the center of the light and areas that the light fell directly upon (like a little spot right below the light).

Wh39kBuildings (13)Loading the brush three times for the buildings was a little tedious, so I wound up using blue lights for virtually every building (the only exception being the torches in a couple of buildings, which only got two colors: Orange & Yellow).

For those that are interested, the specific colors I used are as follows (all are Badger Minitaire colors):

Blue Lights:

  1. D6-148 Lagoon Blue
  2. D6-144 Sky Blue
  3. D6-104 Skull White


  1. D6-126 Pumpkin (orange)
  2. D6-122 Craven (yellow)

Wh39kBuildings (14)For the torches, I think I didn’t do a good enough job cleaning the water out of the brush before spraying, and the result was sort of a washed out color.  I really like the effect though, as it reminds me of flickering fire-light.  Sadly, the effect is more prominent on the side that I didn’t take pictures of.

So I know this wasn’t a tutorial, but I wanted to get it out there so that I remember how I did it, as well as how easy it was to do.  Hopefully someone who was on the fence about using this effect can be pushed over the edge and try it.  Trust me, it was really simple to do.

When I tackled this, I’d been using my airbrush for about two weeks total, and the only things I’d painted at all were these buildings.  So it really doesn’t take an exceptionally deft hand.  The whole process, including cleaning of the brush between colors took less than an hour to repeat this effect across all of my 14+ buildings.  It’s a really simple effect that I think helps make the buildings stand out.  Granted, I’m not going to win any golden demons with these pieces, but the extra effect helps make the table top really pop.

For people looking for more information on the subject, I’ve collected a few links you might want to check out: