Home Forums Terrain and Scenery Painting house walls?

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    Ivan Sorensen

    So you have a model building. You gotta paint it.

    How do you make the house walls look like they are real walls and not a painted toy?

    Small or large scales.

    Nordic Weasel Games

    Angel Barracks

    Depends what the walls are made of I guess?

    An easy trick is to remember to make the mortar between any bricks lighter than the bricks. (where possible)
    For old wood go grey not brown.
    Whilst not about the walls as you asked, don’t forget to weather the roof with moss and lichen and replacement tiles.
    I often pick out bricks individually and weather them.
    Or have whitewash plaster crumbling off to reveal bricks underneath..

    Here are some examples of some 6mm buildings I did.





    To be honest, “real” is not the first word I’d use to describe the effect I’m going for with my terrain (or my miniatures). I’m going for a certain stylistic look, which I suppose I’d best describe as “like comics books / graphic novels”, although that’s still a bit off.

    So as regards walls, if there’s texture I drybrush, or if they’re smooth I paint them by traditional layering (leaving a darker colour in any recesses, inside corners, etc). I’ve begun experimenting with using transparent “tinting paints” made by mixing a small amount of paint with matte varnish. I try to paint these in blotches and streaks on top of the opaque paints to get some slight colour variations while maintaining the layering or the drybrush effect underneath. This is just an experiment though, and I’m not entirely happy with the effects I’ve achieved so far. I may try mixing them even more transparent but this whole idea may just be a fool’s errand, so you may just want to ignore it if you’re not in the mood for experimenting yourself.

    On another note, despite the fact I’m not aiming for “actual realism”, I do try to avoid cold greys. Even man-made structures tend to not be cold grey in real life. They may sometimes look that colour to the eye but if you were to paint a spot of actual cold grey paint onto them you’d probably often find that they have more of a brownish tint than first appeared to be the case. Obviously, for similar reasons it’s good to avoid straight white and black, but that probably didn’t need saying.

    If you’re painting old, rustic buildings in the larger scales and want a realistically dilapidated look, there’s something to be said for crackle medium. Just be aware it takes a bit of experimenting to get a feel for how to use it right (it’s easy to go overboard) and you tend to need to seal the crackled paint down with varnish or more paint afterwards.

    Les Hammond

    I’ve downloaded images of French adverts from the WW2 period, shrunk them to size and one day I’ll stick them to the solid gable ends of houses for billboards.

    6mm France 1940


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