Saturday, December 1, 2012

Architects of War Dark Ages Buildings

Architects of War was running a show special at Fall-In for a bundle of dark ages terrain I couldn't pass up. I painted up the Daub and Wood A-Frame and Timber A-Frame to go along with my wattle fences in anticipation of some SAGA. My thoughts and progress pics after the jump.

I'd heard the bare resin was resistant to paint and even typical game primer, so I hit both buildings with Krylon tan camo primer.

After priming I painted both buildings up with my standard terrain paints: cheap student artist acrylics and sample paint pints from the DIY store. I gave the exterior wood of both buildings a base of very dark gray (80% black + 20% gray) followed by several lighter mixes of gray. The exterior plastered walls were given a two coats of successively lighter shades (50% light brown + 50% bone white followed by 20% light brown + 80% bone white).

I took a look at a lot of photos of thatch roofs. As the light gold or tan of fresh thatch is exposed to the elements it gradually turns gray with lighter ivory highlights. I went for a slightly weathered look for my thatch. It took several different shades of drybrushing to get the effect I was looking for:

  • 75% black and 25% gray base 
  • Dry brush 50% black and 50% gray 
  • Dry 20% brush black, 40% gray, 40% light brown 
  • Dry brush 10% black, 45% gray, 45% bone white 
  • Light dry brush 50% gray, 50% light brown 
  • Light dry brush 50% gray, 50% bone white

Lit By Fire: Interior Light Effects

Other examples of these buildings I've seen included fully painted interiors. There's a lot of detail within the buildings that paints up nicely. The effect though, seemed as if the player was literally a giant lifting the roof off of the building and peering inside. I wanted to suggest something different, using paint to replicate the lighting situation so it felt as if the viewer was looking through the roof to the dimly lit interior. 

I started by giving the interior a spray coat of black primer, followed by a spray of tan primer centered on the fire pit at the center of each dwelling.

I went back and added more definition and shadows with straight black paint. I drybrushed the edges of any interior elements facing the fire pit with orange followed by a light drybrush of yellow on the items closest to the pits. 

I was pretty happy with the effect, which looks more realistic in dim light (but doesn't photograph as well).  I really enjoyed painting both buildings up. There's a ton of character and tiny details, and getting both buildings looking decent was easy. A+ Architects of War!


  1. Nice. I've not often seen OSL used in terrain, but I'm damned if I know why - looks great!

  2. Thanks! I haven't attempted OSL very often. I figured if I screwed it up it would be hidden within the building :)

  3. A brilliant post and very useful, thanks! Those building look fabulous!

  4. Thanks Jonathan! Glad it was useful :)

  5. This is so clever. I've never seen anything quite like this and the effect is excellent!

    I need to work my way through the rest of your blog and see what other tricks you have up your sleeve. ;-)

    1. Thanks Monty! Glad you liked it. Now for my next trick, I'll pull a cataphract out of a hat :)