Friday, May 13, 2016

Tabletop World Fantasy Medieval Buildings

Tabletop World produces fantastic terrain: 28mm resin buildings rendered with exquisite detail, both inside and out and chock full of charm and character. They are works of art, and honestly a bit intimidating.

After receiving them for Christmas a few years ago they lingered on my "to-do" list until I had the time and materials to do them properly. I finally carved out a break from my figure painting to give them the attention they deserved.

Getting the Stone Right

After a good scrub in soapy water and a vain search for non-existent mold lines or bubbles I primed them black and gave them a good drybrush of gray, picking out a few stones in blue or tan, which turned out to be wholly unsatisfying. The stones looked "okay", but for such fine terrain pieces I was determined to get them right. It took two more full repaints before I was happy with the stone work.

Here's what worked for me:

  • Gray base coat (even down into the cracks and crevices)
  • While the gray paint is still wet work in a number of other colors: browns, tans, blues, blacks, and GREENS. Mix and splotch it in so the other colors are haphazard and mixed with the gray. I found green essential , serving as both color within the stone or replicating moss, algae or other weathered discoloration.
  • Drybrush gray, pick out a few stones in tans, blue-gray or dark gray, drybrush some more with gray, lightening up subsequent dry brushing to near ivory. Pretty standard stuff at this stage.

Getting the Roofs Right

After finishing the stone work I was stuck on the shingles for quite some time. There's a whimsical character to these buildings, and some of my favorite examples of them use blue for their shingles. I'd seen such things in World of Warcraft and Warhammer, and would happily paint them so for use in a fantasy game, but I was hoping to sneak them into some straight historical games. I just couldn't bring myself to paint them blue. Digging a bit on TMP I was reassured that, historically, after a batch of woad was used to dye clothing blue, the excess was used to dye shingles. The woad served as an anti fungal to preserve the wooden shingles.

Satisfied I got to work with various shades of blue before a differing opinion was posted on the message board. I gave the cottage an additional drybrush of gray so that all three buildings didn't appear too cookie cutter.

I Love These Buildings

I'm quite happy with the result. These are great terrain pieces, each features fully detailed interiors, there are plenty of ledges and stairs for figures to climb on, and there's a cohesive look to the entire collection. Hoping to add more Tabletop World buildings to my burgeoning village in the future!


  1. Beautiful brush work! Your painting really does them justice.

    1. Thank you! That's a relief! I was hesitant for fear of matching the excellent sculpts with a subpar paint job. :)

  2. Probably some of the best buildings available and excellent painting that really does them justice.

    1. Agreed! Really fine sculpts on these buildings. Looking forward to painting up more in the future!

  3. Beautiful buildings ......beautifully painted 😀

  4. Great work, I'm painting the inn this week. How did you paint the plaster and the timber? You have the effect I'm after. Thanks

    1. Thanks Jules! I used craft and mid range artists acrylics for the plaster, and craft and Vallejo paints for the timber.

      For the plaster: I started with a mix of mustard yellows and grays. I gradually worked in more beige and light gray, scrubbing and splotching in the center of the walls (to keep the corners darker). In some cases I worked the paint wet, others while it was dry.

      I found the trick for painting all of these buildings was to use a wide variety of colors. So even in simple white plaster walls I included shades of yellow, brown and gray. Same concept applied to the stones. They didn't look right until I included green, blue, brown, yellow and brick red tones.

      For the wood: This was a bit simpler. I used a medium brown as the base coat, washed it with Army Painter strong tone and then highlighted/drybrushed with lighter shades of brown and finally a cream/beige to pick up just some edges of the timbers.

      Good luck! I hope to see your completed buildings!

    2. Cheers John, I'll give those ideas a go on a test piece. Hope to start the main evenmt this weekend. Thanks for the tips! :D

  5. Very interesting work... May I share an article about the magnificent Duomo in Florence in
    Watch the video in youtube