In preparation for our upcoming "Blood and Plunder"games, we've been gathering terrain for our tiny pirates and colonial Spanish to fight over. I built and painted a pair of resin buildings by Brigade Games and while I did run into some issues with them, but I found two life saving tools that I can't believe I've working without. Pics and thoughts after the jump.
|The dealer's table at Historicon|
I spotted these buildings at Historicon. They looked great painted up on the display table and the price was good to boot. I snapped up a few sets to split with my gaming buddy back home. I even picked up some resin walls from Warlord to supplement them. When I got a chance to get started on the buildings, I found quite a different level of quality compared to the previous resin kits I'd worked on.
Fixing the Kits
|Even at the test fitting stage it was plain to see there were some issues with the kit.|
Walls and roofs were warped and corners were imprecisely angled making any attempt at squaring up the sides futile. I was annoyed until I remembered I had some tools that might help which I hadn't had a chance to use yet.
The Dremel: I put off picking one of these up for ages but it made all the difference in building these kits. I shaved down angles that didn't sit right, sanded the sides of roofs that were too large to fit within the slots made for them, and adjusted every piece until they could actually fit together. I think these buildings would have been impossible to get together with the Dremel work.
1-2-3 Blocks: I saw these on Adam Savage's "Tested" YouTube channel. He's a former ILM model builder and Mythbuster and I've picked up a lot of great tips from his various hobby projects hosted on his channel. He highlighted these precision blocks on one of his videos and I picked some up for terrain building. They are heavy and milled to perfectly align at 90 degree angles. These proved extremely helpful in checking that my walls were joined straight, supported them while the glue dried, and weighted down the warped roofs so they made contact with the walls during glueing. Pricey, but insanely useful.
After using some two-part epoxy to glue them together, filling gaps with putty and priming them, they were ready to paint up.
Painting the Spanish Buildings
I primed them with brown Army Painter and then got to work with artist's acrylics and hobby paints. It's not worth using the precise colors that come in tiny dropped bottles for such large pieces.
My method for painting terrain uses a lot of colors. Instead of simply drybrushing increasingly lighter shades of white onto them, I first work in a wide variety of colors: earthy greens, reds, yellows, grays and dark browns. With that crazy calico pattern laid down I start building up paint over it of tans, yellow, off white and cream. I'm not sure how it works, but those initial colors seem to peek through successive layers and give the terrain more life and look more realistic (at least to my eye).
I used a more traditional drybrushing technique on the Spanish tile, working from a dark chocolate brown up to orange.
I based the buildings on MDF and the walls on popsicle sticks, and applied a standard sand and static grass cover. I intend to use them for our Caribbean games, but a recent HBO series also gave me the idea of doings some wild west gaming too. The basing may have erred on the arid side to work in both capacities.