Painting the town

These are some pictures of the Shanty buildings mostly painted. I posed them on sheets I printed out with photos of “inspiration” that is part of my process whenever I do a project now-a-days. It seems that reference books for general topics are a thing of the past, replaced by Google Images which I didn’t even know existed until three years ago. You type in an Image search and up pop hundred of photos to choose from to help you paint everything from State Trooper uniforms to rusted third world shanty towns. Matching colors and getting the overall visual theme down are now only a few key-strokes away.

But I digress. The first thing I did to paint these models was paint them all thoroughly black. I always use simple Flat Black from Home Depot (the 99 cent can is fine). I wouldn’t use it 0n model figures as the paint covers up some detail, but for this works it’s ideal. And when I say “thoroughly black” I mean I paint the bottoms, then each side, and finally the top. You see some people that don’t really do a complete job when they prime a figure sometimes, and that’s just a pet-peeve of mine. Also, nothing is more distracting than doing a high-light job and finding a patch that was supposed to be black (in the background, invisible in shadow) suddenly glaring at you in its original color.

Once the black layers are done, I did a light misting of a metallic paint from Home Depot called “hammered gray”. All their metallics are amazing and I highly recommend them. That’s the base iron color I used for the starting point. BTW, I  noticed in many of the real world Shanty town pictures they can be downright colorful, but I assumed that was b/c they were from new scrap materials. I based mine on a future where much of the scraps’ paint will have eroded off.

That brings us to step three: some color. I used Timber Green, Blue Gray, and Oxide Red (all Ceramcoat paints) to give the separate corrugated plates some flare. I let plenty of the iron color show through. I went with what are essentially the post-apocalyptic “primary colors” (green is pretty close to yellow) b/c for some reason that sort of pattern reads very well. The last big layer was the rust wash.

I must give credit to Weta and their Doctor Grordbort line of Steampunk ray guns. The miniature versions are hand painted beautifully, and after staring at them for some time I deduced how to replicate their rust wash. I had always made rust far too dark — using Brown Iron Oxide Ceramcoat as the base — but for these I used equal parts Autumn Brown and Copper metallic, with just a hint of Brown Oxide, then watered it down with a Water/ Floor Wax mix (a formula that was popular before paint “dipping” came into vogue). I streaked the rust wash down most of the contours of the corrugated iron and like magic, they are weathered. I intend to throw a layer of dry-brush “dust” over the tarps and tires (Mudstone Ceramcoat, my favorite all-round dirt color) to complete them, but they are essentially done. Except for the signage and some graffiti, which I hope to include soon.

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