Over the months we have had a number of emails from interested customers wanting to know how we have painted the stonework on our medieval buildings, particularly our castle models. In 28mm scale individual blocks of stone are definable, so a different approach is needed compared to smaller scales.
After assembling building using PVA wood working adhesive the first stage of the process is to prepare the model building for undercoating. The laser cutting process leaves a burnt carbon residue on cut edges which can bleed through some paints, particularly acrylics, meaning that several coats would be needed to blend the edge in with the rest of the building. If you paint burnt edges with a cheap, slightly watered down PVA glue this will seal them and present a good keyed surface for painting.
Once all glue has dried, the buildings need to be undercoated or primed to give a good surface to work from. We have tried a number of different spray paints such as Games Workshop / Citadel and Army Painter Spray, but decided that for 28mm Medieval Castles Halfords spray primers gave the best results. It is important to spray in a well ventilated area, we do all of our spraying in an out building with the door open. It is also important to spray from all angles, to get a good even coverage, I stand the model building on a 18” piece of board to spray it so that it can be turned with out touching the model.
We have adopted a grey colour palette for all of the stonework on our 28mm medieval buildings and we wanted darker vertical surfaces and lighter horizontal surfaces. Most pieces, such as castle walls have horizontal and vertical surfaces that are covered with stonework. As there is so much stonework on a 28mm castle we wanted to have different coloured mortar to break up the stonework. First we sprayed the whole model black and then used masking tape and scrap paper to mask off horizontal surfaces so that they could be sprayed a cream colour. For this we used the Army Painter Boneyard spray which is the same shade as Games Workshop Bleached Bone.
The actual stone blocks are painted individually using acrylic paint from the Foundry Granite & Slate Palettes. Walls have been painted using Granite tones and courtyards and walkways are painted using Slate tones. We have found it easiest to work from lightest to darkest, so for the walls the first paint applied is Granite – Light. This paint flows better if slightly watered down, so take some from the pot and thin on a palette. Paint the stone blocks using a size 2 brush, with a reasonable point, as the blocks are deeply etched into the wall it is fairly easy to keep the paint within the lines. We want around a third of blocks in each tone, but medieval buildings do not want to look to uniform, so ensure that every now and again two or three blocks in a row are painted with the same tone. The rest of the blocks are then painted in using Granite and then Granite – Shade.
The overall look of 28mm medieval buildings will be improved with some weathering and highlighting. We have used both dry and wet weathering effects. Dry weathering is achieved using artists acrylic pastels. The edge of a pastel is rubbed against the surface of the model building. This acts like sandpaper and leaves a powdery residue on the model. A large stiff brush is then used to spread the powder across the building. A black pastel can be used at the bottom of the building to suggest dampness and soot, brown can be used across the building to suggest an accumulation of dirt and grime. When you are happy with the effect that you have achieved, spray the building with a matt varnish to seal it in place. If the effect does not look right it can be removed by wiping with a damp cloth before it has been sealed. After the building has been sealed further wet weathering can be applied using glazes or watered down ink. We use a green ink glaze, painted on with a size 4 brush to suggest dampness in corners of buildings. When a pleasing finish has been achieved, spray the building with a light overall coat of matt varnish to protect the model.
These techniques work very well for painting 28mm medieval buildings, some of the techniques will be transferable to other scales.