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Return to Mitteleuropa

So, here is where we left off on Saturday which, to be honest, was on the verge of chucking the buildings in the bin.  It can often be disheartening when you do the real hard work, which in this case was re-configuring the buildings and applying the filler, and you just don’t feel you have made much progress.  However, the proof of the pudding is in the eating, so I pushed on.
The first step was to apply a base coat of paint.  Here I used some colours I have left over from my Dux Britanniarum build project three or four years ago.  For there two buildings I decided to go with a pink look, so I chose the Teracotta Weathercoat paint from Homebase.  Household acrylics take longer to dry than model paints, but they are so much cheaper that they are a must for buildings.  I then mixed the Terracotta with Almond Kitchen and Bathroom paint from Home of Colour (whoever they are!).  As you can see, I just slap this all over in a rough manner.
With this done, I paint all of the timber in a dark brown before painting any brickwork in the Almond paint as this will be the mortar holding the blocks together.
After that I dry-brushed the brickwork in a brick red.  Here I wanted a fairly stiff paint, so I used a Windsor & Newton artist acrylic Red Iron Oxide.  This then was applied with a wide headed brush.
IMG_2709 As you can see, all we want is a bit of the almond “mortar” showing in places.  The secret here is to suggest what exists rather than try to replicate it faithfully.  Painting a thousand individual bricks would get you a better overalll result, but life is too short.
Next I painted the windows and doors.  I blacked in any areas like the window panes.  The doors I did in a Vallejo Flat Earth before painting on additional detail in a very light grey so as to give the impression of a texture.
Finally, I painted all the roof areas and the pavement in black.  These were then dry-brushed in several layers of grey to get the final effect
Which is here.  Am I pleased with them?  Yes, I suppose so.  I ordered a few bits of model railway scenery yesterday which cost a few quid, including a baroque church, so I think these will look sufficiently all-right to be also-rans when there is a big star on stage taking all of the attention.
In fact I was sufficiently inspired to begin work on another piece which had a bit of promise to it.  The gate house and guard house.  This is quite a nice model as stands, but again there are one or two things about it that don’t work for me.  Here’s the inside shot, gate at left, guard house at right.
And here’s the external shot.  Now, for me I am not convinced that the guard house would not have any first floor windows from which anyone approaching the gate could be seen.  I am also not mad on the building being so wooden in its construction, so I thought I’d make a few change.
Firstly, I thought I’d add a gate.  For this I cut a piece of 3mm MDf on which to base this (I wanted it to be completely removable) and then I added a piece of artists mounting board which was cut to size.  Obvious statement of the day.
To this I added more mounting board cut to resemble the wooden gate.  I prefer to stick with a rustic look here, so this is all free-hand work with the scissors and then superglued in place.
The buildings then had windows added using the Warbases stuff from my parts box.
IMG_2727 IMG_2729
With this done, I added the usual shutters, lintels, sills and timber frame to give the building more character.
The Polyfilla was then applied with a brush.  I am using a quick dry filler and it really does live up to that promise.  As soon as I complete one section of the building, I apply a modest coat of water with a brush and then “polish” the surface to a relatively flat finish with my finger.  Remember, you do not want this to be  a perfect job, but this stage is important as it does make it look like the builder did at least make an effort.
And, after a short period drying out followed by a quick rub down I don’t think they look too bad (sounds like the story of my life!).
IMG_2742 IMG_2743 I was looking at adding an Imperial Eagle crest above the gate in green-stuff, but we shall see how far that ludicrous idea goes.   Ultimately, I want to somehow incorporate this into my “secret weapon”, the Superplay castle which, I am pretty certain, can be hacked about to produce something very exciting indeed.
IMG_2744 IMG_2745
Here’s a snap of a wall section straight for the box.  It’ll take a bit of work and a fair amount of blue high density polystyrene, but I see no reasons why it should be beyond the wit of man to get it done.  Exciting times ahead in mitteleuropa…


3 thoughts on “Return to Mitteleuropa”

  1. If you drill a magnet into the portion above the gate/door, you can then make magnet/steel backed images/eagles/other insignia etc to go on the building and changeable to suit the period.

  2. Looks good Rich. For the Castle I bought two of them and now can’t decide whether to match up two wall sections together using the walkways and spare towers to create a nicely finished internal wall or fill the inside with a mix of blue foams and Polyfilla. The first would be easier but means I can’t cover the whole table with a walled town.

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