As we saw last time, the village was base coated and ready for a paint job. I must admit that this was scaring me a bit as I had not fixed idea on what colour scheme I was going to use other than the obvious light walls and red roof. The red roof was no issue, a terracotta base with Vallejo red leather dry-brushed on top would do the job, but the walls were anther matter. So, what better way to start than to slap on a bit of paint.
For my buildings I avoid using quality figure paint as it just eats the stuff up. Rather I tend to use sample pots of domestic paint bought from my local DIY outlet. I have a range of light soft tones which I wheeled out here, slapping on these with a 2″ house painting brush. The look wanted was as if an old soak had slapped on a few coats of paint while in a rush to get to the pub. Frankly it was an act I felt I could carry off.
Anyway, a couple of coats in and I was starting to feel it was looking a bit insipid. Rummaging about in my paint box, I grabbed a yellow ochre and a terracotta paint and slapped on some random strokes of that, as you can see here:
With that done, I went back to the lighter tones and began to build up layer upon layer of different colours until I got the look I was after, finishing off which a very light dry-brush of white on the higher areas.
The tiles on the roof and on top of the walls I painted in terracotta and then drybrushed them up in lighter shades.
With the buildings done, I repainted the earth areas in chocolate brown before leaving that to dry. With that done, I dry brushed the ground with Matt Pecan followed by Matt Caramel Cream from the Home of Colour Duracoat range available in the UK from Homebase.
Hopefully you can see on the image above how the paint is built up in layers and that the strong terracotta and yellow ochre colours have blended in and bene softened by the process. You can also see the white highlights where I brush down from the top of the building, focussing on the parts that the sun has bleached a lighter colour.
One tip on the earth. Where I had areas which were cultivated, I left them dark brown, as though they had been watered, and very lightly dry-brushed with a little sandstone, you can see that here:
The pumpkins I sourced from 4D model shop in London. I have no idea if our chums in Spain are partial to pumpkins, but they brighten u the model. I haven’t glued these in place so that they can be moved to one side if troops end up fighting over the pumpkin patch.
You can see here how I added static grass in a patchy manner. In fact this was nearly the last job with a few clumps of grass added and some trees which again came from 4D models. Here I placed the trees near to walls so they wouldn’t get in the way, but I must say that think they rather finish the models off.
The Charlie Foxtrot models now had the finishing touches applied with the window frames, doors, shutters and similar painted first and then added to the finished models.
The buildings above and below are (primarily) Charlie Foxtrot with some additions such as the paving and rear gardens.
This building is Empress Miniatures…
…and this one is largely Grand Manner.
Here’s a top-down view of the village thus far. You can see here how adding the walls doesn’t just create space in which to fight and put troops, it also makes a random selection of buildings look more like an inhabited village.
So, what are my thoughts on the models at this stage. Interestingly, we are having building work done on Lard Island as we have the new warehouse and workshop facility built. The builders have taken something of an interest in this project and when the models were unpainted the general consensus was that the Grand Manner buildings were by far the best. Now the project is completed the builders have voted and the Charlie Foxtrot buildings come out on top. Now, a random selection of builders is probably not the best benchmark to use, but I must say that I find myself like ALL of the models for different reasons.
The Grand Manner buildings are beautiful and full of character. If there is any criticism it would be that the architecture is a bit fanciful, looking like it would be more at home in the Shire, housing posh hobbits. However, that is really just an indication of the fact that they are jammed with character. The smaller buildings are really superb and will grace any table, as can be seen below:
The Empress buildings are almost perfect. They are nicely built, well cast in resin and designed to look like a real and practical building. You can simply slap some paint on and get them on the table. Really as close to perfection as you can get.
The Charlie Foxtrot models are a revelation and, to my mind, the most impressive MDF buildings I have seen. As reader of this column will know, I have always felt that MDF has its limitations. Warbases impressed me when they produced roof tiles for this models, recognising that MDF roofs really do not pass muster. Colin at Charlie Fox has gone one step further with his pantile range, the roof of each building being cast in resin and the small detail being added after the paint job is done. This is all about recognising the limitations of MDF and taking a practical approach to making the models as user friendly as possible. I know I have posted this link before, but it really is worth reading their tutorial on how to put these together. You’ll find it here: Charlie Foxtrot Tutorial
Were I to want to add any new buildings to my Spanish village, I would happily use all three companies again. With Charlie Foxtrot the possibility of some conversion work is also appealing as the resin roofs would cut easily with a proper hacksaw and the MDF lens itself to such amendments.
Of course the big issue now is that Grand Manner have discontinued many of their Spanish buildings, including the church. So the next job for me is going to be designing and building a church for the village.
The great news is that our latest rule set, What a Tanker! is now with the printer and we have a set publication date for Monday the 9th of April and the advanced order bundles are on the web site, representing the best value for money, as always. But let us not sully such a