Tuesday 26 April 2022

Dark Age Buildings Part 2


A few more snaps of my Dark Age buildings made by Grand Manner, continued from my last post.  All of these are 28mm resin buildings.

Building Three - Small Dark Age dwelling thatched -timber and daub

There is a joy in trying techniques and then trying to add a few more refinements.  There is a muted-ness (is that a word?) in the colours used on these houses.  With the flakes of wattle and daub coming away there is an element of decay in these houses. An honest peasant sort of house with this being totally unassuming.  Airey, spacious with rustic charm, all terms that modern real estate people might call it.  

I know it was just fun to paint, and make it look lived in and blending in with the environment over time.  I imagine that the wafts of smoke from the open hearths would be the first thing that an approaching traveller might see, rather than the houses themselves which would blend in so well to the landscape.

Many of the colours used in all of the buildings were the same paints, but I tried very subtle differences just so they did not all look the same.

Building Four - Dark Age Medium Thatched Dwelling

This is one for the more upwardly mobile sort of peasant.  The porch must have been the social equivalent then of having a Ford Mustang in the drive.

Again I love the little touches that Grand Manner added.  The heavy fabric curtains, allowing an element of colour, the axe outside ready for more of the frequent log-chopping for the hearth.

This building is wood panelled throughout and I really was unsure initially how best to go about this. Again I decided that deep browns were not the way forward, leaning instead towards buffs and greys.

The internal details were a joy to paint.  The top shelf of the shelf unit was a detached item that was glued on after the lower shelf contents were painted.  This was a great idea and gave more space to wield the brush. It was fun painting the contents of the food baskets. I can't recall ever doing anything quite like that before!

Building 5 - Medium Dark Age Dwelling Thatched - Timber and Daub

Another simpler type of house but still enjoyable to paint. I was glad to finish these. I found I got engrossed in the detail and the temptation to keep adding more was ever present. 

Amazing to see that wood panel floors are back in again in popularity, a timeless classic look!

Just some animal pens to go in the next post.  These houses were great things to do as a different sort of project.  I didn't feel like painting intricate figures last week and I also wanted to practice my techniques as I also ordered a medieval town set just before the Grand Manner unpainted buildings offer expired.  These should arrive tomorrow!  

Sunday 24 April 2022

Dark Ages or Early Medieval Buildings - 28mm Grand Manner


The wanderer returns!  It's been a busy few months but hopefully normality is back. The first thing I have done since my return is to paint some Dark Age buildings...or early medieval, as it now seems to be called.

My intention for doing this was primarily for using them for the 'Dux Britanniarum' Rules.  I had play tested them but without using any objectives and found this was not fair on the rules. It really needed something to add the drama and purpose to the combats.  Hence a village.

The buildings are by Grand Manner, and I have long coveted owning some of their fine models. Alas the price was always beyond me.  I am one of those wargamers who has always been happy to invest in troops but rarely on terrain pieces.  This is changing for me now, I am glad to say. However, I noticed several months ago that Grand Manner were selling unpainted resin models for a limited period.   It was an offer too good to miss!  So I bought 7 buildings of various sorts.

Building One - 'A' Frame House

I would not class myself as a terrain modeller. I tend to stick with model soldiers, planes and vehicles. That kind of thing is in my comfort zone. I have had a go at scratch building bits and have done some building painting, but I always considered it passable rather than good.

I wanted to make a real effort on these.  One thing that helped was the very clear definition of the superb casting.  I realised that with washes and dry brushing I could probably get a good effect.    I set about studying as many real thatched buildings and model buildings on line.  One thing that was  apparent was how cut wood isn't really brown. It is almost anything but, but I think we tend to be used to seeing shades of browns with our modern shed paints.

So following some minor de-flashing, and washing, I applied a Vallejo Burnt Umber undercoat and off I went!  My method really involved applying lighter and lighter shades and then an Army painter wash or several and then re-highlighting.  This proved to be very effective.  

I really liked the small details in the houses that can be seen inside. These are all part of the wonderful resin casting and not something that I have added afterwards.

Building Two  - Wattle and Daub Store Hut

All of the buildings have so much character and were great fun to try techniques out on.  This store hut looked like it had seen better days, so I tried to find ways of ageing it.

The Army painter washes were great to apply to reduce some of the whiteness and introduce decay  to it.

I'll post the buildings in several parts as I seem to have to post one picture at time or they all go in reverse order. There must be a better way of posting pics.

Anyway,  I'll leave these for now and continue shortly (without a gap of 4 months this time!)