How To Paint 1/285 Scale Buildings

I made the plung into 1/285 micro armor for WWII about a year ago. Although it has been tedious at times, I have to say that it was rewarding to start seeing the vehicles come together. Next, of course I needed buildings. I went out to the internet on Ebay and found a company that was selling them for $1-2 USD. I placed my order, and after they arrived ( very pleased with them for the most part ) I spary painted them with my favorite chalkboard black matte Krylon paint.

I then selected my middle color for a three-color dry brush and darkened it with some black to knock it down a couple values of shade. Here you can see the contrast as I've only painted half of the end of the building base coat with the initial dry brush. Note that I could have dried the brush a little more but you'll see that even this sloppy performance will turn out good to go!

I then repeated the same process with the regular middle color using a little less paint. Remember the idea is to allow all layers from the black base coat to the last top coat to be seen and thus achieve the effect you are looking for.

Lastly I went around one last time with a lighter tan to highlight the features of the detail. Note that I'm not being overly careful with this technique which allows me to knock out several buildings relatively quickly. Since I had more than a dozen buildings by the time I started the next coat the painting surface was dry. Keep in mind also that these paints were two for $1 USD at my loacl craft store - nothing fancy and they do the job!

I then mixed up some white or brick red paint with black in order to color the roof of each structure. I tried to alternate the colors to give is a balanced count of each. I also went back and blackened the windows in order to reinforce the idea that there is a dark building interior beyond the window panes. Note the difference between the blackened and untreated window below.

Here you can see all of the structures. Note that I also used a white final coat on some of the buildings to simulate stucco or plaster exteriors. All the windows have been darkened and you can see the difference in the color of the roof of each building.

Now, some people stop there but I've been hooked on ink washing my miniatures because it is easy to do and really ads a lot of detail. The only thing you have to keep in mind is that when you paint your colors on your minis try to use slightly brighter colors than you planned as the dark ink wash will knock them down several levels in terms of shade value. Also keep in ming that the brown pigment will change you final colors so try to plan accordingly. Here you can see I've freshly washed the right half the building.

Now see the difference? Scroll up and take a look at the origional picture and then scroll back to this one. I think you'll agree that the structures look much more realistic and uniform. The main trick is to not 'scrub'the buildings with the ink as this may allow the dry brushing to smear or wash off. Just push the ink around with the brush bristles as gently as you can to cover the whole surface evenly. These buildings are sitting on a paper towel to absord the ink run off.

After the buildings dry I hit them with a healthy coat of matte finish clear coat from the art store. Becareful not to put to much on at once as pools of 'water'will form which might not be the effect you were looking for. As time progresses the matte finish will become much more dull and lose a lot of the shine.

Hope you enjoyed the tutorial - now I have to get cracking on some trees, hedgerows, and roads! Cheers & Regards.

© 2008, Gabriel Landowski