Post-Apocalyptic Greenhouse Scratchbuild, Part 2 – Painting

Painting the greenhouse occurred in record time. Well… record time for me, that is. Ask anyone in the club and they will concur: my painting process can be glacially slow.

I started with a black base coat on the bits and bobs attached to the model as accessories. For this, I used black acrylic gesso -- an awesome and extremely useful tip I picked up from Karl a few years back. The gesso doesn’t stick quite as well as primer, but it has a few advantages in that it shrinks to fit, so you can glop it on fairly quickly with minimal loss of detail once it is dry -- and more importantly, you can paint it on with a brush in the dead of winter when it’s 10 degrees outside (try that with spray primer…).

Before I go any further, I should specify that I am working with a previous version of the Citadel paint set that I picked up a few years back, so the color names may not be familiar to newer painters.
I followed the base coat up with a wash of Citadel Baal Red to the bricks which gave them a lovely but hideous luminescent pink color.


This was not a flattering look, as Josh quickly pointed out. Not to be discouraged, I followed up with a couple of coats of severely thinned Scab Red and Vermin Brown, giving the bricks a nice brick red base color. I then spot-painted individual bricks at random with less thinned washes of Vermin Brown, Scab Red, and Dark Flesh to deepen the color, or add variation.

Then I hit the corners and spot locations between the bricks with a three layer combination of Fortress Grey, Vallejo (VLJ) Model Color Medium Sea Gray, and Skull White to simulate mortar between the bricks. The mortar was painted in a similar spot technique to represent wear to the model over years of usage.
In between tedious intervals of mortar paint application, I test-painted the wood on the entire model with a thin coat of Ogryn Flesh Wash (an actual wash… really! you’ll note I often severely thin the standard paints to simulate the effect of a wash).

The result was a darker, but still yellow/orange wood base which looked older but not yet weathered. I put the wood color on hold to return to later.

At this point, I also tested layering on paint in small locations on the wood frame to look worn, dirty and pealing, or completely peeled off. I started with a Scorched Brown base in each painted location and layered over Jade Green and then hits of the lighter shade of the same color (essentially a frost green, both bottles are older Citadel colors, and the label has completely come off of the second so I have no idea what it was originally called).

Finally, I started layering color onto the bits on the model as well.

  • The water tank was a Vallejo Model Color German Gray base with Fortress Grey, VLJ Medium Sea Gray, then detailed with black gesso, red and blue text and graphic shapes, with a final layer of Medium Sea Gray and Skull White over the top of the text
  • Metallics were Boltgun and Chainmail for steel colors, and Tin Bitz, Bronze and Shining Gold for bronze and gold colors
  • You’ll note the hose done in Snot Green, highlighted in Scorpion Green with a fading yellow stripe on it, complete with a hose roll-up
  • The table was weathered with peeling paint in a VLJ German Grey base spotted onto the wood, and the same combination of Fortress Grey and VLJ Medium Sea Gray on top of that
  • Dirt trays were left black with the dirt, a combination of Scorched Brown, Bestial Brown, and lighter tan Kommando Khaki highlights



After a discussion with Josh, I decided to definitely apply further weathering to the wood on the model. Another wash, this time a severely thinned Fortress Grey wash was applied yet again to the inside and outside of every frame and window slat on the model. Much better! This gave the greenhouse a look of wood construction that has been in the elements for a very long time.

For final touches, the windows (and tile floors) were washed in places with green, brown and black washes to add staining. Then a coat of matte spray varnish was applied, with an intentional hit on the windows to simulate years of weathering and acid rain stains.

The End Result
In the following shots, you can get a good look at the window distressing referenced in the previous Greenhouse article, and the wood weathering mentioned above. The chalkboard sign above the door reads “Bob’s Weeds N’ Rads" complete with a tiny hand painted radioactive symbol.

The fans were done in a Regal Blue base with lighter Ultramarine Blue highlights. The individual blades were edged in Boltgun Metal and then streaked and edged in Chainmail to make scratches and wear on the fan blade edges. Rust was added with layers of Beastial Brown, Dark Flesh, and Vermin Brown, with a final speckling of the brighter orange Macharius Solar Orange (Foundation) to represent different types of rust. Variations of this rust technique were also applied to the water tank and various bits throughout the model.

Here you can see the detail on the removable catwalk. Note the yellow stripe on the hose that hangs underneath. The hose meets up on the side of the model with a pipe that runs down to the floor, and through the wall to the water tank (and actual water is pumped through… err… yeah… right).


Here are a few closer shots of the table inside and the view through the side door.


And here's a closer shot of the hose and hose roll-up. Note the ammo crate. These were painted in Catachan Green with Camo Green highlights and simulated text in yellow.

An over the top shot of the damage to the glass panes from the roof.

I painted this over the course of approximately three weeks, at two to four evenings per week, at which point I handed over the built and painted model to its new owner. This story however, is not yet complete. Stay tuned for Part 3, as Josh bases the model for an amazing finish.

-- Jon, Chicago Skirmish Wargames club member

0 responses to “Post-Apocalyptic Greenhouse Scratchbuild, Part 2 – Painting

  1. Real masterful attention to detail there, you must have huge reserves of patience!

  2. That looks brilliant! Love the detail!

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