Painting 6mm Desert Buildings

I was asked about how I painted my 6mm desert buildings on our Facebook page recently. It’s a pretty simple method, and I thought I’d share how it was done using some of the new models I previewed last Monday. My method is aimed at creating battered, weather-beaten structures – it’s not for pristine city buildings !

Stage 1 – the obvious one, which is to thoroughly clean the castings in washing-up liquid (dish soap on the other side of the Atlantic). Leave them to completely dry.

Stage 2 – the base coat. For this stage I’m using Army Painter Bone primer from a spray can since it’s easy. If you wanted to paint them using acrylics, either by brush or airbrush, you’d best undercoat them white first, but with the AP spray can I can skip this since it’s designed to be sprayed straight onto bare models.

Stage1

Stage 3 – shading. I cover them in a GW wash, it used to be Devlan mud but nowadays it’s Agrax Earthshade from the new paint range. A good alternative is Army Painter’s Strong Tone wash (the small bottle, not the big metal can of dip). Make sure you get this into every nook and cranny, you might need to go back and cover up any spots you missed once it’s dry. A good tip is to do a second coat over the bottom 1/4″ inch or so of the models once the first coat has dried, this makes the bottom half of the buildings darker and adds to the shadow effect. I also went round with a small brush, darkening some of the corners and creating shadows under windows after the first wash coat had dried.

Stage2

Stage 4 – drybrush. I used GW Tyrant skull, one of their ‘dry’ paints. But whatever shade of tan/buff you prefer is good

Stage3

Stage 5 – details. There aren’t many on these models, but this is the time to pick out details such as doors, windows, vents and aircon units in whatever range of colours you see fit. This might include shading, highlighting and/or drybrushing.

Stage4

Stage 6 – varnish. Army painter matt anti-shine for this stage, although again whatever brand suits you.

Stage5

Stage 7 – put on the table and game with them !

And finally…

Completely off-topic – a fond farewell to Rik Mayall, a comic genius who, along with Ade Edmondson, made me cry with laughter during a performance of the Bottom stage show many years ago.