Painted Shanties

This picture shows more of the Shanty buildings mostly painted, and the variety you can get out of mixing up the colors for the pieces of “corrugated metal scrap”. I see in this picture that I forgot to add in my earlier post that a fourth color I used to paint the shanties was a light gray, sort of a primer gray.

Also, for the tarps I have a mixture of basic brown (tan with a dark brown wash) for dirty blankets, and the classic Blue plastic tarps you see everywhere. Also, notice in the back to the right, I have a red blanket covering the door. I used Ceramcoat Moroccan Red, which is my favorite red for blanket rolls and shirts for Civil War figs, just to add a little colorful ‘pop’ to the look of things. Sometimes I’ll put a gray wash over the red and then highlight it if I’m feeling generous, but these are terrain, they are supposed to remain in the background.

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Painted Shanties

Painted Shanties

These are some pictures of the Shanty buildings mostly painted. I posed them on sheets I printed out with photos of “inspiration” that is part of my process whenever I do a project now-a-days. It seems that reference books for general topics are a thing of the past, replaced by Google Images which I didn’t even know existed until three years ago. You type in an Image search and up pop hundred of photos to choose from to help you paint everything from State Trooper uniforms to rusted third world shanty towns. Matching colors and getting the overall visual theme down are now only a few key-strokes away.

But I digress. The first thing I did to paint these models was paint them all thoroughly black. I always use simple Flat Black from Home Depot (the 99 cent can is fine). I wouldn’t use it 0n model figures as the paint covers up some detail, but for this works it’s ideal. And when I say “thoroughly black” I mean I paint the bottoms, then each side, and finally the top. You see some people that don’t really do a complete job when they prime a figure sometimes, and that’s just a pet-peeve of mine. Also, nothing is more distracting than doing a high-light job and finding a patch that was supposed to be black (in the background, invisible in shadow) suddenly glaring at you in its original color.

Once the black layers are done, I did a light misting of a metallic paint from Home Depot called “hammered gray”. All their metallics are amazing and I highly recommend them. That’s the base iron color I used for the starting point. BTW, I  noticed in many of the real world Shanty town pictures they can be downright colorful, but I assumed that was b/c they were from new scrap materials. I based mine on a future where much of the scraps’ paint will have eroded off.

That brings us to step three: some color. I used Timber Green, Blue Gray, and Oxide Red (all Ceramcoat paints) to give the separate corrugated plates some flare. I let plenty of the iron color show through. I went with what are essentially the post-apocalyptic “primary colors” (green is pretty close to yellow) b/c for some reason that sort of pattern reads very well. The last big layer was the rust wash.

I must give credit to Weta and their Doctor Grordbort line of Steampunk ray guns. The miniature versions are hand painted beautifully, and after staring at them for some time I deduced how to replicate their rust wash. I had always made rust far too dark — using Brown Iron Oxide Ceramcoat as the base — but for these I used equal parts Autumn Brown and Copper metallic, with just a hint of Brown Oxide, then watered it down with a Water/ Floor Wax mix (a formula that was popular before paint “dipping” came into vogue). I streaked the rust wash down most of the contours of the corrugated iron and like magic, they are weathered. I intend to throw a layer of dry-brush “dust” over the tarps and tires (Mudstone Ceramcoat, my favorite all-round dirt color) to complete them, but they are essentially done. Except for the signage and some graffiti, which I hope to include soon.

Lean-to under construction

This is a lean-to I partially finished on a 3″ oval base, then painted before adding the corrugation and kleenex “tarps”. I added it after painting to simplify painting the interior (which I don’t normally do) and I liked the result. Now I just have to be careful not to paint over the original parts. You can see how the kleenex looks while wet in this picture, as I had just applied the watered down glue.

The barrels and boxes hiding in the shadows are by Model Scenics (I believe). They supply HO scale model railroading background bits that I really like to incorporate. They have great “trackside rubbish” and “junkyard scraps” that I’ve used in the past when modeling factory buildings for Stalingrad, and it seems they’d be ideal for the current Road Warrior project (that was more a ‘note to self’ reminder 😉

Maximum Force Patrol

Here’s a sample of some of the figs I’m going to use for the Road Warrior game. These guys are really well armed, of course, but that’s b/c they’re from GWs ancient Dark Future game system. So I’m going to make them a gang called “Wheels of Justice”, self appointed vigilantes that bring law & order to their stretch of the road.

I based their uniforms on a combination of Pennsylvania and New Jersey state troopers. Great looking neo-fascist unis with a broad yellow stripe down the pant-leg. I made their badges Brass rather than silver so they pop more. The pair of Detectives in trench coats to the right are from Stan Johanson minis, so you can see they are pretty close to the same 20mm scale as the GW figs. The patrol car is a converted Hotwheels with a machine gun on the roof, and smoke-screen pipes down each side of the car. There’s also an armored plate over the rear window with bullet holes in it. The red dragster to the left is meant to go with the wasteland clans.

Shanties made from Starbucks coffee heat-sleeves. Note the corrugated metal look of the cardboard. Perfect 20mm scale.

Here are three Shanties ready for painting, with a car “hangar” to the left. You can clearly see the Smarty/ Candy Necklaces in their native state: they look like Cheerios which I didn’t use b/c they are even more brittle and designed to be absorbent for milk, which I thought would be a pain to paint!

I cut a pattern to form the four walls from one piece with slanted roofs, which I glued on last. These designs were invented by my friend Rene, who is also the one who discovered the Starbucks coffee holders. While he used a Hotglue gun to make his, I used basic white glue, which required me to use clamps while they set, and to make them in an “assembly line” fashion to allow the glue to dry. I generally avoid using a Hot Glue gun simply b/c they are so messy with glue strings everywhere, but both glues are useful for filling gaps between the cardboard seams (although drafty shanties should be de rigour, and are easier to build too).

You can see the Emory board in the background where I used  it to sand the Candy Necklaces flat. The candy dust got everywhere and lent a vague tart-sugary taste to the air. You can also see the Kleenex tarps hanging from the buildings, stiffened with watered down white glue (I believe I’ve already discussed the process of this in an earlier post). The extra bits in the hanger are tank bogies from 1/72nd scale models, which look sort of like Hub caps (also from Rene’s creative brain).

Left "Gate House" of Refinery Town

Here’s a section of the Road Warrior “Refinery Town” gatehouse. The tires are dry-brushed gray with a black wash over them. The firing step are Woodsies chipped up to make them look like worn boards. Note the wastelanders waiting to be painted for scale (20mm from Stan Johanson minis, very nice figs for the most part).

Stacked "Tires" (actually Smarties and candy necklaces)

I glued Smarty candies and Candy Necklace candies onto Throat Lozenges to build up walls, and to round Woodsies (from Michaels) to make junkyard terrain. I made the walls four to five tires tall, so that they completely conceal a 20mm figure. As to scale, the Smarties are exactly the right size for Hotwheels/ Matchbox tires, but they do not come with a hole in their center. The Candy Necklace pieces already have a hole, but need to be sanded down to make them flat.

Overall,  I like the Smarties better as they already have the general shape of a tire. Once I got the walls built to the height I wanted I filed the edges of the top tires using an emory board to round them out, then I took my Dremel tool and (I think) a 1/8″ drill bit and carefully drilled out the tops. To my surprise the candy wasn’t quite as brittle as I expected and I drilled them all out in no time with no breakage. I later tried this on a single candy and it shattered everytime. Apparently gluing them into a mass reinforced them strength.

Also, even though these are candies (and I still intend to lacquer the heck out of them to keep out bugs) I don’t think it’ll be too huge of an issue b/c they are not terribly sweet and an ant would probably not find them very interesting. Then again, I don’t plan to find out! These were easy to build using an assembly-line process, but now that Football season is essentially over, I won’t have something to fill the time while the glue dries between layers.