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"Painting a wooden fort" Topic

14 Posts

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1,607 hits since 3 Jan 2013
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Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 9:37 a.m. PST

I bought Blue Moon's really excellent frontier fort model and primed it up yesterday. Now I'm wondering how to paint it. I know wood ages gray so I have two grays for a series of dry brushes. But aged wood also has some brown in it, at least for a while. I'd like to get that look in the fort.

I was thinking of putting a pale brown in the crevices between the logs, etc. and then doing the dry brushing. But I'm worried this will look strange.

Any suggestions?

I have some similar pieces that I'm making a dice box with to try out but they won't be dried/cured until tomorrow.

Pics, tutorials welcome.

Bob in Edmonton03 Jan 2013 9:57 a.m. PST

Grey drybushing over black primer with a wash of brown/black should stain the grey a middling colour. I would try it on a couple of pieces of sprue glued together to create the log-wall palisade effect first.

Lord Raglan Inactive Member03 Jan 2013 11:06 a.m. PST

IMHO, use a dark chocolate basecoat instead of black.

Black is too harsh and is not a colour normally found in nature. Over this colour you can use the techinque outlined by Bob however I would also consider a light yellow dry brush on some areas followed by a very light dry brush of white.


Personal logo John the OFM Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 11:08 a.m. PST

Look at Krylon Camo paints for a good dark brown spray.

Caliban Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 11:14 a.m. PST

Drybrush with an artist's acrylic pale umber shade?

Personal logo The Tin Dictator Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 11:34 a.m. PST

Use a darker brown in the cracks. Lighter brown(s) for the rest.
There is a very good ceramcoat or apple barrell or "whatever" color called BARN WOOD which, when drybrushed on over the other colors gives an excellent look of aged and weathered wood.

dmebust Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 12:59 p.m. PST

What John said above. It is a really good base color choice.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 3:24 p.m. PST

I have seen log buildings built in the 1920s and 30s that are not gray at all. They are still various shades of brown. Most forts would be even "newer" than that.

We have end table lamps in our bedroom made from logs from a cabin that was built probably prior to 1900. They are still definitely a brown, not a gray.

For my stage station which you have seen, I painted the logs Americana Burnt Umber. I then dry brushed Americana Traditional Raw Sienna over each log individually.

The drybrushed color came out darker than one would expect by looking at the jar of paint, due to being applied over the dark Burnt Umber.

I did the same thing for the stockade wall for the corral for the station.

While I have seen gray logs, the brown looks better on the table and I think there is plenty of evidence to support it.


Personal logo Extra Crispy Sponsoring Member of TMP03 Jan 2013 4:07 p.m. PST


Yes, my wife's family has a place in Wisconsin and the logs are pale brown. But they have been treated (built in late 1880s or 1890s) so stayed brown.


I'm trying a medium yellowish brown first. Then heavy dry brush of dark gray followed by a dry brush of light gray. It's a little browner than this but gives a good look I think:


corporalpat Inactive Member04 Jan 2013 5:37 a.m. PST

I have the same fort and used white primer painted with raw umber. Then I just dry brushed some tan, then a little light grey over that and done! For the stone work I found that applying the raw umber heavily, then simply wiping it off the stone faces, gives them a natural look without a lot of fancy dry brush work.

Garryowen Supporting Member of TMP04 Jan 2013 5:45 p.m. PST

I don't think treating the logs is necessarily required to keep them from going gray. I am absolutely certain the ones in my bedroom were never treated. They came from the Crow reservation. At least since the early 70's when I first saw the cabin, it was used as a shelter for horses.


Steve Miller Inactive Member02 Mar 2013 5:01 p.m. PST

How about painting a 19th Century Old West fort that has just been built. I'm starting a diorama of Ft Phil Kearny, Wyoming circa 1866. The stockade was built July/August 1866 and the setting for my diorama will be Nov.'66 so the logs have just been cut/installed for a 3 to 4 months by then. I would think brown would be the dominant color with some gray. Any ideas on how to achieve that?

Lewisgunner Inactive Member03 Mar 2013 3:11 p.m. PST


Is a pic of Lunt Fort atBaginton UK . Interestingly a search on it reveals pics showing it quite Gray as well as a sort of brown. I guess it depends upon the light and the camera technique used.

jpipes Supporting Member of TMP17 Mar 2013 1:21 p.m. PST

Wood color depends a lot on the type of wood, if it's in any way coated or preserved, and the weather and temp conditions it exists within. I have seen sun bleached wood that has turned grey and others that looks a natural white/yellow color. This is a topic I've tried to tackle a number of times to get right. So far it hasn't been easy!!

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