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"Afghan Tower painted" Topic

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1,094 hits since 11 Mar 2017
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
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Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2017 8:43 p.m. PST

I just finished painting and weathering my homemade Afghan/NWF Hill Tower/Mud Fort, and posted about it on my blog at this LINK:


I'm very happy with how it turned out.

Here's a few sample pics:





If you're interested in seeing more pics, please click on the above link to visit my blog, and thanks in advance for your time if you do!

Wackmole9 Supporting Member of TMP11 Mar 2017 9:13 p.m. PST

A masterpiece!!!!!

Skeptic11 Mar 2017 9:32 p.m. PST

Amazing! What colo(u)rs did you use to paint it?

Gone Fishing11 Mar 2017 9:43 p.m. PST

Simply amazing – the pics look like period photographs. There's no question you are the guru of Frontier terrain. Thank you for sharing!


Jamesonsafari Inactive Member11 Mar 2017 10:09 p.m. PST

That came out superbly!

foxweasel12 Mar 2017 1:01 a.m. PST

That's awesome, more inspiration for me to have a go.

Personal logo Cacique Caribe Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 2:05 a.m. PST



Pedrobear Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 4:43 a.m. PST


Cosmic Reset Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 5:23 a.m. PST

It is wonderful, awesome table as well.

blacksoilbill12 Mar 2017 5:39 a.m. PST

Cracking stuff!

Ashokmarine12 Mar 2017 5:56 a.m. PST

Nicely done!

Ragbones Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 7:01 a.m. PST

Mad Guru, as with all the splendid things you do, this tower is fantastic! thumbs up I especially like the portion where the mud/plaster has "worn away," revealing the brick work underneath. It's very natural looking. And the hinged doors! You're a very, very talented man.

Sobieski12 Mar 2017 7:31 a.m. PST


daler240D Supporting Member of TMP Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 9:17 a.m. PST

very cool!

Rhingyll Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 9:39 a.m. PST

Can I have it?

Oh Bugger Inactive Member12 Mar 2017 11:42 a.m. PST

Just the ticket!

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP12 Mar 2017 3:56 p.m. PST

Thanks for all the very positive comments, guys!

@Gone Fishing: Daryl, any time you're available you can come over to attack or defend it!

@Skeptic: I've been slammed with work and also getting this model finished, so I didn't get around to posting my typical extremely detaied tutorial with a ton of WIP photos, though I may do so at some point.

The painting process used a number of colors and was somewhat involved, but since you asked…

Step one is a base coat using spray paint. I mixed 3 different colors. One brown, one gray, and Rustoleum Camoflauge "KHAKI".

I painted sections of the model in each color, without worrying about bleeding or overlay at the edges where the sections meet. Just make sure everything gets covered. I also generally -- though not exclusively -- went from darker to lighter from the ground up, with the idea that the closer to the ground the dirtier the building will be, and the higher up the more bleached by sunlight it will be.

NOTE: The reason for using the spray paints is that (1) they dry with a slightly different texture, and (2) the different base colors will lend variation to the uniform colors later added above them. Also, wth all the surface detail on this building, some bits and pieces of the different base colors will still be visible through the colors added afterwards.

After the 3 base colors, next is a light coat of pale almond spray paint, sprayed at a 45 degree angle, so it hits the more exposed surfaces. I used Model Master "Desert Sand" -- but any pale almond color will do.

Then an even lighter coat of white spray paint, just hitting the raised edges of the model.

Then leave the spray-painted model to dry for a full 24-hours. The various colors will mix and blend around their edges, which is all good.

Then I used 3 shades of tan acrylic craft paint -- starting with Craft Smart TAN, then Craft Smart SUEDE, then Delta Ceramcoat SANDSTONE. Truth is the exact colors are not that important, just the idea of 3 lightening shades of tan -- though I really like the Craft Smart TAN for the base color.

Over the base coat of spray paint, I did a heavy dry brush of the TAN, then lesser dry brushes of the 2 lighter shades.

For the red brickwork, over the spray paint base, I dry brushed FolkArt TERRA COTTA, then beat its overly bright red back down by dry brushing the various tan colors over it.

Needless to say, a key part of dry brushing is having the patience to wait for each different color to thoroughly dry before going back over it again, otherwise, even if just a little wet, the colors blend together and you lose the layered, lightening effect.

The doors were just a 2 layer job: base coat with any dark brown -- I used Delta Ceramcoat "WALNUT" -- let dry thoroughly, then dry brush with "SANDSTONE".

Summing up, the 3 key colors were:

(1) Rustoleum camo Khaki spray paint
(2) Craft Smart Tan
(3) FolkArt Terra Cotta

Oh -- an important WARNING: since my tower was built from what I would call "lower quality" materials -- mostly foam core & styrofoam (as opposed to wood or resin) I had to be VERY CAREFUL to make sure ALL SURFACES were covered with my texturing material (wood filler) in order to protect them from being dissolved away by the spray paint. The paper-covered surface of foam core is not so susceptible to this but the foam edges will be instantly eaten away.

Skeptic13 Mar 2017 4:39 a.m. PST

Many thanks, Mad Guru!

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP13 Mar 2017 6:05 a.m. PST

Mad Guru & threads like his are why it is worthwhile to come to TMP.

Sir: you are an inspiration.

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2017 5:59 p.m. PST

You're very welcome, Skeptic, and many thanks for your extremely kind remarks, Ochoin.

I am back, not just to acknowledge those nice comments, but with YET MORE INFO re: how I got that paintjob to look as good as it does.

There is a THIRD step to the painting process -- after the spray painting and acrylic craft painting -- which I did not include earlier. Without it you can still get a very nice finish, but this third step is what will take it to the "next level," so to speak. I didn't include it before because -- silly as it may sound -- it was recently given to me by a master modeler, and I wanted to ask his blessing before sharing it with the world-at-large, so to speak. Happily he just sent me an email saying go ahead, and he hopes it will help some people out, which is great!

Oddly enough the arguably biggest challenge of this third step will not be a challenge for you, Skeptic, because having checked your user profile, I see you live in Canada.

Here's the thing: the Third step uses a WEATHERING WASH.

The wash consists of 2 drops of BLACK acrylic paint, 6 drops of CraftSmart TAN… and a spoonful of LEPAGE MULTI-PURPOSE WHITE GLUE.

Mix together in a small container -- like for pudding or yogurt -- then add water until the container is about half full, and continue mixing.

Then get a brush and a HAIR DRYER.

The next part is a bit tricky and I suggest trying it on a test piece before using it on a real model…

Brush the wash on with one hand and as you go, use your other hand to DRY IT with the hair dryer set on "low."

Throughout this process do your best to keep the side of the model you're working on LEVEL at all timesl LEVEL, to minimize the uncontrolled spread of the wash beyond the area you are focused on drying.

For larger buildings like this Tower, the wash will inevitably slip over edges and corners in spots you won't catch. Don't freak out because you can fix those spots later.

Drying the glue-paint mix instantly with the hair dryer will give the model a worn & chalky finish, perfect for an old building.

The trick is, the only water soluble glue I know of that will dry with a MATTE FLAT FINISH is that made by the Canadian company LePage. For some reason their white glue dries without any gloss sheen at all. I asked around at American hobby stores trying to find a locally available American product able to do the same, but no one I've asked knows of one.

Luckily for me I was able to get a friend who lives in Toronto to buy a bottle and send it to me. Before that I tried to find a way to puchase it online from a Canadian supplier but without success. Maybe an American buyer could just call a Canadian hardware store, order a few bottles over the phone and use a cc to pay.

But as I said, Skeptic, if you want to give it a try it should be no problem at all, so long as you still reside in the Great White North!


…Back to the tutorial:

After brushing and drying the entire model with the wash, go back and check for those pesky dribble spots and touch them up with any/all of the 3 acrylic tan paints.

Then give the building some dry brush highlights.

And that's it.

This "WASH & DRY" step comes with its own WARNING: this method is best applied to WOOD & RESIN models. My tower is made of foamcore and styrofoam, and as I was drying the wash with the hair dryer (even though it was set on "LOW") I suddenly saw a few spots where the outer shell of the building was starting to THIN OUT and basically DISAPPEAR!

Luckily I was able to complete the wash & dry step without inflicting more than a tiny bit of damage to the building, but after putting so much work into building it, for a moment there I was very worried. I had tested the method on a commerical resin building and it had worked wonderfully -- but then I realized my tower was made of much less resilient materials.

Anyway, all's well that ends well, as I touched up the few spots where the outer shell of the model had disappeared by adding tiny patches of Wood Filler, and thanks to the rough-hewn nature of the Tower itself, I don't think this detracted at all from the look of the finished piece.

Again, just doing the first two steps -- spray paints and then multiple craft paint dry brushes -- will result in a very nice paint job, but to get the finished effect seen in the photos above, you will need to source some LePage white glue -- or something similar -- and use it for the "Wash & Dry" weathering.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP14 Mar 2017 11:55 p.m. PST

MG, I've copied & saved this & will have a go sometime this year.

Many thanks for taking the time to record this.

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