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"Painted Rocks On Scratchbuilt Terrain USING MORE THAN GRAYS?" Topic

17 Posts

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951 hits since 25 Sep 2018
©1994-2019 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Cacique Caribe25 Sep 2018 8:02 a.m. PST

I've always primed black or dark gray, then base-coated with a slightly lighter gray, and then dry brushed with two even lighter grays … and that's what I see many others here do as well.

However, I'm really looking forward to trying something like this on future projects. And it really looks like a pretty easy technique too!

A) Using washes*
YouTube link


B) Stippling option
YouTube link


Even if what I started with was carved polystyrene foam or even bark chips or cork bark, I think that a very light brushing (or two) with a plaster-based joint compound might create the right surface to try those same techniques.


TMP link
* For a faster (but much messier) approach to using washes, check out these 2 tutorials:
YouTube link


YouTube link


Uncle Goblin25 Sep 2018 8:43 a.m. PST

I also use washes with dark purple, burnt unmber and dark green. Sometimes painting areas on different shades of brown. It creates a nice cromatic view.

I do not recommend using inks as they have a very glossy finish.

Cacique Caribe25 Sep 2018 9:04 a.m. PST


Do you have pics of your painted rock faces? I'd love to see additional successful results, if possible.

Also, about the gloss, the "scenic glue" (diluted PVA) spray used to seal in the washes also leaves a slight sheen, but that could all be toned down with a light spray of dull-cote* at the very end, right?

Unless … and I'm just speculating here, one were to use diluted matte Mod Podge instead of the diluted PVA to seal in the washes. Would that produce less sheen?

* Or Krylon matte spray, or a polyurethane spray sealer.

Roderick Robertson Fezian25 Sep 2018 9:15 a.m. PST

Rocks come in all colors, from off-whites, greys of various shades, through tans and browns. Not all rocks are granite!

Cacique Caribe25 Sep 2018 9:17 a.m. PST

Roderick: "Not all rocks are granite!"

GW begs to differ. :)



Oberlindes Sol LIC25 Sep 2018 9:54 a.m. PST

In the future, all of the rocks will be granite.

And basalt. As long as it's gray.

dampfpanzerwagon Fezian25 Sep 2018 10:26 a.m. PST

I would recommend this site as Marcel is a master at making model rock look real.




Cacique Caribe25 Sep 2018 10:27 a.m. PST


LOL. I can almost hear Yul Brynner's voice, as he says "so let it be written, so let it be done!"


Personal logo miniMo Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2018 11:14 a.m. PST

Even granite is not 100% grey!

In any scale, I tend to spray paint my rocks with a variety of colous for a speckle effect. And sleays include a light spray of a non-grey colour a very light blue, green, purple, or pink.

Personal logo ochoin Supporting Member of TMP25 Sep 2018 12:42 p.m. PST

A video on painting Grays:
YouTube link

Cacique Caribe25 Sep 2018 1:51 p.m. PST

Dampfpanzerwaggon (Tony)

Wow! I can't believe he is building that house face one block at a time.

What sort of saw is that he uses to cut plaster? Every time I use a saw of any kind the plaster "clogs up" the teeth.


Toaster25 Sep 2018 5:31 p.m. PST

I tried the washes over white on a reaper bones dragon base and it came out great.


Personal logo StoneMtnMinis Supporting Member of TMP26 Sep 2018 6:09 a.m. PST

Colors depend upon the minerals in rock. Sandstone can come in a large varity of colors. If the area has a lot of iron oxide the rocks are reddish. Volcanic areas equal black rock.







Sgt Slag26 Sep 2018 11:04 a.m. PST

What exists in the real world, and what "looks good", on the gaming table, are two different things… LOL! Most gamers make gray rocks, only, for historical, and fantasy games. The only time I see colorful rocks, is in SF games, mostly.

Your table, your decision. Cheers!

Zinkala29 Sep 2018 8:04 a.m. PST

When I'm doing rocks and cliffs I tend to add in more browns. That's because where I live most of them are sandstone. I do have some that are the compulsory "wargamer grey" but I prefer to have them a different colour. Recently tried to do something similar to these

but my painting really let me down.

Mad Guru Supporting Member of TMP30 Sep 2018 8:32 p.m. PST


I prime my rocky hills in black, then use a "drab" homemade mix of caramel and black, then 3 dry-brushes, none of which are gray, but which result in a somewhat gray look…




Here's 2 links to posts in which I list the details of the paint scheme:



In the second post the paint info is mixed in with info about building the hill itself, which may or may not be of interest, depending on what you're looking for -- but you can always skim past stuff!

Bowman01 Oct 2018 5:55 a.m. PST

Colors depend upon the minerals in rock. Sandstone can come in a large varity of colors. If the area has a lot of iron oxide the rocks are reddish. Volcanic areas equal black rock.

Depends on a few more things than that. The type of iron oxide depends on the amount of O2 present and that usually indicates the absence or presence of water during rock formation. Black sedentary rock indicates a very low oxygen ferrous oxide while the bright red and yellow rocks are high oxygen environment ferric oxide. In between oxygen levels will give you greyish green colours, also ferrous oxide. As you say this creates different minerals.

Here"s a nice explanation:


Beautiful pictures, by the way.

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