Sunday, 17 July 2016

A small barn

I started this a while ago but was sidetracked by my French crossbowmen and distracted by work so made little progress. Another cause of delay was finding some suitably thick card for the steps - I started off doubling the mounting card I use for the walls but that was a huge faff and left an obvious line half-way up each step. Then I found an out of date catalogue about to go in the paper recycling with just the right thickness and in half an hour had my steps.

The idea was to make a small barn with space upstairs for one of the farm hands to live. The design is based a little on one of the out-buildings of a place we have stayed on holiday in France.

The method is the same as the other buildings I made - a basic structure from picture mounting card and bricks /stones made from cut up old business cards stuck together with wood working PVA glue. Once the basic structure is together, I give it a wash with dilute PVA and ready-mixed filler for strength, texture and to soften the edges.

I painted it with DecoArt Crafter's Acrylic - Country Maple as a base coat and inside then dry brushed with lots of Tan  and a little bit of Antique Gold (looked like yellow ochre to me) to break it up. To give a bit of variety I then picked out individual 'stones' in different browns, ochres, greens and greys. My first go used much too strong colours and after a massive amount of dry brushing with Tan paint, the effect was like a photo with way too much grain and contrast so I flattened everything down again with a wet dry-brushing of tan, reinstated some shadows and colour variation and re-did the colour picking out with more toned down colours.

After a more careful dry-brushing with slightly diluted Tan and then Tan-white, the rather vivid colours toned down and it all came together.

One thing I did very differently this time was the doors and shutters. Rather than using cardboard and using paint in lieu of texture, I tried to follow the techniques in this amazing building blog making buildings in foam board and used plasticard scored and shaped with a knife and textured with a suede brush. I think the overall effect is much better - more natural and easier but it does mean I have three buildings with very different woodwork.

Even so, the effect of the whole little village / hamlet is what I was looking for with a small jumble of mission tiled roofs and sun-bleached walls. 


  1. Absolutely stunning little hand made buildings,i admire the extra yard(or mile) you go to create your own stuff, from these buildings to the converting of those tiny 15mm figures!

  2. Lovely looking buildings, I'll have to go back and check out how you did the roof it looks great. I think the variation in wood finishes is fine actually, unless everything is built at the same time you're going to get different finishes and tones it's only wargamers who make all the woodwork in town one colour! Seriously nice work.
    Best Iain