Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly, laugh uncontrollably and never regret anything that makes you smile. - Samuel Longhorne Clemens (Mark Twain)

Friday, January 15, 2016

Building Calamity 24 - The "Hardware" Store - More Interior Work

I have had a lot more time to work on the hardware store than I anticipated so I feel like I'm making progress. I'll feel a lot better when I can go in and glue things together! I started working on the interior of the first floor last night mostly because I was excited about trying out a new technique for painting wood. As originally posted it used washes and since it features Vallejo products it may have come from the Vallejo site. I'm somewhat embarrassed that I forgot to note the blog I pulled it from and the actual author. If someone knows please let me know in the comments section so I can give proper credit.

There is going to be a fair amount of exposed or unpainted wood on this model so I thought I would give this technique a try utilizing what I had on hand which are my Liquitex Acrylic inks. I selected Burnt Umber, Burnt Sienna, Yellow Oxide and Carbon Black as my colors. I have used the umber and sienna for raw wood before so I was comfortable with these choices. The yellow looked like a close match to the Vallejo yellow wash in the picture but the carbon black ink is really, really black so I was a little hesitant with that.

An important thing to remember with the inks is you must use them on a primed surface. Straight plastic or, in my case, foamed PVC is definitely a hydrophobic and tends to make inks bead up and not adhere properly. So keep that in mind if you give this a try. I would think you would need a primed surface if you used the Vallejo washes as well.

On to the pictures

I decided to start with the floor, its big and doesn't have any complicated corners to deal with.

First I splattered on burnt umber and then it spread it, with the grain, with another brush. This is messy! I forgot to put the paper down and splattered ink all over my cutting surface. No harm done for me but you would never hear the end of it if you did it on the kitchen table!

Applied the Burnt Sienna, Same deal, splattered drops of it and brushed with the grain and over lapping areas of Burnt Umber

Without adjusting the white balance you can start to see the build up of color, bringing character to the floor.
Here I have added the oxide yellow. Shifting the white balance really made this starker looking that it really is.

With the yellow and no white balance

Adding some more burnt umber

Adding the black and playing with the white balance

Not quite so stark 

The two floors finished

Using burnt sienna on the wainscotting

Painting in the dark trim, BEFORE I add the wallpaper

Sealed up with a solid coat of Vallejo Matte Varnish.
I like the wash technique but its a bit time consuming and a little messy because you splatter the paint on. I am also a bit worried about miniatures scratching the floor during play. I may go with printed cardstock floors instead and just glue them down to a base. Still thinking about that, although I have already found a number of really nice looking flooring styles that I can just print out from a color printer of some kind.

With the way the ink is splattered on and then brushed with the grain I think this technique will work to get the silvered old wood look on the exterior as well. On the other hand my old weathering technique of using the Scribbles black dye is still quite valid and now that I think about it there really isn't a lot of difference between the two techniques.


  1. That wood is quite nice looking. Washes seem to be a good way to get natural looking variation, due to their non-uniform nature.

    Have you ever used veneer strips? I read a blog post somewhere about that once, and it looked quite convincing, although possibly the strips are too wide to be "scale".

    1. You will have to elaborate on what you mean by veneer strips. Veneer for me is a thin layer of wood really nice wood, like birch, laminated over plywood or a softer wood. Are you perhaps talking about batten? That would be a smaller dimensioned wood, like a 1x1 nailed over the gaps in the vertical style planking. That I can do, looks really good too.

    2. Sorry, I meant for a floor, using iron on thin nice wood as you mention, then finishing it like a hardwood floor with wax and polish.

    3. Although battens would be a good western look too!

    4. Interesting I might have to give that a try. I just need to find some fine grained wood. Battens are definitely coming on at least one building. I did it on the Newspaper office and I really like out that one turned out so there will be more.

    5. It is a dollhouse trick that I read about somewhere. Amazon has a ton of different types of woods and sizes, although they tend to be 3/4" or larger. (although they come in 25' rolls)

    6. I'll definitely have to give that a try sometime. There are a lot of really nice lumber places out here I'm sure I can veneer in something smaller than a 25' roll!

    7. I was thinking that 25' was a bonus at $10 a roll. :)

    8. Although battens would be a good western look too!

    9. Well you are certainly right about that $10 bucks for 25' is a really good price. The next building I have picked out to work on will have battens. And not neat pristine battens either, but tired beaten up battens that add character. At least that's the plan.

  2. Is this a kit? I am interested in the floor specifically for a diorama I am planning.

    1. Nope, its not a kit. The floor is made from a piece of 2mm thick foamedPVC that I scribed the planks and woodgrain into.