Scenery & buildings

Whether your building dioramas or a full scale train layout one of the key factors is the buildings, I have seen many good examples of what looks realistic but many people still build their kits and paint them like new, that’s fine if that’s what you want, but my take on it is to try and make everything look as realistic as possible.

I don’t profess to be the best but I get the results I want using simple techniques that anyone else can do.

Our world is not very colourful and if you take a look around you most places are full of greys and browns, once out of town you can add green to that.

Old street scenes as well as modern have one common factor, grey and brown.

Building scenery and buildings, to me is the total reverse of restoring diecast vehicles, where with cars and trucks your looking for new and shiny, with buildings and scenery your looking for old, neglected and realistic.

I have a lot of buildings to do for future projects so will hopefully be adding more to this section as I go along, to start with we will look at the domestic garage.

For this I am using the Wills  SS12 Station Garage with vintage pumps.

You can buy this as a single garage but I already had these and the pumps are being used on another diorama, the kit come with enough parts to make two seperate garages which is what we are doing.

I’m not going through making up the kit as that is easy enough to do so we will start with the pre-made building shell, everything used in this article is available from a local model shop, no special paints or weathering powders and all done with brushes, no airbrush required, there are many ways of doing weathering and almost as many different materials, try typing ‘weathering’ into Utube and you will be amazed at some of the techniques.

But for now we keep things simple using enamel paints, thinners and brushes.

I always leave out the doors and windows until I’ve painted the main building, the Wills kits come in coloured plastic and is of a good quality finish so we are going to use that to our advantage on the first one.

I have started by using a mix of Humbrol model paint on the white mixed with thinners to create a wash and quickly painted over the whole side then after a few seconds wiped it off with a kitchen towel, the roof had the same paint added to the ridge line and elsewhere now let it dry.

You can do this as many times as you like to get the effect you want but because I want the roof to look like rusty metal I will be changing to browns after the next few washes on the roof.

The doors get a similar treatment but this time I use paint without the thinner and paint them, let them go tacky then a quick wipe.

This gives the effect of peeling and worn paint as the grey plastic shows through.

One thing to note is even if your using ‘matt’ Humbrol paints they will go shiney if your doing single coats, the matt finish comes when building up coats so what I do is coat everything with a matt lacquer when it’s finished.

I am doing both at the same time and you can see the building up of brown shades on the roofing sheets, the one on the right is painted fully a lighter grey on the sides.

One of these will be matched up with the timber framed thatched cottage I am also building.

Below with the final coats on the roof you can see why we did solid colour highlight to start with as they come though the washes giving an overall better effect.

Theres more washes to add to the walls but this effect is good enough for a slightly neglected garage.

Once you are happy the doors and windows can be carefully glued in place, the windows were pre-painted as well as the doors.

I haven’t glued them straight so this gives the effect of badly fittings doors with age.

The side view shows the heavy weathering to the sides, notices where the rain has washed the dirt down the sides of the window.

The window has been glazed inside with clear plastic and painted over with a grey paint wash to make them look dirty.

It has come out a bit shiney and will get a coat of clear matt lacquer once the detailing has been done but remember to use ‘like for like’ if your using Humbrol paints use a Humbrol lacquer or you could cause a reaction in the paint and ruin your hard work.

The second one is going to be finished with the doors open and as soon as I have done it I will update this page.

If you need more inspiration or ideas try typing ‘old garage’ or ‘old garage doors’ into Google images, this can give you ideas of how things should look and colours too.

Have fun and don’t forget questions are always welcome.

Another article on weathering and creating rust can be found Here

To see the progress of the Airfix cottage, click on this link Timber framed cottage

Also a full 1:76 scale diorama using pre-made buildings can be found Here

We also have  new sections called Castles and wargames scenery Click Here and Toy & Model garages Click Here


Leave a Reply