Category Archives: Painting

Post-Apocalypse Terrain Build (with biscuit tins)

I recently had the pleasure of attending the Wargames Illustrated 7TV Apocalypse Day held in the wonderful surroundings of Wargames Foundry on the outskirts of Newark.
The day was all about having fun testing out the new 7TV variant rules for gaming in a wide variety of post-apocalypse settings.  Although aimed at a wide variety of sub-genres within the PA setting, one of the key additions to the core game was expanded vehicle and vehicle combat rules.

Therefore preparation for the day included building a suitable vehicle to carry your cast and fight it out with.

Some excellent terrain and scenery was provided on the day, but coming back I had the real desire to knock together something of my own.

I’d been hoarding some bits and pieces recently and what better to fight over in the ‘white line nightmare’ of the future than the precious gasoline.

So behold the start of the ‘biscuit tin oil refinery’…

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The fundamentals of this build are biscuit tins.  First thing before anything else could be started then was to eat all the biscuits. An arduous task, but one I achieved with bravery and resolve.

Many years ago I backed the first Mantic Deadzone Kickstarter, I never really got into the game and off loaded most of it, apart from the excellent Battlezones scenery bits and pieces.  To dress up the basic tins which would act as the silo/tank I used some of the Battlezones ladders and a few other bits and pieces.

To provide the upright struts around the tank (and to make it look less biscuit tin like) I used off cut pieces of plastic sprues.

To provide a base I used some ‘magazine dividers’ which are effectively quite thick plasticard.

The plasticard base was trimmed to make it look less like a piece of stationary, and then marked out with areas where paths and pools of ‘toxic waste’ would be placed.

A mix of modelling sand and PVA was whipped up and slopped on (technical term), leaving space for the marked out areas.

Taking advantage of the very un-British summer this was left out in the blazing heat for a while to set.

I wanted to go with a downbeat weathered look and knew I wanted it to look rusty and abandoned.  First base colour then was Army Painter Chaotic Red to provide that underlying feel.


Light sprays of Russian Green were then used to add the primary hues, leaving the dark red showing underneath.

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After having left it to dry for a while I then scuffed up key areas using a kitchen scouring pad to scratch off layers of paint to try and reveal the underlying red (and in some cases original biscuit tin colours).


I used (the now sadly out of production) Modelmates paint on rust effects to properly weather it up, concentrating on scuffed areas,  the areas where the two original tins met (rather than hiding the join I thought I’d make use of it.  I also concentrated on the areas where the ‘pipes’ joined the base of the silo.  In addition the ladders were rusted up in key areas.


A covering of Plastic Soldier Company Dirt Brown weathering spray was then used all over and after a few minutes was smeared and sponged using some old blister pack foam.

The foam was then broken out again to use the ‘sponging chipping’ technique using a dark brown paint.

Having completed the bulk of the paint work on the silo itself, I set about the base.  A generous coat of brown artists acrylic paint was applied followed by an initial dry brush.  This was then followed up by painting on some Army Painter Strong Tone dip.

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Following (the faster than usual due to the summer heat) drying time of the Quickshade I then did a  lighter brown drybrushe followed by a light dusting of Army Painter Skeleton Bone.

Wasteland tufts from Army Painter were used to add detail (especially around the edges of the structure).

I’d previously left some gaps in the original sand-PVA mix on the base board with the intention of using these as pools of some sort.  In fitting with the wasteland setting these became toxic waste deposits, so I finally found a use for that pot of Citadel Nurgle’s Rot technical paint I’ve had lying around for years.

The space I had left for pathways was painted dark grey and then roughly stipled with a lighter grey to give the impreseion of gravel or worn tarmac.

Pipe work and barrels were picked out with Foundry Blackened Barrel (my absolute favourite metallic paint – ideal for guns – as it says on the tin!).  A bit more ‘toxic sludge’ was added to the top of one of the barrels.

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Finally I dived into the bits box of decals and applied some warning signs in key locations and chose the deliberately ominous ’13’ for the silo’s primary identification!

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And that about does it, all that remains is to seal down the decals and apply a bit of weathering to them.

I’ll be trying something similar again (this time with laundry pod containers) in preparation for a table on which to play 7TV Apocalypse!

I originally published this article as a Project Blog using the new functionality on Beasts of War.  I’d highly recommend folk check this community and feature out.  It’s a great way to share ideas and get feedback on any hobby related activities.  (To access the projects functionality you will need to sign up as a ‘backstage member’, there is a free 7 day trial if you want to try it out).

Rebel Transport for Star Wars Legion

So my old school Kenner Rebel Transports from eBay have arrived and the journey towards a combined cool scenery piece and miniatures storage solution takes a step closer.  This is a quick (picture heavy) update on progress so far.

First step was a clean up (yet another way baby wipes are awesome!)  Being unsure of how 35 year old toy plastic would take paint I settled on an initial top coat of Testors Dullcote.

In the UK  we have had unseasonably good weather (even for late Spring), so I concentrated on using spray cans outdoors rather than the airbrush.  As such the next stage was a base coat of Army Painter Uniform Grey.  (By the way, I love my airbrush, but with the volume and area I was going to have to cover, aerosols seemed like a quicker and more convenient route for this project).

The next stage was an airbrush highlight with Vallejo Game Air Light Grey.  I wasn’t too careful here, just tried to get a consistent highlight without worrying too much about the panels.  The deep lines on the main body of the toy were panel lined using a medium tipped black Gundam Marker.

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The weathering was done in stages with some brushed on streaking using Army Painter Strong Tone wash, some oil brush pens from ‘Ammo of Mig Jimenez‘ and then a bit more wash through the airbrush.  Following this to tie it all together I used a can of Plastic Soldier Company ‘Light Brown’ Weathering spray.  Now sadly out of productions these are water based weathering sprays that you apply and then partly wipe off to get a really grimy look (they are great for WW2 tanks).

I’ve concentrated initially on the upper half of the body.  The lower half contains a bit more detail which according the the reference images I am using needs a bit more variation in colour and detail.  That will be the next step, then following that onto the ‘storage solution’ part of the project.

All in all I am relatively pleased with the outcome so far.  I think the grey colour scheme is actually a bit too dark when comparing to images of the ships from the films, but it will do for me.  I may have gone a bit over the top on weathering, but I like the idea that this is a proper battered old ship that perhaps the Rebels have been reduced to using out of desperation.  The one thing I will probably change when I come to starting the second ship is the approach to the panels on the hull which had stickers on.  This time round I just sprayed over them and then coloured them red using a Gundam marker.  I think the red is a bit too stark (plus the paint ran a bit), and also the stickers underneath did start to lift slightly.

So a bit of one down and one to go.  Trying not to get distracted but I may just have got hold of an AT-AT or two (oh dear)….