Sarissa Habitation Module, Step by Step
I’ve got quite a few of these terrain pieces to do for the local gaming club so I expect I know what’ll be keeping me busy over the festive break!
Anyway, I figured for this quick job on a habitation module I’d take a photo after each section so I could give you a step-by-step rundown of the process.
Deep breath and here goes:
Step 1 – primer
First off I undercoat the whole thing with a grey primer (from a can). Nothing fancy, and looking at the photo I can see I’ve not given it a particularly heavy coverage. Potentially I could have done a pre-phase of applying some sanding sealant and then sanding it to a smooth finish to eliminate the MDF grain. Time is of the essence so I’ll keep the grain. Adds a bit of texture later anyway.
Step 2 – shadows
Now I set up the airbrush, don my badass looking new respirator mask (it looks nicely post apocalyptic) and set about colouring the hab module. For the shadows and recesses I’ve used Vallejo Model Air colour Intermediate Blue (005).
Step 3 – midtones
For the midtones, well sort of an underpaint for the main colour really, I wanted an orangey brown colour. I opted for Vallejo Model Air colour Wood (077).
Step 4 – highlighting
Now to finish of the bulk of the wall-colouring I’ve liberally airbrushed white (Vallejo Model Air 001). You can see how it interacts quite nicely with the brown tone underneath to give a nice colour variation. Happy with that.
Step 5 – masking stencils
Adding in some detailing really lifts a piece of terrain like this I feel and gives it a sense of added realism and added visual interest.
Here I’ve just placed a load of masking tape over the hab module to mask out some generic strip shapes. On the hidden rear side I also placed a couple of card stencils I’d previously cut out carefully with a scalpel blade. I just printed out some numbers and letters using a Mass Effect font.
Step 6 – spraying the stencils
Easy step this one, just get some bright orange and spray over the masked areas. Oh and I used the intermediate blue colour for those numbers. There’s a very satisfying moment when you peel off the tape and are left with some nice neat markings. Ta da!
Step 7 – doors and windows
Probably the closest thing to actual painting is the colouring of the doors and windows. Doors I brush painted with the Intermediate blue. Windows were painted with Vallejo Model Colour Turqouise.
Step 8 – weathering wash
Only joking. Though this is one of those steps where you have to take a leap of faith – or, preferably, have tested the product beforehand.
Here I’ve sprayed the module with Future Klear floor polish all over to give it a satin finish and when that was dry I liberally sloshed over a load of Flory Models Dark Dirt weathering wash with an old paintbrush. All that lovely work ruined.
At least I hope not.
Step 9 – wiping off the dirt
Phew. The dirt wash came off quite easily, even after I had left it overnight.
Using a damp piece of kitchen towel I wiped away the areas I wanted it cleanest and left plenty of the dirt wash in the crevices and underside.
Supposedly, with smooth surfaces you get a bit more control and can wipe it away entirely in areas. Here though it seeps into the aforementioned MDF grain and stays there as texture. Not a problem.
Step 10 – window glow
Left untouched, the windows and doors look pretty drab, so just the lightest airbrush spray with white on the window areas helps to give the illusion of a light glow from inside.
And there we have it – the hab module is pretty much complete.
I’ll need to come back and do something with the base at some point – once I know exactly what the base boards are going to look like. I might also add a few small decals here and there, having picked up some print-your-own decal paper. Then I’ll need to finish it with a varnish layer so it holds up to the rigours of play and storage.
All in all quite a quick process for something that should look pretty cool with Infinity minis ducking and diving between buildings.