Painting Tutorial: Dark Age Barn

Painting the Dark Age Barn a step by step Tutorial by Mirco Wenning


Hello everybody to this Tutorial.

Painting the Barn is quite interesting because it contains many diffent materials.

I use different but simple techniques like painting basic colours, Washing and Drybrushing.

Especially the Weathering on a  building like the Barn is very important to achieve a realistic result.

In a final step I demonstrate how to do the planting by using different materials.

To minimize trouble with all the different paint ranges and paint range revises (GW) I will use generic colour descriptions like dark brown additionally I will put the name of the colour I use in parenthesis. The pictures will show exactly which colour I used.

So, let’s start!

Step 1: Preparation

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After cleaning all parts I glued the walls one after another to the base using Super Glue. Super Glue Activator helps a lot.

I did the same with the roofs. Don’t glue the roof to the walls otherwise painting the bottom side is a pain in the ass.

After that I cheked the right angle for the wooden roof topping by placing both pieces on the roof. Then I glued both ends together with the help of some clothes-pegs. I did the same with the remaining wooden beams.


I basecoated all pieces with a black primer. Let it dry completely for at least 2 hours.

Now I sprayed a thin layer of whiter primer from above on all pieces which makes painting a lot easier because you can better identify shadows and light colours will have more grip.

Again let it dry for at least 2 hours.


Step 2: Basic colours

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Now let’s start painting.

One one hand I wanted to create a realistic look and on the other hand a good contrast between the main areas.

So I chose a mid brown (Steel Legion Drab) for the base, a light brown (Zandri Dust) for the wattle work and a dark brown grey (Charadon Granite) for the wooden parts.

Take a large brush and water down the paint. 2 thin layers are far better than one thick which destroys the details.


Step 3: Basic Colours

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For the roof i chose a bright yellow ochre (Averland Sunset) and again the dark brown grey (Charadon Granite) for the wooden beams and the roof topping.


Step 4: Washing

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Next step is to apply a Wash over everything. I took Strong Tone from Army Painter which is great like the old Devlin Mud from GW. Make sure that you have enough of it because you will need half a pot.

Take a large brush and apply a good amount of the Wash everywhere. It works best if it has enough fluidness to flow everywhere and dry slowly into the deepings. But take care not to use too much. Don’t create pools of Wash. In that case remove them with the brush.


Step 5: Drybrushing

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Let the Wash dry completely.

Now i drybrushed the washed areas using a large Drybrush (a cheap stiff-bristled brush is fine).

Take a little bit of paint and remove most of it on a piece of tissue. Now I drybrushed all area heavily with the following colours:

Bonewhite (Tyrant Skull) for the wattle work and the straw

Light brown (Zandri Dust) for the base

Mid grey (Codex Grey) for the wooden parts


Step 6: Drybrushing

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After that take bone white (Tyrant Skull) and drybrush a little bit more carefully the base and all wooden parts.


Step 7: Details

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Most of the paint job is already done at this stage. We only have to paint the details.

I wanted to have some variability in the wooden parts. So I took the different brown colours shown in the picture above and painted single shelves, branches and the 2 buckets with them.

The stones were painted black and the clay jug with a dark fleshtone (Tanned Flesh).


Step 8: Washing the details and Drybrushing

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Then I washed the details again with Strong Tone  from Army Painter.

I also drybrushed the stones with a mid grey (Codex Grey) using a smaller dry brush.

To achieve an older look to the wooden pars I drybrushed smaller areas where I think rain and wettness would concentrate with a mid green. Don’t forget the wooden roof toppling.


Step 9: Drybrushing the details

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I drybrushed the stones with pure white.

The wooden parts and the clay jug withe bone white.

The metal parts with dark metallic (Boltgun Metal).

And again the mossy parts with a light green yellow.


Step 10: Applying the roof

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Use Super Glue to glue the roof to the building. Double check that everything fits well together.


Step 11: Teddy fur

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Place the 2 big fur pieces to the roof sides and check the fitting.

Thin down PVA Glue with water but add just a bit that the PVA Glue becomes  a better spreadable levelling.

Take a big old brush and apply lots of PVA Glue to the bottom side of the teddy fur because it sucks a lot of it. Glue both pieces to the roof sides.


Step 13: Teddy fur

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Do the same with the smaller fur piece and make sure that you apply lots of PVA Glue.

Let it dry with some weighting for a least 3 hours. Yes you need some patience with this building.


Step 14: “Hairdressing” the roof

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The teddy fur hair falls in one direction. Take a hairbrush or comb to brush the hair of the roof topping to both sides of the roof.

To work out the impression of seperate strow rows I used a short metal ruler and hold it parallel to the long roof sides in gaps of 2 cm.

I used small modelling scissors to cut along the ruler through half of the fur. To avoid a too  uniform look change the angle of cutting a little bit every time.


Step 15: PVA Glue

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Now comes a very important step. We will fix the fur structure with a mix of PVA Glue, water and paint.

You will need approximately 100 ml PVA Glue. Add 30 ml water and some light ochre. Enough to colour the PVA Glue completely. Mix the ochre seperately first otherwise the PVA Glue will brighten up the ochre.

Take a big brush and work the PVA GLue mix into the fur one row after the other and be careful not to apply the PVA to painted areas. You will need a lot of PVA Glue!

Take a smaller brush to work some more PVA Glue into the bottom side of the fur hair at the lower side of the roof.

Place and press the wooden roof topping an the wet fur.

Finally take some kind of modelling tool to change the structure of the fur here and there to make it look more irregular and interesting.

Add some weighten to the roof. I used a box and a 3 kg catalogue on top. Make sure that the pressure comes directly from above otherwise the roof topping  will slope to one side.

Let the roof dry for 2 days!



Step 16: Washing the roof

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When the roof is completely dry wash it with a mix of Armypainter’s Strong Tone and water (ratio 1:2). Make sure to catch all areas of the teddy fur.

Let it dry completely.


Step 17: Drybrushing the roof

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Heavily drybrush the straw using bone white (Skeleton Bone from Armypainter is brilliant) from left to the right. Make sure that your large drybrush is dry all the time.


Step 18: Weathering

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In a last painting step I used dry pigments (Weathering powder from NOCH) which is available at our online store. We highly recommend these pigments from Noch because of their quality and price. You get 8 different colours in this set.

Take a blank sheet of paper where you put some powder with a stiff-bristled brush.

You can easily mix the dry powders on the paper. All pigments are applied as a powder. There are other ways using pigments but normally I apply them dry.

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I started with the roof and mixed Grime together with Rust to get a dark brown. I applied the powder in the gaps of the straw rows.

After that take Moss and apply it everywhere you think rain would flow most. You really can’t use enough from the Moss powder. It’s the powder to achieve the best weathering results on all organic structures.


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After the roof I used lots of the Moss powder on the side walls and the base and even some of the Sand and Dust powder to smooth some colours like the walkway.

I never seal my painted terrain pieces with varnish. It destroys most of the weathering effect. Don’t be afraid to use unsealed terrain pieces for gaming I do the same for many years and nothing ever happend.


Step 19: Planting

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I like the look of Autumn so I select different Autumn basing products from Mini Natur.

I normally start with moss. For the Barn I used Moss pads late Autumn. I especially used a lot on the roof.

Followed by grass tufts (Grass tufts late Autumn and Grass tufts early Autumn).

Then I added single tufts of Blossom tufts Spring and white flowers.

At the back wall of the barn I glued som Ivy Summer.

In a last step I added lots of coloured birk seeds as leeves.


And that’s it. I took some time but I think it was worth the effort.

I hope you like this tutorial and if you have any questions drop me a line (





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