Dio-Bolical Monday No: 24 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 2”

In “Part 1” I ended by saying that this week I would start some painting and making some lists.  Both were minor goals but more importantly both were achieved which means the project is very much now underway.  First thing on the painting table is the Mill building, shown again in the image below on the left.


As mentioned last week, I intend to build this diorama from left to right.  I believe this way I am less likely to box myself in.  This means starting on the Mill first because it includes a separate river section which needs to be done so I can move across the base.

There are many parts to the Mill and these I will get to do further down the line but for now my concentration is on the four separate levels (shown below although I can’t see how to rotate the image!) which sit on top of one another to create the completed building.

This last week I began on the base section, see below.


The first job of course was to prime everything which took an age.  I’m not one for an airbrush or rattle cans so this was all done using a brush in order to get into all the nooks and crannies.  For primer I always use Humbrol white matt enamel thinned with white spirit.  It may or may not be unorthodox but it has served me well for 50 years or so.

As well as being highly detailed on the outside these buildings are equally detailed on the inside.  Although I haven’t fully thought that far ahead yet my current thinking is to keep each of the buildings so that each tier or roof section can be removed to see the inside.  I might even think about fitting the insides out too with figures and furniture but for now that’s along way from my thinking.

Deciding (for now) that I wanted to look inside the buildings meant I needed to give proper consideration to how I was going to paint the area, especially as there are other internal levels which I will look to paint the same way.  As the walls are essentially cracked plaster in appearance I settled on the idea of a light acrylic paint over which I would apply oil washes and dry brushing.  The same would apply for the flooring and any wooden features such as doors and window frames.  Diluted oil pain really helps bring the detail out and is a much cheaper method than using washes from Citadel for example.

With the buildings being the size they are I had no intention of using my Vallejo paints on them for the bulk areas.  Instead I chose to use acrylic Artiste paints, a range of 80 or so colours, which come in 59ml bottles and can be bought in the UK for about £1.60 each.  I purchased mine from Ebay and although I’d never use them to paint figures with they are perfect for base coating the buildings.


In the image above I have used “Sand” for the walls, “Sand & Black” mixed for the flooring and “Burnt Umber” on the door as the base coats.


Once dried I then applied a “Burnt Umber” oil wash to the walls and a “Lamp Black” oil wash to the floor.  The wash is a simple affair in that the oil paint (you don’t need much) was just diluted with White Spirit.  As with most washes best to go light and build up if you aren’t to sure of the finish you are looking for.  Once dried I sparingly applied a “Burnt Sienna” wash to to the walls as well and also a little Daler & Rowney White Ink.  When the floor was dried I brushed it with some Vallejo Desert Dust Pigment for the flagstone grouting.


The next step, shown partially above, was to do some dry brushing to add variety of colour and bring out the wood grain on the doors.  There is still a little more to do but that’s as far as the painting went for last week.  As well as some final finishing touches I have a window that needs to be done and some of the door furniture (handles and hinges) need to be picked out but that will be done in the coming week when I also plan to start on the external painting for this section.

My other aim for the week just gone was to start researching for, amongst other things, figures.  I found some very suitable ones on Other World Miniatures, a company I have used before, and on Mirliton, an Italian company who I haven’t.  Orders have been placed with both suppliers and when the goods arrive I’ll take you through what I have bought.

Until next week …


19 thoughts on “Dio-Bolical Monday No: 24 – “Death & Taxes: The Earls Visit – Part 2”

  1. Great start mate. I definitely think you should add figures and furniture to the inside as well. You could even paint some miniature portraits to hang on the walls and/or some fancy cloth tapestries. I keep meaning to try oil paint and white spirit as a wash. I’ve seen quite a few people make and use it on YouTube. I’m very excited for this project.

    Liked by 3 people

  2. You are just part way through painting, and in would be calling it done!

    Painting for show, and painting for play are very seperate goals, at least for me. Your paint so far is great, amd i would be happy to push models around on that.

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  3. I know it makes for a lot of extra work but populating the inside of the mill sounds like too good of an opportunity to miss. I think it was seeing historical scenes laid out like that to tell the story of ordinary people’s lives that, alongside the battle scenes in our local museum, first made me interested in miniatures. Anyway, great work on this, everything is looking excellent so far. 🙂

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  4. I’m with Wudu in that having stuff on the inside of the buildings got my attention and sounds exciting to work on as well. It was fun reading about your process for the interior as well. Its always interesting to see how different other painters’ techniques are compared to your own. Looking forward to seeing more, including those minis you ordered!

    Liked by 3 people

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