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Tutorial #5 - Painting Stucco

Whether on an old Medieval Inn or a slave hut on Tatooine, mastering the art of painting realistic stucco or plaster will allow you to create even more varied scenes or dioramas for your miniatures to visit.

Materials Required:

  • Mod Podge

  • acrylic paint (tan (for base layer), cream (accent), off-white/ivory (highlight))

  • brown acrylic ink wash

  • matte sealant

Tools Required:

  • small sponge (kitchen or makeup sponge will work)

  • medium-sized flat-headed paint brush

You can create the texture of stucco in many ways - depending on how subtle or pronounced the effect you want or the scale of your building. In this example we used tile grout applied on a piece of foamcore, which gives a much more rough and primitive appearance. For finer stucco simply roll a ball of aluminum foil along your foam lightly, which gives enough of a subtle texture to give the impression of stucco or plaster suitable for 28mm figures. You can also use pre-made texture paste such as Vallejo’s Ground Texture (available at your local game store like Jacks on Queen!). If you want a larger ‘grainy’ appearance (perhaps you want a building appropriate for Tatooine), crafting sand applied with PVA glue works well too.

As always (and inspired by Black Magic Craft on YouTube), first apply an even layer of Mod Podge (in this case it was tinted with black acrylic paint - though for this technique it is not necessary). This will not only help to strengthen the otherwise weaker layer of the foam but also prevents the grout/sand/texture paste from flaking off down the road. Leave a couple hours to dry completely, or even overnight.

With your paint brush, apply an even layer of your base tan colour.

Now with the sponge, pick up a small amount of the accent cream colour and using either your pallette or some paper towel, dab off most of the paint before applying to your stucco with light, even pressure. You want to coat most of the surface, while leaving the lowest areas free for the base colour to show through.

Once dry, apply the highlight in the same fashion, while this time only focusing on the higher areas. You should be able to still see some of the previous two colours in the lowest areas. It is important to make sure all the acrylic paint is completely dry before proceeding to the next step.

For even more variation, add a layer of brown wash with the paintbrush. In this example we used a lighter, sepia wash, so the effect is very subtle, but you could make it more noticeable by using a darker brown or even a black wash.

Once the wash is dry, add the highlight colour one final time, but very sparingly (only hitting the highest points), and now you’re done! Depending on the final look you’re going for (and whether you are looking for a stucco or plaster finish) experiment with the base and wash colours! To protect and preserve your finished building, give it a couple even layers of a spray matte sealant, and you're ready to start playing!

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