This building took us quite a while to fully model, and demonstrates how the variety of techniques we've developed, some of them quite simple, can be combined to make something AWESOME.   We worked on it for some time because it was also a homage piece to our good friend George [last name withheld due to court order], who, having worked for the discount retailer Smart-n-Final, deserved a discount house of his own.  The building shell uses all of our by-now standard techniques:  Auto primer, dry-brushing,  chalking around the base, dry-brushing a dark color on top of a light to simulate wear, etc.  The windows are, of course, miniatures blister pack cutout panels.

George's Bargain Barn

So what to do with the rather plain side of some of your buildings?  Take a look at the above:

This building is actually two building shells glued together.  The glue oozed out of the joint, but not to worry!  Just paint the dried glue black.  Builders will sometimes fix cracks by squirting tar or some other caulking agent in the cracks, so this can easily be used to "dismiss" what could otherwise be considered an error.

The second technique is one I call "Grafitti Patrol".  Long sides of buildings are always targets for young artists trying to make their mark on the world - whether the owners want it or not!   Often, their masterpieces are crudely painted over with whatever  cheap paint the owner has on hand.  Usually, the colors do not quite match the rest of the building.  This will give your neighborhoods an overall run-down ghetto look.  Be careful, though, this technique can be overdone.

And Bourgeois Burrito Bistro

The back of the building is fairly standard. 

Note, however, on this building the pastel chalks have been brushed on next to an obvious ledge to make that ledge really stand out.

They have also been used at the top ledge, having been brushed in a downward motion to simulate soot that has been consistently rained on, staining the brickwork.

So what do you do when you get a roof that is just Crap to begin with?  You gotta IMPROVISE...

Tar Paper technique #2:

This roof started as a flat styrene panel.  I then cut out multiple squares of tissue paper and paper towels.  I used very little glue to glue them onto the styrene sheet: just enough to keep them from blowing away in the next step.  Then I got out my trusty old Krylon Ultra-Flat black and sprayed the whole thing rather heavily.  You want the spray paint to fully saturate the paper towel pieces.  The thing took several days to dry.  I had to give it a second coat to make the stuff really adhere to the plastic.

Once it is FULLY dry and cured, dry brush it in darker grays and give it a final light dry-brushing of a medium-to-light tan color.  Rust-colored chalks were added at the base of the roof equipment to simulate rust and rot, then the whole thing was sprayed with Dull-Cote.  It's an amazing result, given that the whole thing was just improvised on the fly like that.

And now.... ON TO THE INTERIOR !!

To the Roof, Batman!.....

The top floor is home to the KATT SISTERS acting school and modelling agency.  Interviews are conducted at the room to the left.  The center room is to shoot ...<ahem>  "Historical Epics".  The room to the left features an entire wall covered with mirrors and is used to film "modern situation comedies", so to speak.  The wall decor consists mostly of printouts glued to the wall and floors.

The second floor features the poshly-decorated psychic shop, complete with pictures of idiotic genies and other symbols downloaded from the internet,  the other shop is an insurance office, complete with marketing-driven pics of families, etc tacked up on the walls.

The plants throughout this structure are the cuttings from a plastic aquarium plant, glued into "pots" made out of large beads.  A simple technique, but one that easily makes something serviceable very cheaply!

The bottom is a veritable treasure trove of junk!  Admittedly, putting all of these model railroad bits into one building was fairly expensive and quite tedious to build and paint, but the effect is well worth it!  Observant players will find all sorts of helpful items in the Bargain Barn, from bottles for Molotov-making to rifles to a full suit of armor and shield!


Above are a couple of examples of phony signage that you can create yourself and print off on your own printer.  The Katt Sisters offer a set of rather obvious "services", and the town fortune teller was inspired by a once-popular media psychic whose accent varied from scottish to jamaican to irish.  You could really never tell with her.


This is the bed in the "Sitcom Room", a plastic dollhouse furniture bed with a green putty blanket and pillows.

It took a while, but I finally managed to properly represent the biological fluid stain look I was looking for.  

Another worthy technique added to my painter's toolkit!

To close this page, I wanted you to give you a special write up of the "Casting Couch", the first room on the top floor.  We went with a modern look for this one.  The couch itself is the companion piece to the Verlinden resin "miller chair" that is written up on the page for J.R.'s Pig Pen.  I KID YOU NOT, but out at the local auction yard, there is a vendor that sells FAKE TIGER SKIN COUCHES!   Yeah, for real!   So I had to model it for the town.  If I ever get famous, I'll buy one for my mansion, just for laughs.  The wall is adorned with... of course.... 2 velvet Elvises  (Elvii?).  The plexiglass table is nothing but a piece of clear plastic glued to a silver-painted girder.  So is the end table. 

I know it's sad, but know this: TONY THE TIGER'S BROTHER DIED TO MAKE THIS COUCH.  And It's Grrrrrreeaaat!!