I picked up two different 15mm JR Miniatures Arnhem row house models on my recent trip to the HMGS Fall In! 2014 convention at a real steal of 40% off the list price. At nearly 12″ long and up to 8″ tall, these cast resin models create a quick urban feel to a tabletop battlefield. Each model has lift off roofs and interior floor and wall sections which pull out to allow for stands of troops to occupy varying rooms and levels. The roofs on the models also contain open parapet areas where artillery spotters, machine gunners or other troops can placed to command the battlefield from high upon the rooftops.
As with most of my experiences with JR Miniatures models, there’s a fair amount of clean up to flash before getting started. The castings also contain a few air holes here and there, but nothing that detracts too much from the overall models. If anything, missing pieces of a cornice or a small hole in a wall might be chalked up to gunfire.
Here’s a simple outline of my technique for painting resin buildings:
Painting Western European Buildings
- Use a sharp hobby knife to carefully remove extra resin flash from casting. Particular care should be taken to make sure interior floor sections lift out of the model easily.
- Wash models in warm soapy water to remove molding residues. Allow models to dry overnight.
- Spray prime roof and removable interior floor sections in flat black and main building sections in flat grey. Allow primer to dry overnight.
- Paint roofs:
- Tile roofs begin with a dry brush of 50/50 black and red paint, followed by a dry brush coat of red paint and finished with a dry brush of orange paint to highlight.
- Shingled roofs begin with a dry brush of dark grey, followed by dry brushed coats of lighter browns, light greys and dark green.
- Stuccoed areas in roof gables and dormer windows receive a dry stipple brushed coat of light brown followed by off-white paint dry brushed with the same stipple brush.
- Paint floor sections:
- Dry brush floorboards with layers of dark and lighter brown paints.
- Paint wall sections in off-white paint.
- Paint building facades:
- Stucco walls receive a dry stipple brushed coat of light brown followed by off-white paint dry brushed with the same stipple brush. Dab some random areas with more off-white to create areas of more fresh stucco to create variations along the street.
- Dry brush a slightly heavier amount of off-white paint over cornices and door a window molding to create more depth of highlights.
- Stone areas receive a dry brush of light grey followed by off-white dry brush highlights and a dark brown wash in recesses.
- Brick areas are dry brushed with 50/50 black and red paint followed by random dry brushing in off white paint to highlight.
- Paint doors and shutters with a variety of blues, whites, greens, reds and browns. Follow basecoat with highlight in same color slightly lightened with off-white. Dab doorknobs with brass paint with a fine brush.
- Window panes are all carefully given a light coat of black and then dry brushed with dabs of lightly dry brushed white paint to give the illusion of glass.
- Sidewalks are dry brushed with light greys over a medium grey basecoat.
- Ground areas at the rear of the buildings receive brown and green dry brush coats followed by grass flocking and small clumps of foliage.
- Coat models in several layers of spray clear matte finish, allowing each coat to dry before applying an additional coat.
I was able to achieve a pretty decent tabletop quality finish to my buildings with maybe three hours of work on each model using the painting scheme above. Since colors on buildings are rarely monotone (unless newly constructed), I use a plastic surface on which I dab a variety paint shades and mix colors from this palette as I go with my dry brushing. I then build up areas with heavier amounts of one color or another to pull out highlights, create varying textures and differentiate from one building to the next along the street.
I’m really excited about these models which nearly double the footprint of my existing Western European buildings in 15mm. Models from JR Miniatures fit in nicely with my buildings from Mark IV Miniatures and terrain from a variety of other manufacturers. Although modeled on actual streetscapes of Arnhem, the buildings are easily usable in creating the look of many densely populated areas of France, the Netherlands or elsewhere in Western Europe during late war operations.