Painting Spanish Buildings for Wargaming

Most of my interests are Luso-Spanish so rendered plaster buildings are very much the go.

Here are notes on three approaches to making/painting these buildings for wargaming:

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Muslim Village

Kerr&King: Painting Adobe Buildings

I wanted to update my Crossfire module buildings so I thought, rather than rebuilding a whole new set, I’d just repaint them more carefully. This is particularly relevant given I’m gearing up for using Crossfire for the Rif War, hence the Mosque in the photo.

Josh Kael has a tutorial on Painting Adobe Buildings on the Kerr&King site so I thought I’d try it out. The result is pretty good but I found the base colour too greenish and I think something more Ochre would be better.


  • Matt Black Spray Undercoat
  • Vallejo 70978 Dark Yellow
  • Vallejo 70977 Desert Yellow
  • Vallejo 70918 Ivory
  • White
  • Black
  • Vallejo 70826 German Medium Camo Brown (or GW Bestial Brown)
  • Vallejo 70822 German Camo Black Brown (or GW Scorched Brown)
  • Brushes


  1. Prepare the buildings. Either Make the Buildings or use commercial ones. Resin buildings need to be washed in warm soapy water before painting.
  2. Undercoat with Matt Black Spray.
  3. Slap on a base coat of Dark Yellow. Don’t be too fussy about details such as brickwork and woodwork – you’ll touch them up later.
  4. Dry brush the entire building with a 50/50 mix of Desert Yellow and Ivory.
  5. Dry brush the entire building with Ivory.
  6. Light dry brush with white.
  7. From this point be careful to avoid the adobe.
  8. Re-paint all the details (doors, bricks windows etc) with Black.
  9. Leave the windows black.
  10. Dry brush the bricks with German Camouflage Medium Brown.
  11. Dry brush the bricks with Dark Yellow.
  12. Dry brush the woodwork with German Camouflage Black Brown.
  13. Dry brush the woodwork with German Camouflage Black Brown with some Desert yellow and a bit of Ivory added.
  14. Very light dry brush of both the bricks and woodwork with Ivory.
  15. Flock any earth

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The Mosque is commercial but the houses are mine

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Different Configuration

James Falkus: Painting Spanish Buildings

James Falkus brought along some recently painting buildings to our refight of Albuera. I liked the way he’d painted them so he sent through instructions for Painting Spanish Buildings…

The church was undercoated with GW black undercoat spray. I then painted two coats of Buff
(228) from Coat d’arms, which I bought from Black Cat Miniatures. It has a thickness that really
helps when applying. After two coats I mixed the buff paint with GW white paint. I used this to
‘highlight the building’ but in reality only left an outline of the original buff coat. I
subsequently decided that even this was too dark so added another coat by adding a small amount of
buff to the white. This was the finished colour for the walls. For the roof I used terracotta (85)
from miniature paints purchased from the games shop in Aldershot. I then dry-brushed the roof with
GW white (very small amount on a large brush). The door and carving above it I painted as wood
using GW scorched brown as I did with the window sills. My reasoning was they would look more run
down without painting the door etc… with a colour like blue or green.

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Albuera Village

Church Side View

Church Front View

Roly Hermans: Making Spanish Buildings for Wargames

Next time I might try something based on Roly Hermans: Making Spanish Buildings for Wargames.

Epsilon Scenography: Hermitage in Northern Spain 


In their article on making Spanish Hermitage Escenografia Epsilon (2009) painted it in these steps:

  1. Undercoat in Black
  2. Paint Art Deco Neutral Grey
  3. Paint Art Deco Neutral Grey mixed with Grey Slate
  4. then before it drys paint Art Deco Grey Slate
  5. Dry
  6. Dry brush Art Deco Slate Grey mixed with White
  7. Dry brush White

For the wooden parts of the building:

  1. Undercoat in Black
  2. Paint Art Deco Chocolate Brown
  3. Dry
  4. Wash with the Citadel Black Ink
  5. Dry
  6. Dry brush Citadel Cathlan Brown
  7. Dry brush your choice of Citadel Tausept Ochre or Dhebeb Stone
  8. Dry brush Citadel Bleached Bone

Epsilon Scenography (2009, May). Hermitage in Northern Spain. Wargames Soldiers & Strategy, 44, 60-63. Revistas Professionales

Timecast Models

Timecast Models have a couple of places where they give good advice on painting Spanish buildings:

First of they have some the Timecast Painting Guide for Italian and Spanish Buildings buried right in the middle of their catalogue. Regarding Spanish buildings it says:

The practice of painting nearly every building white is a fairly recent occurence in Spain. Originally it was only the wealthy who could afford to paint their homes white. On a recent visit to Spain we learned that it was not even common in Andalucia until the 1960’s. Prior to this the houses of the less wealthy would have been left in the natural colours of the rendered plaster etc. Many buildings in Northern Spain, along the Pyrenees and in Catalonia, are simply left in a natural stone finish, with no rendering or plaster. Many churches in northern Spain are plain stone.

Some Spanish (and Portuguese) houses have the door and window frames outlined in yellow. This is an old tradition whereby the devil, who supposedly hates the colour yellow, is prevented from entering the house and can add an unusual touch of colour to the models!

We recommend these colours from the Coat d’arms paints for painting Spanish buildings:

Plain stone buildings: 221 – Horse Tone Dun 537 – Faded Khaki

Plaster and Rendered Buildings: 101 – White 220 – Buff 221 – Horse Tone Dun 524 – Tan Earth

For tiled roofs the guide goes on to say

The typical southern European tiled roof can be almost any shade from a bright terracotta red (modern tiles are generally a brighter and more cosistent colour), to a faded pink or even various shades of grey. The colour often varies from roof to roof dpending on age, weathering, lichen growth etc.

We recommend the following colours for painting tiled roofs: 119 – Rat Brown, 224 – Horse Tone Bay, 529 – Beige Brown

Separately their Timecast Tips has some useful general suggestions for painting models. But it adds some detail on tiled roofs:

Pantile/Terracotta Tile Roofs. The terracotta types of roof tile are best painted with a base coat of brick red (a dull red-brown colour). Wash with a dark brown ink (Sepia or Antelope Brown are ideal). Once the ink is dry, drybrush the tiles with the base colour to pick out the detail. Add some yellow and white to the base brick red, to lighten the colour and dry brush again. Continue lightening the colour and drybrushing until the tiles are almost a pale pink colour and finish off with a wash of thinned red-brown ink (FW’s Red Earth ink is brilliant for this).

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