Dark Age Hovel

Again no Yesteryear Wednesday today, as I have decided to concentrate on new output. Sorry for that – I’ll make up to you by doing a full spread on the rest of my Beastmen collection, sometime this month. For now, I’m very proud to show you the first scenery piece I’ve made in quite a long time.

The front of the house. Homely, isn't it?

The front of the house. Homely, isn’t it?

The seeds of the idea to make this hovel were sown when I was strolling through a nearby supermarket last Saturday and came upon a shelf with cleaning equipment, including brush heads. I snatched up a brush head for 4,29 euro as I had the immediate idea of using it for a thatched roof, and set about building a small hovel as a test project.

The back of the house - nothing much to see here!

The back of the house – nothing much to see here!

Spending a pinch of cash on the brush head was pretty much the only expense that went into this project. The walls were made from thick cardboard we had lying around in the cellar, and for the beams and door I used thin card from a GW boxed set. I used a combination of PVA glue and paper adhesive tape to get the thing together, then added the thatch by pouring copious amounts of PVA onto the roof structure, pressing in the bundles of brush hair, and then putting more PVA on top. I repeated this process thrice on each side to get the layered effect, and I made sure to trim the thatch directly above the door.

Apparently, the owner of the house has hung a totem of feathers above the door, to ward away evil spirits.

Apparently, the owner of the house has hung a totem of feathers above the door, to ward away evil spirits.

Painting-wise I experienced a dearth of cheap acrylic paints, so I had to make do with less efficient alternatives. I undercoated the whole thing black with a spraycan, then started with the thatch which I basecoated with a burnt siena-ish gouache paint, and rather thickly too. Once dry (which took ages) I drybrushed this with xv-88, zandri dust and zamesi desert in various stages. The white-washed walls were basecoated dark flesh (I have several of these lying around unused, so no problem there) and then stippled with rakarth flesh and ceramite white. Lastly, the wooden parts were basecoated dryad bark and highlighted with gorthor brown. A Conquest Games Norman shield, painted in the colours of my Viking warband, was added, as well as some thin feathers from the hat of a Warlord Games Pike & Shotte infantry kit.

Overall I’m very pleased with how this building turned out, especially as it cost next to nothing, neither timewise nor moneywise. Not counting drying times, I spent about two hours on the thing, and I still have about 90% of the brush head left. I can make a whole village if I want to!

Further this week you’ll be seeing my aides-de-camp to Maréchal Ney. Levavasseur is nearly done and Heymes is in the highlighting stage, so they might even be finished by this evening. Until then, my dear readers!


  1. willtomorrow

    I love it when I spot an object that can be beaten into thr hobby. That thatch is probably the best I’ve yet seen and I wouldnt kick your paint job out of bed in the morning either. Great work.

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