How to Repaint a Building (Yes, I got it wrong the first time!)

How to Repaint a Building (Yes, I got it wrong the first time!)

This was really easy and made such a difference to the model building.  I started it 4 years’ ago and it has just languished because something just always bothered me… the colour.

Here’s how I repainted it in 4 easy steps.


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The “Real” World

These are some photos I picked up off Google Street View – one of the most excellent resources for a modeller living on the other side of the world to where they are modelling:

The Start

This is a South River Modelworks kit (well two of them) and you can see what colours Bob van Gelder, the manufacturer used on his Threadwell diorama and his Ware Knitters dioramas on his website:

This is what the building looked like when I started as it sat on my layout:

Here’s that in close up:

I went over the mortar lines:

Did a dark grey wash on the stones:

Added a lighter grey wash all over:

And finally added back the shadows with a different type of dark wash:

The Final Result

I’m really pleased how the buildings turned out.  Let me know what you think in the comments below.


  • 00:17 Method
  • 07:07 Final Result

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7 thoughts on “How to Repaint a Building (Yes, I got it wrong the first time!)”


    Hi Kathy,

    I’m afraid we all do it (get it wrong I mean). The thing I try and impress on people painting scenery is that nothing in nature is the same colour all over, that’s why so many kit built buildings look so bland and , let’s face it, toy like. I find that a few greenish streaks where gutters have run over and spots of pigeon poo on the roofs makes a lot of difference. You may gather that I am really a painter rather than a true long term railway modeller.

    1. Terry

      I totally agree. I still need to weather this and those green areas will be on there. I do have a couple of outbuildings and awnings to build first before I do that as they will affect where I weather.

      I think artists do the most amazing layouts. Troels Kirk is an example and he is so gifted.



    Hi, Kathy. I’m very impressed with your new work on 3-d printing. It is the future all right.

    HOWEVER! It does seem to take a long time. As far as printing figures, after all the digital prep, don’t you think falling back, way back, to John Allen’s masterly work with wire and modeling wax would be a great efficiency? I have no doubt you would be a master of that too!

    Be st wishes, Bill

    1. Hi Bill

      Everything seems to take a long time!

      Honestly, I’d rather be on the computer than using wire and wax. I live on computers so it’s my natural medium. As for taking a long time, I can get a figure from MakeHuman and print in a matter of hours. I also have a full 3D scan of myself so the future is full of possibilities in the 3D printing world that don’t need me to be an expert sculptor (which I will never be).

      I guess it will depend on individuals but I am far happier sculpting on a computer than with my hands. I have great respect for those that can do it with their hands though! For me, 3D printing is much shorter in time.


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