Dark Age Buildings
The dark age period is taken to mean (in Britain, anyway) as
the time between the fall of the Roman Empire to the Norman Conquest. With the exception
of the Saxon A-Frame hut, these buildings are also suitable for the Iron Age (pre-Roman)
right through to the late Feudal (1300 AD).
Nothing now remains above ground of the actual timber-framed
Dark Age buildings. However, traces of post-holes allow an educated guess as to the
building's length, width and arrangement, enabling archaeologists to make imaginative
interpretations and reconstructions, upon which this range is based.
The dark age buildings are in great contrast to the
adobe-constructed buildings of Egypt, the Holy Land and Troy. These buldings are designed
to withstand Northern European weather, which, for most of the time, means rain and wind.
For this reason, the colours of these buildings were much darker than those from around
the Mediterranean and points south.
Dark Age Painting Guide
- For large areas of wood it is suggested that the model be first sprayed black,
then, using enamel or acrylic, dry brush the model with colours graduating from burn
sienna through raw sienna to white, gradually picking out more and more detail.
- Alternatively, undercoat the wood areas with raw sienna acrylic or enamel and,
when dry, dry-brush burnt sienna oil paint, wiping-off with a sponge between applications
until the desired effect is achieved.
- When the oil paint is dry, the wood can be highlighted with raw sienna and white
acrylic or enamel, followed by dry-brushed white/raw sienna and finally white.
- Rendering is best done by first painting to the edge of the rendering with raw
- When dry, paint inside the area, leaving a border about 1mm. wide, with a
half-and-half mix of raw sienna and white.
- After this layer is dry, paint another area, about 1mm. inside the previous one,
with white. Avoid being too precise to get an authentically rural look.
- For grey stonework, spray the model white, then paint on a wash of Paynes Grey
oil paint. While still wet, use a sponge to wipe off the paint and allow to dry. Repeat
until the required darkness is obtained.
- Lightly dry brushing with white picks out the texture of the stone.
- For light brown stone (limestone), use a yellow ochre and burnt umber oil paint
wash over white primer.
- For darker stone (sandstone, etc.) use a light brown or sand primer and a burnt
umber oil paint wash. Drybrushing with yellow ochre and white gives a dusty, worn look.
- For thatch or rush roofing, use a yellow ochre or raw sienna wash over white
- Allow to dry and darken with a very thin Paynes grey wash, then gently dry-brush
with white to mute the colour. The occasional touch of a green wash here and there adds a
suitably damp, northern-European feeling to the building.
These painting techniques can be observed on page 4 of Wargames
Illustrated no. 86, where buildings 01 to 08 inclusive are pictured in colour.