Prepping and Painting Desert Small House Terrain piece for Star Wars Legion

Imperial Terrain Tutorial for Legion Series Small House

Time Required:

  • Slow (1-2 Days for Drying)
  • Fast (Less than one day)

Majority of that time is drying between coats.

Things you will need:

  • Model Primer
  • Testors CreateFX Spray Paint (or similar brand)
  • Citadel Texture Paint (Stirland Mud)
  • Base and Dry brush Colors
  • Paint stuff (Brushes/Waterdish/etc)

Step 1: Model Prep

The models are 3d printed, they come out very very close to a solid final product but due to how 3d printers work, there often times can be some stringiness (less often with the PLA used on these models). You can easily look over the terrain piece, see the strings if there are any and either pull them off or use a lighter to burn them off. I use the lighter because its faster, covers more ground, though be aware that if you sit in one spot you will melt your terrain piece.  It is plastic after all :) While looking for strings, also be on the look out for any larger pieces that may be sticking out, we will usually catch those before they make it to you. If you find something like that, grab an exacto knife and cut it off.

No need to wash the terrain or anything like that, in the next step the primer paint will stick right to the plastic no problem.

Step 2: Texture

Apologize for the pictures, however I do not have a professional painting setup and you'll see plenty of colorful pictures of my back yard and desk. Step 2! Here make sure you use a well ventilated space, get your model primer ready to go. I have some of the most expensive stuff in the world left over, the Citadel Chaos Black spray primer that I used. Get a single good even coat across the entire model. 

I sprayed with the top on, to ensure the surfaces where the top and bottom meet stay clean. I don't think its required, they are snap fit after all. I would only take the lid off to primer if I was going to paint the inside.  I'll leave that up to you.

Once primer is dry, grab your favorite can of CreateFX, I bought mine at Hobby Lobby and use the "Gravel Gray" flavor.  It's a small sized can and was about 6 dollars. 

Before applying the CreateFX, tape off any detail bits, such as the control panel and the maintenance hatch on the right of one of the doors.  Tape off any other details you dont want sandy texture on.

Give the CreateFX a good thorough spraying across the entire surface of the terrain piece. Let it dry, I waited about an hour, YMMV, and then reapplied heavily on the top roof and bottoms around the edge.  You will notice you can layer this stuff up pretty good and it hides the print lines very well, especially on the top of the terrain piece.

Other ideas customers have come up with are:

  • Make your own texture paint
  • Krylon Sand paints
  • Filler Primer
  • Sanding (Link to good article specifically on sanding prints)
  • To be honest, best bet is to make your own in bulk, using a strategy similar to what the terrain tutor does in the above posted video or getting some of the Citadel stuff. Most importantly is the layers to give it a nice texture.

    Step 3: More Texture

     After the base coat of primer and the effects paint, I switched over to some of the Citadel Texture paint Stirland Mud. If you don't want to spend a ton of money on this stuff, use the link above and watch the tutorial video of how to make your own. I will be making my own in bulk, I'm pretty confident a significant amount of it will be used across many board creations.

    Specifically for the dome house, make sure to hit the top of the dome roof the hardest, by that I mean at least 2 layers and you can see the results in the photo above.  This will give the terrain piece some great texture and remove the print lines you may see. I also liberally applied texture paint around the base of the structure and randomly along the side walls to add more character. Be careful not to get a bunch of texture paint on the details points such as the control panel / pipes / any boxes.

    Step 4: Painting / Drybrushing

    Star Wars Legion Terrain Tutorial

    For my true base coat, I started off with a fairly dark brown knowing I would have to work my way up to lighter browns and yellows and hopefully get the desired effect! I used Model Color's Flat Earth (I procured it from Hobby Lobby). Covered the entire base and roof pieces very generously and then moved on to my first stage of drybrushing.

    Star Wars Legion Terrain Tutorial