Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Building & Painting Seminary College - Part 1


When Sally 4th released their 28mm laser cut MDF Seminary College model kit for Gettysburg I couldn't resist but pick it up.  Now I'm a big fan of pre-painted MDF kits and have shyed away from "raw" MDF kits as they require *a lot* of work to make look good - but I was willing to suck it up on this one.  I have put together several scenarios for engagements around Gettysburg using my growing ACW collection - one of those being the first day with Buford holding off advances then getting reinforced - so this model will provide an awesome backdrop for that action.

You can check out the kit on the Sally 4th site here.  Here is a picture from the Sally 4th site --- I'm not hot on that red they used for the bricks ...

The instructions want you start with the walls and paint/finish each wall before assembly.  I started by laying out all the exterior walls (forgot to take a picture ... but essentially like below --- but I had already started painting them).

The instructions say you should spray paint each part.  I don't recommend doing that.  I used spray paint for the window trim parts - but hand painted the primary wall colours.  I used the excellent brick colour paint from 4Ground as I think it is the best looking brick colour I've seen.  I used Foundry Slate Grey (32A) for the bottom trim.

To paint the brick I used a large detail brush --- I blotted a drop of paint in the brick squares then used a drybrush technique with the same brush - doing 6-8 bricks at a time.  It will ruin the brush by the end of it ... but the effect works.  It is important to note that getting paint in the cracks is ok ... you can easily work it out with the brush or run an exacto knife through it to clear it out.  The details that have been cut by the laser natural reject paint which is a big help.

I used blue painters tape - sticky side up - to hold the window trim parts in place while I spray painted them white.  The windows are three parts themselves - a front (sprayed white) frame, a back (unpainted) frame and then a clear plastic "window" sandwiched in between.

The one exception to spraying the trim parts white was the main door, I hand painted this part because I didn't want to loose the laser cut details in the part.  The door is four parts ... and front and back frame with a MDF "door back" and surrounding clear plastic "window" sandwiched in between.

Below you can see one of the complete wall sections.

I started dry fitting the walls together as I finished them - but I will not be gluing them until all walls are complete and I'm also ready to fit the roof in as there is a lot of wiggle room in the process and I don't want to glue it into place without being able to square up the walls to the roof which sits down into the top.

At this point I'm exactly half way through painting the walls - which has taken me about a work week (5 days) worth of about an hour a night to get through.  You can also see that I've cut an MDF base to mount the whole model to.  Note a bad start to this project.  4Ground just released white picket fencing that I plan to use around the base (see below).

I'll also be using 4Ground roofing tiles in place of the stripes provided by Sally 4th as the colour and quality is much better with the 4Ground products.  My next post on this project will be the conclusion of the whole thing ... which may take a couple of weeks as I've taken a break to build out some Perry Miniatures Desert Rats to send off to Artmaster Studio.

My garage - aka "The Feisty Wench" is where I do all my gaming, building and painting.  I celebrated Saint Patrick's Day so had cleaned everything up ... here is a little treat for those of you who have read this far ...

First up ... all clean up and ready for action!

A great friend of mine Jon Tait and his awesome band, The Forlorn Hope (please "like" them on Facebook if you can), came over to provide some entertainment and take advantage of my perpetual "open bar" ... here is a short video clip of the music and start to the good times ...

So, just getting my painting table and wargame table back up and running.  I have a Black Powder Napoleonic game planned for Saturday so expect a battle report to follow on the weekend.


  1. Good stuff Jay! The 4Ground red paint is a big improvement over the Sally choice of red for sure. Too bad there is no interior details - though we're probably just spoiled from 4Ground :)

    1. Thanks! I agree, I love that brick colour from 4Ground --- and you are right, we are very spoiled by 4Ground - although in this case, since I'll use it for black powder there isn't any need for interior details ... I'll be gluing the roof down ... so it will just have to look nice on the outside ;-)

  2. A truely impressive building project!

    1. Thanks! I'm looking forward to the finished product.