March 2– Back from vacation, the shop is open!

Tuesday, October 6, 2020

Modeling and Painting: 40K Obstacles and Rusted Metal

In this post, I'll show you how to combine the Necromunda barricades, and share my recipe for painting rusted metal.


I love these ramshackle metal barricades– There's some nice character in them for such simple pieces. They can be a little fiddly, however when using them on the battlefield because there are a lot of them, and they tend to tip over easily. My solution was to combine the set of 18 into six pieces of scatter terrain, based atop some scrap metal plating.



Each barricade will be made up of three pieces, arranged into an "L" or semicircle.



The first step is to trace the outline of each segment onto a piece of .75mm thick styrene card. I recommend black styrene because if the edges suffer from paint wear, the black plastic showing through will be less noticeable than white plastic.



With the position of each piece marked, next draw out some rectangles for the metal plates that will form the base of the barricade, and cut out the base with a hobby knife. I prefer to use a single piece of styrene so the wall sections sit level and the base has more stability, but you could use multiple smaller pieces if you wish (that would be a good use of scrap off-cuts left over from previous projects).



After you cut out the base, distress the edges and corners with notches and damage.



You can indicate separations between the plates by cutting grooves between them and beveling the edges to make it look like one plate overlaps the other.



You can also make a cut into the plastic and pop up one corner of a plate to create the illusion of an overlap.



For the next step, you will need my favorite tool: A rotary hand sewing punch.



The punch can be used to press rivets into the plastic. By applying a little pressure, it will create a dimple in the underside, and a bump on the top.



Punch some rivets along the edge of a few plates. By pressing the punch all the way through, you can make holes where popped out rivets used to be and further break up the edges.



Once the base is finished, super glue the barricade wall sections in place.



This will give you a nice selection of barricades with basing that's thin so it won't interfere with model positioning, and will blend into the tabletop. If you are so inclined, you could add some extra debris around the bases. I opted to keep mine simple with just the metal plates. 




Start with an undercoat of black spray primer.



Next mix up a batch of the base color. I'm using Formula P3 Pig Iron with a bit of Army Painter Matt Black and Liquitex Burnt Umber Transparent Ink (aka Brown Ink). The ratio isn't important; just mix up a batch that's a little darker and more brown than the Pig Iron. (There might be an equivalent "ready-made" color in the Citadel line, but I prefer the thinner quality that the ink adds, allowing it to go on more smoothly. You could also use a metallic spray, but in my experience they are a little slick, causing the wash the next step to bead up rather than flow evenly over the surface.)



Use a large flat brush and paint the dark metal mix over the entire piece. If you plan to add color to the doors (as I show in the coming steps) you can skip getting metal on the front of the doors.



Once the base coat has dried, take some straight Pig Iron and drybrush everything to highlight the edges.



For the rust wash, mix up some Formula P3 Bloodstone, Brown Ink, and a bit of orange. Add some Citadel Lahmian Medium to help it flow into the recesses. Again, a precise ratio isn't important.



Wet your brush with a touch of water before painting on the wash. Paint each section one at a time so the wash doesn't dry out. First, cover the entire plate...



Then, blot it with a slightly damp paper towel. If there are any large pools remaining, you can wick them up with a dry brush.



You want to leave the wash in the recesses and around the rivets with a rusty tone over the whole piece. Repeat the process on the next plate until the entire barricade is finished.



Now it's time to add some drips and streaking. For this step, mix P3 Bloodstone and orange, going a little heavier with the orange. Use a fine brush to paint around a rivet and add the start of a drip below it. Then, take a larger brush and pull the paint down to a point. You can use this technique to add drips and rust around the edges, feathering out the streaks to accent panels and details.



For the rivets on the base, paint the rust over some rivets, and then wipe your finger across to pick up some of the paint, leaving it in the recess around the rivets. Your finger works better than a paper towel or a brush because they will absorb too much paint, pulling it out of the recess. If you are using this technique on a large project, be sure to wash your hands frequently, because the more paint you have gummed up on your fingertip, the less effective it becomes. It works the best with clean, dry fingertips.



Add as many or as few streaks as you like, with rust dripping from the rivets and plates, and from the tops and jagged cut-outs.



To add color to the doors, mask them off and spray them. I'm using Dupli-Color dark red sandable primer for the red doors, and for the yellow doors, Citadel Wraithbone Primer then Tamiya Camel Yellow. Since the Tamiya spray is a little slick, I'm spraying it with Testor's Dull Cote before I paint it to give it a bit of a "tooth." This will prevent the washes from beading up. (It doesn't work with the metal spray because the Dull Cote kills the metallic sheen, defeating the purpose of using a metallic paint!)



I left one of the doors with just the Wraithbone Primer so I could practice with Citadel Contrast colors.



To paint the doors, I'm using Contrast Iyanden Yellow on the Wraithbone primer, and Casandora Yellow Shade over the Camel Yellow spray. Then good old red and yellow to touch up the edges. You can use whatever colors you prefer that will match your available sprays and battlefield aesthetic.



Painting the doors is a simple matter of drybrushing red over the dark red primer and then cleaning up the edges with a fine brush. On the yellow doors, I just applied the shades mentioned above. On the left is the Camel Yellow with Casandora Yellow Shade (straight from the pot). On the right is the Iyanden Yellow Contrast mixed with some medium over the Wraithbone.

And that's another strike for the Contrast yellow. I had picked it up as an easy way to paint my Imperial Fists, but the Camel and Casandora combination is just so much richer. The Iyanden door looks like it might have been a cream-colored door that yellowed with age. That settles it– Camel and Casandora for the Fists!



Once the door color is painted, paint some metal on the bullet holes and the cut-outs at the edges. Use the original dark metal mix with just a bit more Pig Iron mixed in.



One thing I noticed while working on this is that there are rivets in the door that aren't part of the door's original construction– those are new rivets used to attach the door to its support legs. Such rivets wouldn't be painted with the door's color, so pick them out with metal.



Next, use a sponge to apply some chipping to the edges. Mix up some Pig Iron and Bloodstone and carefully sponge it around the edges of the door. The sponge I'm using is just some left over foam from miniature trays that I built, torn up into smaller chunks.



Use orange and Bloodstone to add a few rust drips on the doors.



The final step is to use the sponge technique to add some orange on the large metal panels. Use the same mix of orange and Bloodstone, and vary the ratio as you apply it. 



And that's it. The techniques are pretty simple and quick to apply. Even though I was stopping to take pictures and notes, and eat dinner (and chase away a woodpecker that kept returning to try to peck its way through the side of my house!) I was able to paint these barricades over the course of the afternoon and evening.



'Til next time!


  1. Rob,

    Thank you very much for posting these sorts of things on your hobby blog!

    I am especially glad that you explained, in detail, how to get the rust wash to look correct around rivets (both the pooling and the rust streaks). I always had such a hard time doing those! Now I know what I was missing. :)

    I really appreciate your insights!

    1. Awesome! I'm glad you enjoyed it and that the tutorial was helpful. :) Thanks!

  2. Wow, those look great! The step by step instructions are always interesting and useful, but I particularly liked the bases you made for these barricades, and how you explained why you made them "flat" rather than pile details on it like many would. (although that might look great too!)

    1. Thank you! In retrospect, I wish I had added a bit of sand and maybe some sprue rubble up against the base of the walls. But it works as an example of how simple "bare bones" scenery can be effective too.

    2. If you ever made another segment, it would be a nice contrast to see how you "fancy it up".

  3. Thank you very much for the great step by step. I will defenitly try this.

  4. Thanks alot for this. Will inspire me to do mine!


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