Painting Lo Pan's Noodle Hut•
Posted on February 06 2020
Guest Tutorial by Adam Huenecke
The Warsenal Lo Pan Noodle Hut is one of the most versatile kits in their line of terrain. It would be just as home in any sci-fi or modern table, and it’s designed to easily add lights (always a head-turner on the table).
As I’m gearing up for some upcoming post-apocalyptic games, I wanted to go a slightly more “ruined midcentury modern” look. I’ll walk you through the steps to paint your own (whatever genre you are going for).
I will be using an airbrush, so if you don’t have one of those go get one. I use a simple, inexpensive Paasche model.
Step 1: Planning and Prep
Before you get started, plan how you want to paint your kit. Take a look at the photos on the Warsenal site, and plan the colors you want to use for each area.
PRO TIP: I HIGHLY recommend dry-fitting the entire kit before you prime or paint, so you can get a better idea how the pieces interact with one another. There is no need to add detail to an area you won’t be able to see, and the experience will make it easier for you once you’ve painted everything.
After you pre-plan your colors, you can ‘batch out’ the different color pieces for easier painting.
After I popped out all of my parts, I bundled them based on the colors I wanted to paint them:
PRO TIP: Stick the stool tops to a piece of masking tape so you don’t lose them, and you can paint them more easily. If you count them, you will see I had already lost one before I even got them on the tape (which I didn’t discover until everything was painted, and I had to build a new one). Once they are primed, the tape won’t be sticky on your fingers.
I wanted the roof and walls to be a rusty metal, the walls to be painted metal, and the chairs and details to be a chrome-type color.
Step 2: Priming
I recently switched over to priming everything with an airbrush instead of spray cans. This can be a particularly important method of priming when building tight-fitting parts like you are likely to find in MDF terrain kits. I recommend Stynylrez brand primers- I can’t say enough about how excellent they are. They go on thin, keep detail crisp, are incredibly strong, and take paint incredibly well. Seriously- try them if you haven’t.
I primed all of the parts I planned to paint metallic colors in black, and the clear wall pieces in light grey (as I was going to paint them lighter colors).
Step 3: Base coating
This step is fairly straightforward: I painted each of my batched parts in their respective color. For reference, I used Reaper Blackened Steel for the metal pieces, P3 Cold Steel for the Chrome pieces, P3 Arcane Blue for the Aqua, and P3 Menoth White Highlights for the Cream. I thinned the paints with a bit of water and added a drop of acrylic retarder which helps the paint stay wet just a little longer to reduce airbrush clogs (I use Golden Additives brand, available at most local craft and painting suppliers). Airbrush each piece in a nice, even, thin layer. If you put it on too thick, you will have trouble fitting the pieces together in the end.
Step 4: Highlighting
Next, I wanted to add a bit of depth to my metal pieces. To do this, I took the Chrome color and added some ‘shine’ to them:
For the round pieces, I made some ‘gleaming’ lines radiating from the middle. If you look at the way light hits a record, you can get a good impression of a good pattern. For the squared pieces, I just put a few diagonal shiny lines to give it a bit of gleam.
Step 5: Detailing
Next, add any details that you need to add to the walls. Paint the doors, trim, etc. I used a brush to paint on these details in simple blocked colors. No need to shade anything- we will get to that. I also added a few colored ‘plates’ to the metal areas to make mine look a little more ramshackle.
Step 6: Shading
Using a thinned mixture of black and brown, add shadows and grime in the recesses of your pieces. A little goes a long way, and you can use tape or masks to create your shadows ‘behind’ other areas.
It looks a little rough now, but it will come together. I added some splotches where I will add some chipped paint later.
Step 7: Weathering
This is by far my favorite part. You get to just ruin everything you just did. I used a sponge (the kind most models are packed with) to dab on ‘chipped’ paint in a dark brown. Hit the areas that would see the most wear, and any areas you want heavier weathering. I then took my airbrush and added rust streaks dripping down from the chipped areas.
Step 8: Finishing
I did NOT seal my parts, as I didn’t want to lose any of the metallic colors (avoid this at your own risk- if you are building for a game shop or heavy play, seal your pieces with some Testor’s Dullcoat). I then used a brush to add some final highlights and shadows to my wall pieces, and then assembled everything.
You will notice that I replaced my ads with more post-apocalyptic fare (downloaded from the internet and then patched together in Photoshop). I printed them out to scale, and then used the ads included with the kit as templates to cut new clear acrylic screens. I taped the ads to the back, and then added them like one normally would.
I added cheap lights to my hut, which required some modification (I had to cut a larger area for the battery pack, and drill some holes to run the lights to the second tier).
I assembled everything, and voila!