Tuesday, 15 July 2014

Terrain Tutorial: Nissen/Quonset Huts Part 3

I've had the huts finished for more than a week now but just never got around to posting the final part of the tutorial until now. Unfortunately I forgot to take photos as I went so I just have ones of the finished huts.

The next stage was painting and basing. I cut some rectangles of 3mm MDF, about 5mm wider than the huts on each side and glued the huts in place. I primed the edges of the MDF with some PVA to stop it warping. I'm not really sure if this was necessary but they haven't warped yet so it doesn't do any harm. Then I sprayed the entire thing with a few coats of a dark silver I got from Halfords. Once that was dry I coated the base with PVA and sprinkled sand over it. When the glue was dry I gave it a couple of coats of Fleetwood Bitter Chocolate and drybrushed it with Fleetwood Bracken.

I wasn't really sure how much weathering to apply, or how to do it. After a bit of thinking I just decided to use the newish GW paint Ryza Rust. I brushed it on at first and didn't like it at all as it was very orange looking. I wiped that off and started again by stippling it on randomly using a cut down brush. These were still a bit orange so I added water to some of the stippled areas and turned it into a wash of sorts. This was much more pleasing to the eye so I just went with it. I added rust mainly to areas that I figure water would settle, so at the base of the huts and in the grooves of the corrugated sheets. Then I applied a few washes of watered down black ink mixed with Future floor polish and another of watered down blue ink. 

I painted the doors using a grey enamel paint (Humbrol 126) and added doorhandles using pins from my wife's sewing kit, which reminds me I need to go shopping tomorrow. Once the paint was dry I varnished them using the floor polish again and added some clumps of static grass. All in all I'm quite happy with how they turned out.

The finished product
Leprecians guarding their huts
The only problem with this build was the restricted height due to the diameter of the Pringle tubes. I still had 3 half tubes left over so I decided to have a go at making taller huts. I followed the previous build up to the point where I added the corrugated card. I found some 25mm thick polystyrene sheets and cut them to the same size as the base of the hut and glued them together using wood glue. Once this was dry I more or less followed the same method as before and ended up with these.

Nissen Hut MkII
As you can see I added small windows to the front of the huts. I prepared the front as before but cut out an additional hole for the window. I glued a piece of card in place and painted it black with an 'L' of light blue in the bottom corner. Here's a comparison of both versions of the huts from the front

The door handles are visible in this photo
and from the back

Larger window at the rear of the new huts
If I was to make more of them I would do some things differently

  • I bought corrugated card from a pound shop for the taller huts, it was very soft in comparison to the coffee ones I had used earlier. T, which resulted in the creases visible in the photos above. The coffee holders were much better.
  • I would add a window to the rear of the huts rather than a second door.
  • I would use thinner card for the windows and might consider building frames for the doors and windows to give a better finish.
All in all though I'm quite happy with the results. I have 10 Nissen huts for any sci-fi games I play and they cost me €10 for the spray paint, €1.50 for the card and everything else was lying around. Oh and 5 tubes of pringles and I don't know how much coffee :-) By the end of it I was making them quite quickly and it is definitely worth making them in batches.


  1. Great work John, they look exactly how they should. The taller huts look just as plausible, even somewhat familiar. So familiar in fact that I wonder if there are historical versions of the hut design that use some sort of similar extension?

    Ryza Rust is very bright, but it works very well in conjunction with its sister paint Typhus Corrosion. The TC has a granular element that picks up the brybrushed Ryza in places, rather than the bright orange all over the place that you experienced. It gives a very pleasing rust effect very quickly and easily, plus having a bright true orange colour that can be drybrushed is something that I had been waiting for for twenty five years, so its handy for that too.

    Typhus Corrosion is a good paint to have access to in its own right. Its a quick, simple and importantly easily controlled way to weather things. I tend to use it on the feet of heavily armoured miniatures as well as on various bits of vehicle. GW have a good tutorial for both paints on YouTube that I found very useful.

  2. Thanks Paul - and yes that was how they originally increased the height of the Nissen huts, which is probably why they look familiar. Cheers for the info on Typhus Corrosion, I must pick up a bottle of it when I get a chance.