Thursday, 23 April 2015

Lighthouse of Horror

So, there I am in a charity shop in Mere Green (Birmingham) and I spot a plastic lighthouse. It's a novelty light, this is probably why it ended up in a charity shop. I picked it up, had a look, thought naaah and put it back on the shelf. Fortunately my friend was with me and he said 'What are you doing? That'll be great for your Pulp games!' He was right.

It had seen better days. I think it must have been thrown outside at some point given the amount of mud clogging the battery compartment. I cleaned it up, and drained off the rain water that had gotten inside. After a soapy wash and rinse it didn't look too bad. Sadly the battery compartment had been damaged beyond economical repair so no light action.

I masked off the main light panels and the windows. I then sprayed it matt black overall. Once that was dry I got the white emulsion tester pots out and started painting. I tried to avoid completely filling in the gaps between the building stones. Mostly successful, I wanted to suggest a building that is slightly seedy and not quite what it seems. I painted the roof, front door and railing with Vallejo Red 70926 and then highlighted with Vallejo Red 70947. The windows I painted with a very watery Vallejo 70947 to get a 'House That Dripped Blood' vibe going. Sort of.

The rock base was dry brushed with a grey emulsion and then a lighter grey Vallejo London Grey mixed with a bit of white. The marine plants were painted with a variety of Vallejo Greens and then highlighted with Vallejo Yellow. I dry-brushed my way through this to maintain the black undercoat in the fronds and recessed areas of the plants. I also stippled the base with various greens to suggest sea plant growth.
The steps were dry brushed white, then grey then stippled with greens to suggest marine growths as per the rest of the rock.

 As bought, post wash

Matt black undercoat


Finished item with ranting Cultist for scale

So what's the plan? Well, a team of right-thinking do-gooders will almost certainly investigate this place before too long. What will they discover there? Cultists performing their foul rites? Captives held in durance vile? Who knows but I'm certain we'll find out!


Update 1: I managed to remove the battery compartment gubbins without damaging the model! Following a test with a tea-light (it was a brief test) the lights will be back on. Maybe one of those flickering flame ones people use on wargames tables inside black cotton wool to suggest burning. 

Update 2: I decided the building's paint job looked too fresh and new. To calm it down, and up the seedy, I used a large brush to apply generously watered down Army Painter Dark Tone over the white. I also glued some bunches of moss to the building to imply lack of maintenance. 



  1. Finished item looks good, but I have to say the undercoated one looked like it had fallen onto your table from somewhere in Mordor!*

    *This is a Good Thing :-)


    1. Contrary to popular opinion Sauron was an equal opportunities employer who believed in developing his workforce. Many of whom came from disavantaged backgrounds. GOOOO, Mordor! :-D

  2. One man's junk is another man's treasure. Great find and painting.

  3. Great find and an even greater "resurrection" "This life is a shadowy thing, lad. We live in a crowded space of lights and shadows, and when left to ourselves, we all too often fail to see the brightest light of all" James MIchael Pratt..

  4. A great find and one I hope we will seeing in a game soon.

  5. Very nice! Have you got a crazed lighthouse-keeper? Artizan do a nice one -

    1. I just happened to be passing by Artizan and a lighthouse keeper seems to be on his way to my painting table.....

  6. That's really nice, well done!

  7. Absolutely beautiful, in an appropriately seedy manner!