Thursday 29 December 2022

Cheap Wargames Terrain: Toy Medieval Castle Repaint

This was part of a $20 find at "Lifeline" - the secondhand charity shop.(There's more stuff but it has already been claimed for the sandpit!) 

I decided to only use cheap craft paint and old brushes; basically whatever I had lying around. My aim was also to make the toy castle look tabletop-worthy in 2hrs and not waste any of my good paints and brushes.

Kids toys are a great cheap source of wargaming gear. I used to carry around a 15mm and a 28mm mini in my glovebox but I am getting pretty good at eyeballing things now.  I notice the Buzz Lightyear space fighters will do well in 15mm scale I think; the included plastic pilots are very close to 15mm.... 

....anyway, back to the castle - some before-and-after photos.

I used only craft paint; I spraypainted black; then lightly with grey, then a VERY rough light grey drybrush. You can see some of the original 'minis' it came with besieging the front gate.

It looked pretty 'plastic-y' and not quite the right scale....  ...but because it is meant for younger kids it is very robust - good for gaming. 

You can see the men of Gondor don't look terribly out of place, and when I consider how much a terrain piece of this size would cost from GW, I am happy enough how it turned out. A fair return for $20 and 2 hrs, I reckon.  I have promised to play LOTR with my kids and I have sneakily been teaching my son the core rules through my home-made 'army man' game (we play at the beach with a dozen or so plastic army men each - last mission was for him to retrieve data from a downed fighter and escape - I control the opfor in a 'cinematic' manner...)

We've also been playing a lot of Mechwarrior:Online so I suspect mech-related wargames will emerge. More randomly, I'm thinking about inventing a rock-wars game (glue eyeballs on rocks and they have stats/combat values based on how shiny/how big/heavy/what colour etc)....  

...Anyway here are the 'after' shots....


  1. Great find and a very nice paint conversion! Also, really love the rock wars idea. My son has a collection of rock and mineral "specimens" that mostly just gathers dust - a game sounds like a great way to get some use out of them.

  2. Excellent find and a great result.

  3. Not bad, I can see lots of fun games played on this repurposed old toy.

  4. The rock wars are because of some glass pebbles (aquarium?) we got of various colours $1 a bag. My kids, naturally, play with them more than more expensive Christmas presents....

    My daughter has hauled out her Harry Potter hogwarts (which looks similar, plastic-y/scale) and she reckons it needs to be given a makeover too!

  5. I grew up with that castle! My kids play with it now when we visit my parents.

  6. Great job! Kids games can have way more uses than we imagine. It just takes a bit of imagination...