Friday, March 25, 2016

Dark Ages Thatch Match?

 As part of my Dux Rohirrim project, this is a Sarissa model, Timber A Frame, from their 28mm Dark Ages range.  I wanted a few buildings to be tempting targets for orc raiders and this has a useful generic feel without taking up too large a footprint on the table.   

I am crowdsourcing some advice on the thatch whether to paint it or leave it alone.

The Sarissa kit comes with a plain wood roof, scored to suggest planking, but gives some suggestions for thatch.  I stole an idea from a wargaming blogger (I wish I could remember who) on using terrycloth bath towels as thatch. I found a beige wash cloth at Walmart, chopped it into sections and glued them onto the roof.   


This reconstruction of a Dark Ages hut from a dig in the Cheviots in the UK looks a little more brown to my eye, but truth be told, a google search of dark ages thatched roofs shows a variety of colours and textures.

Any thoughts?

Blessings to your buildings!



  1. Without trying to sound cheeky, or the like.
    If you've a spare piece of the material then I'd suggest testing a coat of paint on it and then comparing.
    Possibly the thatch won't look right unless it is painted a light brown. Like how wargames rivers are always painted blue and castles are always grey, if you see what I mean. Only thing I can suggest is to try a paint test against the model.

  2. I think it depends on how recently thatched you want it to look, and what thatching material you want to represent. For newer thatch a yellow-ochre or a greenish colour would look good; as it gets older it should fade to a grey-brown or grey-green.

    At the moment the towel looks too white, so it does need some colouring.

  3. Excellent looking building and very authentic looking.

  4. How about dying the towel to a straw or yellowish-brown color?

  5. Newer thatch is more yellow/straw colour. Older turns brown with mossy patches. My mum's house is thatched - I'll try to find a picture and post it in my blog for ya mate.

  6. I would paint it. Brown undercoat and dry brush a yellow y ochre and maybe a light grey over top.
    Old ratty thatch could be quite grey like rotting straw. But there's be holes and such if that were the case and your cottage doesn't look like a run down hovel.

  7. Nice bit of thatch. All best for the Triduum.

  8. Roy has a good point insomuch as when we look at something we expect to see a certain colour, perhaps a wash?

  9. Great looking building with loads of uses I venture.
    I think it could do with an ochre roof,I liked the idea of a trial run on spare material.

  10. I painted my thatch in a yellow-ochre colour; it's what I imagine it looks like (akin to the river example by Roy) - but I'm living in an area where there are now thatched roofs anywhere :-)
    Nice looking hut btw!

  11. I agree with the consensus that it needs 'something'. Although old thatch can be grey, this is too white.

    How about doing some test runs? I'd be tempted to soak some in tea or coffee, but that's just my frugal side.

  12. Thank you all for the thatch advice, and to Dai for the very helpful photo.
    I shall have some progress to show you all tomorrow, methinks.

  13. Another thought, in case you get a second one to make up. Some of those types of house would have had turfed roofs - for those I'd cover the roof with some brown latex foam (craft foam, "Funky Foam", etc) and then add grass scatter/flock all over that, maybe with the odd small flower.


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