Saturday, November 29, 2008

Old West Town of Cerro Grande

After busting out my Artizan figures and painting them while watching "The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly" I got the gumption to build a town to go with them. I guess it gives me a reason to make terrain. The good thing about this is I can use it for a decent spread of time from mid 1800s through the turn of the century. I can also use it for Victorian Science Fiction aka VSF or steampunk.

Cerro Grande is Spanish for Big Hill and it sounded like a good name as any for a town.

Of course I will now need to order some more figures so I can have more than just a one on one fight. There are several rules sets out there and I plan on picking up a few. Although I may just stick with a homebrew set, just starting them from scratch.

Working with three mediums makes this project a rather easy job. I used Balsa would for the entire structure. I made some cardboard templates out of thick card from the back of a note tablet that way most of my doors and windows would be of similar size.

A fellow member of The Miniatures Page (TMP) helped me out by emailing me some old Foundry wild west posters. You can see one on the side of the finished Hotel. I used some yellow paint and mixed in some brown ink to give it an aged look.

I found that you can use the font Playbill to get western style signs. I made them and printed them out. However all I had was a black and white printer so what did I do? I took my smallest brush and painted over all the letters on the larger signs. I also glued them on to strips of cardboard, thanks again to cereal boxes.


This was my first building the hotel as you can see I mis judged the roof and came up a bit short so I added some balsa extensions although I don't know if this was really necessary because I covered the roof with card stock from cereal boxes.

In order to give the appearance of a shake shingle roof you cut strips of cardboard to desired length and width. You then cut verticle lines half way through down the entire length. You don't need to cut individual tiles unless you have enormous amount of time to waste. Once cut you glue the first strip over hanging the roof edge.

You apply these starting from the bottom up covering the previous run half way down. Now you see the trick. Once you have both sides shingled you then need the cap piece. I just cut a double wide strip and bend it in half and keep creasing it so it will stay snug when glued. You can also tape this down for added insurance. Make sure you put the printed side out if you use primer and printed side in if not.


You can see the finished hotel building and the shingled roof. I primed the whole thing black and foolishly thought I would dry brush the whole thing. At first try I kept at it but it was so slow I decided just to try and glop the paint on and by some miracle it worked.

What I learned was all I had to do was take time with the front buildings and try and keep paint out of the creases. This had the desired effect of looking like gaps or shadows and giving them depth.

You may not notice but I have also glued in clear plastic for all the windows to give the appearance of glass. I think this touch finishes the models well. You may wonder why the door ways are so far off the ground. Well, I need to make board walks for all the buildings. I will also be adding the board walk and roof to the Saloon.

Here are pics of the rest of the buildings of the town.


Dry goods store




General Store



The Sheriff's office/Jail is on the work bench.

I have enough balsa left over I might make a Livery stable/Black smith building. That way I can attach a corral.

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