Guy sprang a little surprise on me this week. He had asked me a while ago whether I’d be interested in taking my Tombstone stuff along to the Brighton & Clayton Warlords monthly meeting to show the lads something a bit different from their standard Warhammer Fantasy Battles fare, and of course, I said “sure”. However, owing to a cock-up by their webmaster (that’ll be Guy, then) I didn’t receive the newsletter in which it was announced that I would be doing it this coming weekend!
So, with time at a premium, I decided to whack something together that would at least be presentable for a game of Legends of the Old West, but which would also serve my own gaming in the future. Many Legends games are played over a small, square area, so a quick trip to the local Homebase store led to me acquiring a couple of 3mm thick 4′ x 2′ MDF boards, which you can see here adorned with a quick paint job. I used a textured exterior wall paint in a creamy/beige colour as the basecoat, followed by a series of three aerosol spray paints in patches: Plasti-Kote super satin chocolate brown first, followed by grey beige from the same company; and finally a Holts Auto Spray in Nevada Beige. By spraying from different heights and directions, and with more or less pressure on the nozzle, I obtained the patchy, mottled look you can see. Not bad for about an hour’s work from start to finish.
I did this up here in the Loftwaffe with all the windows wide open, which helped the textured acrylic paint to dry very quickly and get rid of the stench of the aerosols!
The buildings are the first of Eric Hotz’s “Whitewash City” set that I bought a while ago. I got the ‘Pioneer’ starter set, which will set you back all of a mere $15.99, which for a UK gamer makes just £8 for 15 structures at current exchange rates, and of course you can print them out and alter them as many times as you like. These downloadable PDF buildings were first printed onto normal A4 paper, then spray-mounted (using PhotoMount, in fact, which is somewhat stronger) onto old breakfast cereal packets before cutting out and folding as instructed. Take your time, score all the folds, and the result is really quite impressive, as you can see. I would say that those uprights on the porches need reinforcement, so I’m going to cut some thin strips of either very thin plywood or stiff card and glue them behind the facades to add rigidity. The final task will be to run a bit of paint down the edges where you can see the white card along the folds and edges of cutout pieces. One other thing you might like to consider is substituting short lengths of thin dowel for the stove pipes, rather than using the rolled artwork provided, which proved to be a tad tricky. Job done!
I’ve also got black fingers from undercoating a load of barrels, crates, log piles and horse troughs that I picked up from Frontline Wargaming at the Redoubt show in Eastbourne last weekend. These are resin jobs, very light and extremely competitively priced. A few of the barrels in my batch suffered from quite a lot of flash and air bubbles, but a bit of filing and filling and they’re as good as new. I’ll put up pictures of these once they’re done.
Objects like these are really useful in any Wild West game, both to make the game look more attractive and to create hiding places and cover for the characters in the game: they become things ‘in the way’ of shooting, making for greater tactical interest.
I shall also be taking along bits of wall, lichen and so on to add to the scene. The one thing I haven’t got yet is fences — I can see this being a major balsa wood project unless I manage to find some commercially-made ones!
Anyhow, there’s enough stuff now to make for an exciting scenario that can be run several times on the day with different players and, as it happens, there will be some Wild West stuff in the next issue of Battlegames, so this stuff is coming together just in time for a photoshoot.
I’ll let you know how it goes on Sunday.