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Author Topic: Szary's Old West project - Sioux and some others  (Read 1495 times)

Offline Szary

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Szary's Old West project - Sioux and some others
« on: June 05, 2020, 07:13:33 AM »
Hi, y'all!

I always loved westerns and my passion for the history of XIX-century resonated well with it, despite very loose connotations between those two. A few years ago, when I first considered historical wargaming, Old West was one of the prime destinations. I started on a few buildings and accumulated from Newline, Imex, Airfix, Revell and Nexus a grey pile big enough to draw the anger of gods. Project flopped, my life got pretty precarious on other fronts and after occasionally coming back to it, I was not much further than in early 2017.

Now I tried again and finally sealed and based most of the figures that I painted back then.

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Some Newline, few Revell Civil war pioneers (prisoners earning their grub, now I need a Dundee), some Airfix (most with slight conversions) and one horribly sculpted Mexican. Also a repurposed Wargamer 15mm tent, some smaller 28mm scatter and Imex cacti I painted as a test piece. I planned to use Rules with No Name, so they have their view angles marked with white, red and black at the edge of the base. I like the look, they resemble poker chips a bit and view angles actually come in handy in Aces&Eights RPG.

There is like thrice the number of miniatures primmed and absurd amount of others waiting in line (1:72 does this to a man way more effectively than other scales).

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Also, there is water. And where is water there could be cattle! ;)

But in all seriousness, I have two problems concerning my buildings, and while I can put out more small scatter and some trees, a small town seems to be way more effective in breaking up LOS and getting a game rolling.

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First, a general store I made from balsa. I did not paint a thing here - just cut slightly where desks should be and used wood stain on unassembled pieces. I even made window grates from soldering tin. It was more like old-school dollhouse than typical wargaming build. since the photo, I got it a roof from corrugated paper painted metal (will probably replace it with H0 shingles soon). Sadly, I do not recommend this building technique - thin balsa on big surfaces is way too delicate for wargaming and effective storage. But you do get very cool looking wood.

Problem is that I'm still a horrible painter and there is no way I get a passable "GENERAL STORE" on that false front and I have no idea how to cut an adequate painting template. I consider printing custom water transfer at this point. What is your opinion?

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Then are those bastards. You see less than a half at photos. Bought as a "quick and dirty" solution they proved to be dirty all right. Simple MDF affairs, what could go wrong? But my inner pedant knew better and soon enough I made polystyrene floors (leaves precariously little place inside concerning some figures and furthermore bent with primming, not to forget that coat did not save some of the polystyrene from spray thinner) and textured them with extensive amounts of gradually applied and filled off wood putty (several packs of it). I even made some external stoves to make some stand out from the crowd and their "assembly line shape".

Real problem is painting. I seem to be unable to capture this certain "off-white" colour of most such buildings and could hardly imagine starting over (like, come on - during this time I took part in construction work that went smoother and with less effort than those guys). Do any of you have advice on painting those handy (like what colour drybrush or wash on what)? My attempts on primed wood pieces so far ended unsatisfactorily.

Anyway, thanks for any advice - I browse this forum for the last few years and your awesome projects were great source of inspiration.
« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 10:47:31 AM by Szary »

Offline Harry Faversham

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Re: Resurrected Old West project - advice needed
« Reply #1 on: June 05, 2020, 08:30:43 AM »
Very light grey, almost white, with a smidgen of pale yellow in it. Give a bit of adobe wall a light dry brushing and see what you think, you can always add more, till you're happy with the look.
Worse case scenario is they finish up looking like this!

« Last Edit: June 05, 2020, 08:36:00 AM by Harry Faversham »
"Wot did you do in the war Grandad?"

"I was with Harry... At The Bridge!"

Offline robh

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Re: Resurrected Old West project - advice needed
« Reply #2 on: June 05, 2020, 11:18:51 AM »
For your store sign the simplest way to transfer lettering to the surface (without carbon paper or graphite sheet) is to print the words in the font and size you want on a printer. Then position it on the storefront and use a pin to prick through the edges of the lettering to mark them on the surface underneath. Draw the pin marks in with a pencil and paint the resulting letters as you want.

Or even easier, print your name onto paper, cut it out and stick it onto a piece of thin card and use thin strips of wood to make a "frame"  then fix it to your building wall as a sign.

Offline Harry Faversham

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Re: Resurrected Old West project - advice needed
« Reply #3 on: June 05, 2020, 12:57:12 PM »
Just like Rob says, it's dead easy... when you know how!
The OK sign was printed onto buff coloured paper, then cut in strips to look like planking, the strips are then glued onto a cardboard base. You give the sign a wash of really thinned down brown paint, and job's a good 'un...


Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Resurrected Old West project - advice needed
« Reply #4 on: June 05, 2020, 01:58:40 PM »
Paint your buildings ivory, thin wash with a reddish brown, dry brush lightly with white.

If you can find it, there was an Airfix kit for a wagon train - one wagon with horses, one mounted man, and a few settlers (if not already in your pile).

You have a decent start, now just stick with it and you will be having more fun.

Offline Szary

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Re: Resurrected Old West project - advice needed
« Reply #5 on: June 11, 2020, 08:05:38 AM »
Thanks kindly for all your advice. I will have to wait some days to try it, because as soon as I got around to painting seriously my job and my job and the university decided to put the pedal to the metal in terms of returning to work. But this time I will not falter, because I'm just to close to getting a marginally playable game.

If you can find it, there was an Airfix kit for a wagon train - one wagon with horses, one mounted man, and a few settlers (if not already in your pile).

I have one figure from Airfix Wagon train painted above and will certainly get the set from eBay someday - despite all their shortcomings those figures are well salvaged with decent paint job (many crimes are hidden by their size) and have outstanding nostalgia factor (they are old enough to be my father - if I happened to be a plastic cowboy :D ). Still, Imex is a way superior source of 1:72 wagons of all kind. I once got a Wagon Train set and a Concord stagecoach set that leaves me with over 60 horses, eleven vehicles and even more civilians to paint once I got through basics. And then there is a case of a buggy and less luxurious stage I would like to scratchbuild latter.

Offline Szary

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Re: Szary's Old West project - progress and new questions
« Reply #6 on: July 29, 2020, 12:49:04 PM »
So, few mutilated brushes later, here they are: six houses (including small tavern) constituting 1/2 of my adobe town, all that will be painted in next month or so (work, work). They are very cheap ready-made MDF buildings I bought from some guy on EBay and then covered in wood putty, chiselled, cut, mounted floors onto and so on. Even before the modifications started they would benefit from being a little tad bigger and having a deeper detail in places, also I don't think that they really benefited from the removable door that they came with. Worst complications came from unevenly sealing the floors before spraying and subsequent material dissolution and warping of the bases.

Bah, well. Lessons were learned and I'm moderately happy with end results. I once again thank you for all the advice, it was instrumental. Now I will have to liven up those places - some collapsable interior walls (I was big on a game-by-game customisation when I started this project and the stock buildings had an absurd amount of doors for single-room buildings to begin with), shelves, spice racks and furniture. And here comes my first question - does anyone have sources for the period (and place) specific designs of furniture, that could be reasonably found in a dwelling of Mexican peasant?

The second part is my another basic conundrum - I have a 2'x2' piece of felt cloth (I think that the brown-beige on the photos with buildings is most representative of its real colour) that I plan to use both as a small mat and as a test piece before painting the remaining bigger 4'x4' piece of identical cloth I bought as a "desert/dry plain" mat. Have any of you had any experience with painting a felt cloth mat? In this case I'm more interested in getting a good looking playing surface with a sensible amount of work than recreating exact tint of ground, but I'm kind of reluctant in contributing to colours and methods.

Offline has.been

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Re: Szary's Old West project - progress and new questions
« Reply #7 on: July 29, 2020, 01:45:25 PM »
Some light dusting with spraycans will break up the one colour
& seem to give it some texture.
So buy a couple of different browns, maybe a green & have fun.
Trails can be marked out by holding a bit of card (with an irregular
edge) a few inches from the cloth while spraying.
It would also be possible to do different designs on the front & back
of the cloth. Could have a stream, hard packed earth (for in town) etc.

Offline FifteensAway

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Re: Szary's Old West project - progress and new questions
« Reply #8 on: July 31, 2020, 04:12:54 AM »
An easy and relatively affordable source is to buy beads at your local craft store.  Just hunt about for the right design and size, might have to buy a pack or two with some items that won't work.

Another way to jazz up the town is take some plain tissue and 'paint' it with dilute white glue (like Elmer's) and 'pose' it on your buildings as blankets, laying flat, draped over an edge, etc.,  and paint to match appropriate colors.

Check out doll house supply for other items that you might be able to adapt. 
« Last Edit: July 31, 2020, 12:53:49 PM by FifteensAway »

Offline Szary

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Re: Szary's Old West project - Cacti, civilians, casualties... c-tents?
« Reply #9 on: April 07, 2021, 06:38:43 PM »
Forums just reminded me that this topic went around for over 120 days straight without update and I should reconsider continuing. Whilst it's a useful feature, it's also a very straight review of my progress so far.  lol

But, jokes aside, finally, here it comes! An update!

Another tent, some casualties, cacti, some figures. Unimpressive yield, but it's something.

The first figure, only based recently, was painted back in 2017. It's a clear measure of progress, back then I knew basically nothing about painting and it shows. I have a second copy of the figure (as it's 20mm - I have second copies of most of them for the record) and decided against repainting it, but now I have second thoughts. It does look kind of flat apart from being, well, simply not well painted.

Then there is a Redbox old woman (it would be the only figure in the picture that would not benefit from better photographs, old Redbox was not even hit or miss - it was a miss or near-miss) and three Newline gentlemen that benefit from very good sculpts and reasonable paint jobs as far as my skill goes. Still, agrax earthshade is not really all it was cracked up to be and I have to look for another way to paint whites so they have depth. Old man, drunk and wild revolutionary.

Drunk is a Newline 7th cavalry casualty - but this chap is about to fall struck by an enemy far more prevalent and insidious than most dishonest Holywood "Injun" stereotype - the drink!

Casualty figures from newline. Why so many people carry army ammo pouches around these parts? Well, if they had no need, they would still stand!

15mm Wargamer "Large western tents" for 17th century look well as smaller, personal offerings of the latter period. I also like the warmer (although dirtier) look I got with the new tent. Cacti are Imex and some are scratch built. I plan to have much more, probably twice as much - part of Winnetou where characters wander through seemingly endless cacti forest at Llano Estacado deprived of water always stuck with me since I first read it.

Well, last but not least thanks for all the advice and inspiration from your work folks! Project is edging "playable" (instead of the usual "half-baked") and, hopefully, when the situation normalizes further I will be able to get a game going.

Offline Golgotha

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Re: Szary's Old West project - Cacti, civilians, casualties... c-tents?
« Reply #10 on: April 08, 2021, 08:40:59 PM »
Liking the look of this project - keep 'em coming partner.

Offline Szary

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Re: Szary's Old West project - Cacti, civilians, casualties... c-tents?
« Reply #11 on: April 21, 2021, 10:45:51 AM »
Liking the look of this project - keep 'em coming partner.

Thank you. To oblige, some more miniatures from Newline.

Had to let off some steam after a hard week, so pushed it further along. So here we can see some Sioux, lack of warpaint points toward a possibility of them rather mixing (or having been mixed) trouble during a hunt or a trade gathering than actively searching for it.

Next to them, two fellas well-laden with ammo, who obviously not only mean trouble but also expected it. They may also be American volunteers in Maderista forces.

Leftmost Indian is one painted earlier, visible in the first post in the thread, included for comparison. The second one is a conversion, although not the brightest one - that's a very short lasso. :D I wonder what I thought in that 2017.

« Last Edit: April 21, 2021, 10:49:07 AM by Szary »


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