Sunday 31 January 2010

Constructing a Wild West Building

Stage 1

The first stage was gathering the material. For that I went down to my local art store and purchased the following items: headless matchsticks for window and door frames, foam card for the actual structure, thin bolsa wood for the side and roof slats, boler wood rods to hold up the porch roof, black spray paint, brown spray paint, acrylic brown paints and white wood glue. If you don't feel like buying bolser wood just buy ba fulls of those wooden, flat spoons you find at your local coffee shop. You'll need cereal boxes for the roof and front slats.

Stage 2
Now the tricky part.
1.Measure the length of the building and draw the outline on the foam card. Cut out the outline of the windows and doors, then the actual walls.
2.For the facade, cut bolser wood into even strips and slightly overlap them along the front structure when pasting down. Keep the lengths even and work around the doors and windows. Wait 20 minutes for the slats to dry.
3.Next, glue the walls down on a foam card base. Remember, your Wild West building should be raised due to the horse manure and slush! Wait 30 minutes for the structure to dry.
4.Place squares in the corners to strengthen the building.
5.Then, measure the side windows and doors. Paste on the frames by reducing the headless matchstick lengths.
6.Space the bolser wood rods along the side walls evenly. Be patient for it to set in.
7.Cut out bolsa wood slates for the porch. Spread evenly but with minor gaps between.
8.For the porch roof, cut out a sturdy plastic strip and use the bolsa wood rods to support it.
9.When everything is rock solid, spread wood glue on the exposed three parts of the base which outline the building. Dab sand on them. Do this a few times until all the gaps are filled.
10. Measure the roof. Cut out a square with a centimetetre extra to act as "shade" Decorate with headless match sticks. Paste bits of foam under the roof so that the foam grips the building, allowing the roof to stay on.

Stage 3
And finally the rewarding part: the spray painting! Take the buildings outside or if not, go to a well ventilated room.
1.Spraypaint the buildings black, ensuring you cover every crevass. Remember: you want the black between the timber so it resembles shadows.
2.Wait 20 minutes for the paint to dry.
3.Use black and a brush to access the bits like under the frame that refuse to look black.
4.Now, using the brown spray canister, douse the buildings down from a distance. Be mindful not to smother the crevasses with brown as that will undo all your earlier hard work.
5.Spray paint the rooves from a distance as you can cause them to warp.
6.Wait 30 minutes for the buildings to dry.
7.Take brown acrylic paint and dry brush with a large child's paint brush. Keep adding yellow ochre acrylic to the brown as you dry brush a layer up. After 4 layers of dry brushing you can relax.
8. Dry brush the surrounding sand that borders the house.
Voila! A stunning Wild West house!


  1. I just dropped by from your link on Warseer, and wanted to say thanks for all the tips and photos - great inspiration! Your buildings look superb :)

  2. I watched Fist Full of Dollars the other night and feel inspired by both your blog and the film to paint some wild west miniatures, can you recommend anything?

  3. Sorry for not replying soon! I tend to focus on the sven blog. With regards to your question, Wargames Foundry cowboys but the postage is an absolute rip off. They may have a Christmas discount.

    Hope ~I was helpful.