By Dave Bezio
Fleshing out Davestown
Well, Davestown is just about ready for my first battle. I got the rules last night, so I’m going to start reading that now, build a couple posses and paint them up (but, that’s another thread). I just wanted to add a few more bits to the town before I call it quits on this project and move on to the next step. Perhaps once I read the rules I’ll see a few more things I need to add.
While I was shopping yesterday I had pretty good luck. I wanted to find some longhorn steer, but didn’t, but I did find a $1.99 “horse lover” plastic container full of cheap horses. These look to be just a tad big, but beggars can’t be choosers, and they are close enough that one wouldn’t notice unless they really analyzed the table. The horses meant I would be able to do some hitching posts, and a corral (even though I wanted to put cattle in the stable, horses would look good too.
The only other thing I needed was something to base them up on. I went to grandmas craft store again and picked up a strip of 1/8” x 3” x 24” Bass Wood for $3. I never heard of Bass wood before, but it was cheaper than Balsa Wood, seemed about as light and easy to use, and was sturdier and cheaper.
The first project was the hitching posts. I simply cut some bases out of the basswood (using my utility knife) and cut a few of the hobby sticks I had to make the post, and glued the horses in front of them, all using Elmer’s Glue. Against one post I leaned an old wheel from a set of plastic cowboy’s wagon. The wagon itself was way too big, but the wheel was serviceable. That’s another tip; look around the house for junk!
I glued some sand to the base (since I wanted it to match the street) and primed it all.
Next I gave it a quick paint job. I’m no 'eavy metal painter, and I take even less time on scenery and terrain bits, but these came out pretty nice. I used grays to make the wood look old and dry. Finally, I added a bit of moss and grass and flocked the very edge (again, to match the street).
I learned something interesting about Basswood…It warps! As I was doing this project, the base started to warp from either the glue or the paint, and warp BAD! I was starting to worry, then I remembered an old trick from when I used to water color paint about paper absorbing water and warping…so I painted the other side of the Basswood generously with water and allowed it to soak in. After a while the wood warped in the other direction, and by the end of the night it was laying almost flat. Whew!
Next I started on the corral. I cut a bunch of fence bits out of those hobby sticks and glued them together. Elmer’s glue dries to wood pretty well and fast, but this was still a bitch. I did the sections separately, and then propped them up with bottles of paint. Every time I accidentally bumped something, the whole thing fell apart. Finally I dot it done though.
At first I glued 3 horses in the corral, but it just looked dumb, so I took one out, and then the second. I think the lone horse in this small fenced area looks a lot better, and more “realistic”.
I glued sand to the base (which was 2 pieces of the basswood 3” x 6” masking taped together to form a square 6” x 6”) and also glued a bit of kitty litter in areas for added texture and to look like smaller stones in the coral. I went a lot lighter with the glue, and the Basswood didn’t warp this time.
I painted the whole thing up, flocked the edges of the fence, and added a bit of moss and grass. I took a little more time on this horse, to see if it would look any better than the other 3. I like how it came out.
The final thing I did was dig out a few wood barrels I had stashed away that I picked up long ago at some granny’s hobby store. I had ink washed them brown already and painted the bands silver. Perhaps I’ll repaint hem and paint boards and all that, but for now they are functional as is, and they were free. I added them to strategic locations to look cool and provide places for additional cover and/or obstacles.
Cost for this step: $5
Total Cost of Davestown: $48.50
So there you have it, Davestown is ready for adventure for under $50. Not bad if I say so myself. I’m sure I’ll add a lot of stuff as I go, but at least I have a good foundation to start with.
The Final view of Davestown…
Next: Adding to Davestown.
Davestown is available as a 2.5Mb pdf.