March 2– Back from vacation, the shop is open!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

More Wild West Exodus Buildings

Here's a look at another project I've been working on for Outlaw Miniatures. These buildings are for an upcoming demo table. They're fronts, and will line the sides to form a town street, perfect for a showdown at high noon.

Building the Buildings

I haven't really done any step-by steps for the Wild West buildings, so here's a little insight into their underlying construction.

Once I frame out the basic structure with foam core, I build up a boardwalk by stacking a few layers. These are glued to the building front, and the sides are framed out with basswood strips. The stairs are also made from layered foam core, with basswood siding and trimmed popsicle sticks for the tops.

The siding is done with textured basswood panels– in this case it's angled siding. I trim the pieces to fit the building and cut out holes for the windows. The windows themselves are plastic model railroad windows (O-Scale, I think).

I also cut a space in the siding for the doors. The doors are my own scratch-built and resin-cast creations.

If the building has a balcony, I'll add that next, using foam core for the flooring and square basswood for the support posts. The posts extend up oast the floor because they will also form the corner posts of the railing. In this shot you can also see some brick-textured styrene that I used for the building's foundation below the wood siding. The bank above uses this for the entire first story; banks need to be a little more sturdy.

To plank the boardwalk and balcony I use more popsicle sticks, trimmed to size and distressed. These are also cut to fit around the posts.

The front wall of the building usually extends above the roof to accommodate the sign. The top is framed with thick styrene and basswood. The styrene is scored with a knife to create the wood grain texture. The roof itself has been covered with rivet-punched styrene sheets resembling a sheet metal structure.

For the railings, I mark and drill out small holes for the balusters.

The balusters are cut from thin matchsticks.

The balusters are pushed into the holes and a strip of thin, square basswood is glued overtop to form the railing.

For the finishing touch, I insert a pin into the corner post and glue a round bead overtop.

With the railing complete, I add the tech details like wiring, lights, and neon signs.

In an upcoming post I'll show off the finished building, along with a terrain tutorial for painting neon signs.

'Til next time!


  1. I absolutely love your work. Your scenery makes me want to play WWE just to have a reason to emulate it.

  2. Fantastic work and great tuto, I do like it!!

  3. Lovely stuff Rob! I'm a model railroading enthusiast, and think these buildings would look great as part of a layout set in the West in the late 19th century.

  4. so amazing!
    youve make all the building on computer game to the REAL!
    love it!


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