Sunday, June 17, 2018

Project Log: Wild West Exodus Harbor, Part 4

This project log focuses on a game table that I am building for Warcradle Studios– A Wild West Exodus themed harbor that will be on display in their booth at Gencon. This week, we'll take a look at the process I use for constructing the buildings that populate the docks...


The first step was building a framework from foam core board. I cut out the walls and attached them with a hot glue gun.



Next, I covered the exterior of the building with basswood paneling. The wood comes pre-scored with 1/4-inch planks, and I embellished it with more wood grain and notches. I also cut out spaces for the windows, and painted the foam core black. The exposed edge of the foam core was coated with Liquid Nails construction adhesive. Once dry, the Liquid Nails would allow me to super glue pieces to the foam without dissolving it.


I use some pre-made plastic windows and custom doors that I scratch-built and cast in resin to add detail to the structure. The steps were made from stacking square plastic beams and adding another layer on top to create the lip. Painting the interior of the window black ensures that I don't miss any spots when spray-priming the piece.


The roof was made from sheets of thick styrene card, glued along the curve of the walls. I added the metal framing using L-strips and rods that I punched with rivets using a rotary hand sewing punch. Further detail was added to the roof with square rods and a half-circle rod glued along the apex.


The whole thing was finished off with more resin bits like the generators and chimney, and some floral wire to create the cables.


The process is essentially the same for the larger buildings as well– Wood paneling with styrene strips to create a metal framing.


I was able to create some decorative shapes in straight strips by making cutouts with a hole punch, and carving away a bit of the edge.



The letters for the sign were hand drawn and cut out. The scalloped framing was also made by punching holes in thin styrene card.


I also made several piles of cargo. I posted a tutorial about making crates, which you can find here. One change I made was to use layered foam core instead of insulation foam. This cut down on having to coat the foam with Liquid Nails, and allowed me to vary the width and height of the crates more easily.


Once complete, the crates were glued together into piles, with a few store-bought barrels. The final touch was to add a shipping label on each crate, cut from a piece of thin styrene card.



'Til next time!


  1. Why dont you cast the boxes and crates? I mean, how much have you made in the past years? A hundred??? Your resin casts are really great and I think boxes and crates would also be awesome.

  2. For what it’s worth your right it would speed it up but at times details look so much better when each item is mostly handcrafted. Nothing is the same or perfect which makes it unique and eye catching :)


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