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Perdition - A Western Town WIP


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After mulling over what type of terrain board to make, I've finally settled on an Old West / Ghost Town theme.

I did some searches online for suitable Western models and came across the fantastic Ertl Farm County Cow Town set. Made in the 90s, this set is now out of production, but often pops up on EBay for under $50.00 US. After picking up one and unpacking, here's my review

Containing 100 parts, there are four buildings, a stage coach, windmill, some furniture, fencing and a bunch of various little figures. While the buildings are roughly O / S scale, the other accessories are quite small in comparison and pretty much useless.

The Hotel


Measuring 5" wide x 7.5" long x 7" high,the hotel comes on its own base and the front and back peices are all lined with windows. A side door has stairs leading down on the outside and a balcony that runs the inner wall on the inside. Unfortunately, the landing and balconies are too small to hold a 30mm base. There is a recessed front door and a rear door, presumably leading out back to the outhouse (also included).

The interior is one big room, which is kind of a waste of the upper windows as a vantage point. Think I'll add a second floor instead, with some bedrooms, and keep the lower level a drinking hall. Seems like a good place for travellers fresh off the train to settle themselves before setting off into the badlands.

Sheriff's Office


Maybe I've put my walls together wrong, but this building seems jacked. As you can see, there's a gap in the front, where the foundation meets the plank base. Due to the placement of the windows, the walls click in to the facades in a certain way - on this one the front extends down a little too far and causes the gap. I need to fiddle with it some more.

This building is 5" x 7.5" x 6" and could serve as a Guild Office or mercantile - I think I'll make it the latter. There are slots in the inner wall for a wall of bars, making a cell, but there's a back door leading directly into the cell, which is pretty stupid. Guess laws are pretty lax in Cow Town.

The structure next to it is a smaller plank building measuring roughly 6.75" x 3" x 2.5" at the front and just 1" at the back. The pitch isn't too steep to place models on and should serve as a good vantage point for snipers. There's a single door leading inside and only the two windows.

While I've seen someone convert this into a Sheriff's Office, I think it makes for a good warehouse or perhaps an Assay office.

Livery / Blacksmith


The last building, with its large barn-like doors, makes for a good Livery and Blacksmith. There's even a couple of anvils to set up outside. It doesn't come with a wooden floor so I'll likely mount it on some MDF and texture it like stamped earth and straw.

Like the others, this building measures 5" x 7.5" x 5.5". The front door measures just over 2" wide and is wide enough for horses and maybe even a carriage to pass through.

The outhouse measures 1" x 1" x 1.75" at its highest - just big enough to hide a single 30mm base behind.

Rear View


Here's a rear shot of the buildings, for those who are interested.

From my searches, there seems to be some variances between the production runs of the set - some buildings come in different colored plastic and such. I've found that mine comes with two screen doors (see the Sheriff and Blacksmith buildings). The instructions show drawings of some cooler doors - solid wood with inset windows - and I'm a little disappointed with these, but I'm sure they'll be okay.

Next step, priming and painting!

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Certainly looks like a good base to start a board from. Painted appropriately, along with lots of other terrain elements to tie it all together, you could probably have a nice western town from this.

I saw a wooden train today at Hobby Lobby that looked like it was just about in scale. If it wasn't for the $20 price tag I would have considered it more seriously. It looked good, but had an overall lack of detail for my tastes.

Edited by thetang22
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Overall the size of the buildings looks good, but the doors and windows look small. Its definitely a good starting point though. Once its painted up the doors and windows probably won't look as awkward next to the models.

Small doors and small windows are not bad at all. It's sometimes shocking to see how small were the windows in actual historic buildings (glass was not easy to get, especially in large sheets). Large windows and winged doors are sign of a very rich owner - sort of status symbol. It so happens that such glamorous buildings are the ones on the old photos or paintings (since they were the worthy objects of attention), so always look at the buildings in the background or behind some industrial objects (where rich people are less likely to live) and you'll see the averages.

Berlin_Ghost_Town.jpg (from Wikimedia)

A ceiling too low does make things unnatural however, especially if you intend to play inside buildings and the top is not removable.

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According to the Whitewash City site (cardstock terrain), the door heights were indeed much lower than what you'd see today - mostly to conserve heat and such. The site admin commented on how he (at 6' even), had to duck down while entering an old mining town shanty he was touring.

Unless you go up to 1:48, I think the scale is always going to look a little too small for 32mm "heroic scale". Especially since the models are mounted on bases. It's like they're wearing platform shoes - take them off and it would look a little more realistic.

BTW - saw a set on Ebay this morning for $37 shipped! Should have waited... is this the one you snagged MRiveraKC?

I'm looking to get a railway station to round out the town. Some other buildings in the Ertl range include a country farmhouse, several different barns, a log ranch, a county fair (the rodeo seats might be good for a Ringside scenario) and a bunch more. Some are too modern day for my tastes, but they're all cheap!

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Yeah, I got the $37 one. The one that was ending sooner was going for more so I snagged it. I think it was a good deal. I saw some of the new stuff and it was going for same or higher. I think I got a good deal. I saw some of the other stuff out there and was going to bid, but I will see how this goes. Again thanks for the tip.

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