Wednesday, December 10, 2014

Serenity Gulch: Phase I Complete!

Having drybrushed the bases and varnished the buildings, it is time to call the first four buildings of Serenity Gulch done. It's only half a street, but it is more than I had before, and I am fairly pleased with how they have turned out thus far.

My one complaint at this point is that I think I left too much room between the buildings, whereas a 'proper' Wild West town should have them more shoulder to shoulder, with only a handful of alleyways to allow escape from whatever reckoning awaits on Main Street. I think I will try to build a block of 2-3 stores side by each as a single piece during Phase II.
I'm not at all sure where the private residence is likely to end up in the final arrangement, but the outskirts seem likely. The temptation to add a garden or mailbox was hard to resist, but I managed. The hardware store is likely to serve as template for more buildings when I begin scratch-building them out of foam core and the like, but the three doors give a lot of tactical possibilities.

After I found some printable wallpaper patterns online, I found it impossible to look at the plain white walls of the domicile, and took a crack at interior decorating. I was also grateful for the board patterns that kept the floors from looking too boring. Not too bad for a first effort, I figured.
All the buildings thus far feature removable roofs so the action isn't limited to the street. I'm not sure if I will be able to pull this off in Phase II or not, but it seemed a shame to waste the potential.

I'm actually a little torn about the awning on the general store; on the one hand, it adds an awful lot of character to not only the building but also the street. On the other hand though, it makes it a little more difficult to move miniatures around the area, and also takes up quite a bit of space where a large sign could go. In the end, though, I think it looks much better with than without.
The Emporium Saloon is by far my favourite building in Serenity Gulch, due not only to its size, but also its character. The five sided design will help create a town square suitable for dramatic showdowns and vignettes, while the terrace will undoubtedly provide good line of sight for vigilant citizens attempting to stop desperadoes from escaping the town.
The signage was done by downloading some thematic fonts (the Emporium sign is done in Coffee Tin!), printing them out and then gluing them to pieces of balsa. I couldn't bring myself to put conventional doors on the saloon, so I carved a vulgar facsimile of the ubiquitous swinging doors out of balsa wood and glued them into place instead. Alas, hinges at this scale are far beyond my meager crafting skills!
Thankfully, they were just sufficient enough for me to mount a partial second-story in order to facilitate the inevitable close range balcony showdown.

Phase II will likely have to wait until the new year, what with all the holiday madness encroaching, but it feels very satisfying to have these first four buildings out of the way, and more importantly, out of the closet after so many years!

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