01 : Going West!

America’s Old West holds a fascination for many a wargamer. I’m not immune to a good Western myself. I’ve had many a shot at designing Old West model buildings in a variety of scales. However, it’s fair to say, that more of my designs have remained on the drawing-board than hit the market. I thought it was about time I went West with more determination and grit!

This time round, I was drawn to the Mexican border and the adobe-style backdrops of the movies. I planned to create an adobe-style, flat-roofed Mexican border village for 28mm gun-fighting games.

The Contrabando church with its magnificent natural backdrop.

While I was away from the drawing-board and filling time with a bit of internet browsing, I chanced on images of a what appeared to be a Mexican village. The village was situated on the Mexican border but it was in Texas and turned out to be an abandoned movie set. I say was, as Contrabando, the movie set, has its own Wikipedia page and it informs us that the buildings were demolished in 2015 after being damaged due to heavy rains and flooding in 2008.

I was impressed by the character and scale of the buildings and keen to see what they would look like as models on the tabletop. Returning to the drawing-board, I drew up a design of Contrabando’s church and got the design cut. I didn’t lose any time in texturing the model and getting it painted after assembly.

My Contrabando church cut in MDF and greyboard.

The design seemed like a good start as, to me, the model had all the look and feel of a Mexican village church and, importantly, was the perfect size for my tabletop skirmish encounters. The only thing missing on my tabletop were some gun-fighting bandidos which, as I had none, I would need to add to my collection!

Contrabando’s church in a state of disrepair.

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