Slow progress

Its been a couple weeks since i regaled you with tales of modeling progress. Since then, I have been quite active, and haven’t stopped to even take many pictures. Which was really dumb, since two of the projects would have made a nice blog article…

What I have been up you ask? Loads. The day after posting my last article, a package from Badger Games in Wisconsin, USA arrived. In it were my first two pre-painted buildings from 4Ground. Both were from the American Legends/Dead Man’s Hand collection. The first was a starter model, the Dry Goods and a second, much larger model, First National Bank. Plus some civilians. Every town needs a store keep to blast a bad guy trying to hide, or an innocent to serve as a hostage.


With new shiny in front of me, every other project (and there are many) fell by the wayside. I jumped in and built most of the Dry Goods that evening. And then looked at that many pieces and four pages  of the instructions for the bank in despair. Fiddly is best how I can describe many portions of the bank assembly. A couple issues (exterior doors, window trim) were my over-eagerness and not paying close attention to the instructions. A couple were tiny parts and tight tolerances (interior and exterior doors). I ended up having to fabricate a couple replacement parts from the carrier sheets since i, er, broke some parts.

I would prefer if there were word instructions to go along with the pictorial instructions. In a couple places its a bit unclear which piece is used or where a piece is supposed to go. A few details on tricky spots would be welcome. Despite the bazillion pieces, including dozens and dozens of tiny cardboard cutouts to serve as wainscoting, it was a fun project. A couple times I said “I’ll work on this for an hour” only to have three hours or more pass by in a feverish spree of trimming, gluing and fitting.

Here are a couple pics. The bank is so detailed. It was the interior detail that sold me on it. The teller windows, vault, doors and woodwork are so cool. There was no way I could replicate all that detail in any reasonable amount of time. The dry goods is just a cool little store.

Bank and Dry Goods pics

I had to pull myself away though. The painting challenge continues over at, and I still had the Desperadoes to paint. Once the two 4Ground buildings were done, I sat down and knocked out nine more western gunfighters. Seven are from the Great Escape Games Desperadoes.


On the left are the Ortega Brothers. Commonly referred to as the Mexicans, Ernesto and Franciso fled Los Federales, but haven’t reformed at all. The right pair are a couple Southerners convinced The War is still on.


No caption necessary for The Preacher.

Two are from an unknown manufacturer. I have little recollection of ordering them, though the first is a non-brainer. Once I saw it, I had to have it. The Man-With-No-Name movies are among my favorite westerns, so getting the pancho-clad Clint was probably an intsta-buy. If any of you recognize the models, let me know so i can properly credit them.

And yes, I saw the missed spots and base paint errors. Fixed after I took pics and wrote this.

The windmill has not been forgotten. I built the upper portion twice, because the first one sucked so bad I had to do another. And then I made tiny balsa wood shingles by copying Mel the Terrain Tutor’s* video here. Another three or four trips to hobby stores for supplies followed. The blades had to turn, see, so I needed brass tubing. And lots of basswood. The X of the blades was easy. The vanes proper, not so much.


My first attempt was basically a “this might work” with dowels and hot glue. Before I even had the second set of supports in place I noticed a resemblance to a certain symbol used by a deranged corporal. I finished that part to make sure, but yep, it did look like a twisted cross. The proof was when my son and his girlfriend walked by and casually said “did you want that to look like Hitler designed it?” And then proceeded to point how adding red and white to the windmill painting would complete the look…

At that point I looked up pictures of Dutch and Spanish windmills. It was easy to see where I had gone of the rails and how to fix it. Which led to another trip to the hobby shop for more basswood strips. The sail frames are in progress. I don’t have enough spring clamps so i can only add one piece at a time. After those are done I need to build the bracing arms to support the main axle, cut out the fabric sails, then finish painting the whole thing.

Quick question for my readers. What do you think about this GW Fen Beast? Its not as dark as typically painted, but I am not sure about how light it is either. Anything I can do to make it pop? Let me know in the comments.


That’s it for July. Squeaked in, too.


*Mel is one of my all time favorite terrain makers. His videos are entertaining, full of tips and how-tos, and keep me pumped to build terrain.

10 thoughts on “Slow progress

  1. John July 31, 2020 / 2:02 am

    I see what you mean about the bank, amazing

    As to the Fen thingy. I generally don’t like GW figures because I find the intricate detail is distracting, and the miniatures lack focus and “punch” as a result. I like your colour scheme, so it’s a little hard to see what to do, I don’t think making the whole figure darker would help

    You have a dark, greyish brown, how about making that much darker – making much more contrast between the different tones of brown. There’s also a greenish brown that is mid way between the green and brown, I think that is making it look flatter. Perhaps a darker tone of the other green instead ?

    One one way to approach this is to edit the picture and add some darker and lighter shades to see what happens

    Good luck


    Liked by 2 people

    • borderguy190 July 31, 2020 / 2:08 am

      Thanks for the comments John. I see what you mean. Some more contrast between colors will help. Thank you!

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Dave Stone July 31, 2020 / 3:46 am

    Your new buildings look great Harry, and can see why you went for them,
    Excellent progress on the windmill, it’s really taking shape now, it’s strange how other shapes appear during the process, but if your happier with the second st, that’s the main thing.
    As for your Fen Beast, don’t see anything wrong with the colour choices, but if you lighten the face colour, it will draw your eye into it easier

    Liked by 2 people

    • borderguy190 July 31, 2020 / 10:16 am

      I’m not 100% satisfied with the upper section, Dave, and may do a Upper Section, #3. Especially after seeing actual pictures of real European windmills! Its magnetized, so a swap is pretty easy. And with the sails on an axle i can swap into another easily.

      Thank you for the tip on the fen beast. That’s what I am looking for. Pro-tips from people who see what i am missing.Your’s and John’s comments will help!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. rantingsfromunder July 31, 2020 / 4:50 am

    The 4ground building are lovely aren’t they I’ve looked at them on numerous occasions but never taken the leap!

    Great progress on the windmill too that is going to look stunning once finished, it’s funny but a few of us taking part in Dave’s challenge have struggled over time, you think it’ll only take a couple of days to knock up some scenery, but it always takes far longer than you planned.

    I actually quite like the colours on the fell beast, as said above you could add some darker areas here and there, and the face would look good in a bone off white, I don’t know if you have painted the eyes yet or if it’s just the photo, but i love the way it looks at the moment, kind of like a polished stone!

    Cheers Roger.

    Liked by 3 people

    • borderguy190 July 31, 2020 / 10:18 am

      Thanks Roger! My thoughts exactly with terrain. “This is a quick one” and a week later you are staring at a half finished pile of parts and pieces.

      The eyes are a happy result of inks and washes pooling. I thought of a green glow, but the dark pits seem better suited to it.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. angrypiper August 7, 2020 / 8:32 am

    Inspirational again, Harry. I very much like the 4Ground buildings, but I don’t have any. Tri-City Laser makes some nice MDF kits, available through Knuckleduster; which also makes some great Western miniatures, both from their classic range and their new Gunfighter’s Ball digital range. I don’t know if they are available in the UK without ordering from over here, though.
    I’m struggling to figure out how I’m going to weather some plastic toy buildings, specifically the ERTL Cow Town set, without priming and repainting them first. I think I’m going to have to do just that…

    Liked by 1 person

    • borderguy190 August 7, 2020 / 12:05 pm

      Ive looked a little at Knuckleduster’s stuff. I’ll have to look at the buildings again.

      As for weathering prepainted plastics. If you used washes and/or pigments you could matte varnish forst to give the plastic some tooth. Bafe plastic would be too slick to catch anything.


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