Whitewash City project part 1 complete

Completed Tombstone figuresGood grief! This doesn’t happen very often! I’ve actually completed painting my first couple of sets of Black Scorpion Tombstone figures. This was prompted by Guy coming round on Saturday for his first game of Legends of the Old West. I had done a very late shift on Friday night in an attempt to get the minis finished in time for the game; alas, it was not to be, but they were certainly looking good enough for the session, which turned out to be tremendous fun.

Tombstone figures close up 1We did a simple ‘jailbreak’ scenario. Billy the Kid was locked up in a central building, with the remaining scenery as described in the Legends book, a few town buildings to the west, a wood to the north east, and a stream running across the southeastern table corner. Guy was playing the sheriff and his chums, whilst I had a small band of baddies who were attempting to free the kid.

Tombstone figures close up 2The game was fast, furious and funny. With only three of the sheriff’s men on the table at the outset (and no reinforcements arrived until about move 6!), I was confident that my guys would be able to take out the opposition in short order, free the Kid and ride off into the sunset. However, I had not reckoned on Guy’s ability to jinx my men. Time after time, I drew the high card for getting ‘the drop’ on him (i.e. taking the initiative in the move), but my men’s ability to shoot straight appeared to have deserted them. Most humiliating of all, having finally managed to kill one of the jail’s guardians, I rushed the building, and one of my shotgun-armed men kicked open the door and loosed a blast — completely missing his target! Next move, justice was served on this useless tough, and I actually thought “good riddance!”

Tombstone figures close up 3Once Guy’s sheriff and other helpers arrived on the scene, it was only a matter of time before my merry men were reduced to the solitary John Chisum wielding his Winchester, and though he hung on longer than was decent against four defenders, even his Pluck gave out in the end, and he skedaddled, with Billy the Kid’s furious insults rining in his ears.

We didn’t take any photos of this game, but there will be more, so in the meantime, here are a few pics of the figures now that they are completely finished and I’ve done the bases.

Tombstone figures close up 4These figures were painted using a Dallimore-style method, working up from a black undercoat. I mostly used Foundry colours for this, with GW metallics. The bases are a mixture of sand, with Woodland Scenics talus for bigger rocks. This layer was then painted in GW Scorched Brown, over which I added successively drier-brushed layers of Foundry Base Sand shade, Base Sand, and then a very dry brush of Base Sand light on the rocks. Vegetation is Woodland Scenics: natural lichen for the tumbleweed/parched bushes, coarse Burnt Grass in patches, then a few bases have some sprigs of that damn fiddly fine horsehair grass stuff! Nearly drove me nuts.

Tombstone figures backsI’ve bought another of the Tombstone sets, and one of Mexican bandidos, and some unridden horses. I would be really happy if Black Scorpion got around to making riding equivalents of all their figures on foot, which seems glaringly obvious to me as a requirement! I’d also like to see them creating many more non-combatant characters, civilian bystanders and so on. I admire their human sculpts enormouosly, and whilst their horses could do with some improvement in the head department, they are extremely characterful.

I’m very pleased with the results so far, especially considering the fact that this is the most detailed painting I’ve done in a long time, which has also led to me realising that I’m suffering from precisely the syndrome that Mike Siggins described in one of his Forward Observer columns in BG a while ago . It’s as though, at times, I’ve borrowed someone else’s eyes, and they don’t quite work properly! This may be a side effect of painting dark colours over a black undercoat as well, and I may have to revert to a paler undercoat. There are moments when the tip of the brush just seems to simply disappear completely, which is rather unnerving.

Oh dear, I’m getting old!


  1. Thanks Steve.

    I really like the LotOW rules — simple, fast and fun, with just enough options to make for an interesting game. I especially like ‘the drop’ — cutting cards is a really atmospheric way of deciding this, but as Guy and I found, the player taking the initiative isn’t necessarily the one who comes off best.

    I also happen to like the series of books, really lovely productions, beautifully designed, and full of lovely photos and background material.

  2. Lovely painting job on the figures, Henry, I especially like the one of the guy in the black overcoat in the ‘closeup1’ picture (the guy in the middle) very characterful! I recently got a copy of Legends of the Old West, and I’d be interested in your views of how the game played???

  3. Pics with Whitewash City buildings will follow soon. The joy of the PDF is, of course, they can be printed out at any size, enlarged or reduced to suit.

    I’m going to try them ‘as is’ to begin with. I often find that wargames buildings look fine at a slightly smaller scale than the figures they accompany — our Mollwitz game was a case in point, with the original balsa buidlings made by Charles Grant being surprisingly small.

  4. I like the dirt on the coats, nice touch!

    I live about 6 hours from Ft. Sumner where the Kid legend took place. Absolutely nothing there for at least a two hour drive in any direction. He must have had to look awfully hard to find someone to kill….

    The Black Scorpion miniatures are about 32mm scale, right? How did they mix in with the Whitewash City building?

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