Tuesday, 2 March 2021

Welcome To Brewsterville

 I have ventured into a new gaming period: the Old West. A few (several?) months ago DaveB and I ordered up some Brigade Games miniatures from their American West range. Even before I selected my figures I knew that I wanted to name them after characters from song. 

The first one I painted was Henry Waits Alone:

Old horse thief moon
shine down upon us
from Medicine Hat
to Writing-on-Stone
shine deep in the canyons
shine deep in the coulees
shine down on Henry Waits Alone
- Horse Thief Moon, Ian Tyson

Henry is a fictional character, possibly based on or inspired by someone Mr. Tyson knew. On his album Live at Longview he sings the last line of that verse as "Henry, he waits all alone". It is unclear if the intention is to represent Henry as First Nations but that is how I chose to paint him. Stands Alone is not an uncommon surname amongst some First Nations on the prairies.

Next up I painted Lil Joe The Wrangler:
Little Joe the wrangler
will wrangle ne'ermore
his days with the roundup they are o'er
was a year ago last April when he rode into our camp
a little Texas stray and nothing more
-Little Joe The Wrangler,  N. Howard Thorpe (traditional)

This was my favourite to paint of the 6. I picked this figure for Little Joe as he was the youngest looking of the 9 I have. In the song Joe is clearly much younger than this figure as he gives his reason for leaving home as 'his new ma whooped him every day or two' (probably about 11-13 years old or so).

The next figure in the queue is un-named- simply referred to as "the stranger" in the traditional cowboy song, The Zebra Dun:
we were camped out on the prairie
at a bend on the Cimarron
when along comed a stranger
he stopped to argue some
he looked so very foolish
setting there alone
we thought he was a greenhorn
escaped from some town
Zebra Duntraditional

This mini was the most 'urban' looking of the old west figures I have so he got painted up as The Stranger on account of the fancy cut of his jacket, his nicely trimmed moustache and military style riding boots ( a possible explanation for why he was  mistaken for a 'greenhorn, escaped from some town'). 

Yavapai Pete is a fictional character from a poem by Curley Fletcher. There are actually two versions of the song; one paints Pete as a hard as nails cowboy and the other as a criminal. I chose the former.
Yavapai Pete was a cowpuncher neat
from Arizona's fair clime
he lived in the saddle and punched most the cattle
from here to the Mexican line

his ridin' was sassy, his ropin' was classy
he liked to mix mingle with maul
not much of a thinker, was more of drinker
could hold up his end of a brawl
- Yavapai Pete, Curley Fletcher

With the bushy beard and large floppy hat I though he looked the wildest of the figures I have.  Although it doesn't really come across in the photo, he has a bit of a fierce, intense countenance without looking nuts.

Another cowboy classic is Windy Bill:
Windy Bill was a Texas man 
an' he could rope you bet!
a steer that Windy hadn't tied 
he had not met him yet
but the boys they talked of a little black steer 
who was a kind of a bad outlaw
he lived down in the malpais
at the foot of a rocky draw
-Windy Bill, traditional

Windy comes across as a bit of a classy dude; when he fails to bring the steer in he "pays his debts like a little old man, without no bit of jaw". My preference would be for him to be wearing chaps and I considered sculpting some but they would have covered up his lovely boots and time was also a consideration.

The final figure is inspired by a song about a true cowboy, Bob Fudge:
My name is Bob Fudge
I was born in Texas
Lampasas County
back during the war
small pox and Comanches
took most of my family
left my poor brothers
my mother and me
-Bob Fudge, Ian Tyson

I chose this figure to represent Bob Fudge largely because he seemed the least aggressive or confrontational. Mr. Tyson's biographical song does not suggest Mr. Fudge was anything more than a cowboy who loved the lifestyle: riding the ranges of Montana and ranching.

Every Old West game needs a rural town for a setting; mine is Brewsterville, the name an homage to both my partner in this endeavour and the Fraser Valley gold rush town of Barkerville, currently a living history museum in the interior of British Columbia.
This first building for this gold rush town is the Perry Miniatures North American store.

A great little kit, easy to assemble bit it may be a little fragile for skirmish play as it is made from thin styrene like a scale model kit.

I imagine that back in the day, true paint would have been a rare commodity in the west so those that could made due with whitewash and stain. 

Even still the harsh weather would have taken it's toll, causing the thinned paint to fade and peel.

I enjoy putting this one together and I have the North American Church stashed somewhere. I will probably also buy the North American house kit; the kit is the same as the store but an end wall without the false front is available. 

Perhaps a third barn...


  1. Lovely painting on everything but I love the building’s!

  2. Nicely done all around’. I like the clear bases. 😀

    1. Yeah me too. I tried one on a figure earlier for the AHPC and quite liked it.

  3. Terrific work on the figures and buildings. The peeling paint is especially well done.

  4. Great start to a new period! Buildings look realistic.

  5. Oh my. A great deal of peer pressure has just built up. *gulp*

  6. Thank you for the positive comments everyone.

  7. Looking good Cod!

    The Cowboys are ready for a shootup in Brewsterville anytime!

  8. A very solid start on this project!

  9. Nice work and I am sure you will have fun with the Old West/Gunfighters era. Our group has had a couple of games of Gunfighters Ball and it always seems to provide a lot of entertainment!

  10. Have you seen the plastic gunfighters from Great Escape Games? You can make up loads of different poses from the kits. Worth a look if you haven't yet seen them.