Leadwood City

Main Street, looking East. It's quiet.. Too darn quiet...
The back of the Won Hung Lo laundry, looking past the undertaker's towards Madame L'Amour's
Ahh, sepia-tone! When will the historians admit that in the past, everything really was just shades of brown?
The far end of Bridge Street, looking North.
(More pics at the bottom of the page - keep reading! click to enlarge.)

Leadwood is by far the biggest project I've ever completed (although I've had plenty of big ideas!)

It took over a year to design and build and cost approx $1500nzd to make.

In order to fit in as much detail as possible, it was necessary to glue everything down to just two 24"x48" (600mm x 1200mm) boards. The laundry and two pieces of fence between Madame L'Amour's and the General Store are the only pieces that lift out. These cover the join between the boards.

I use The Rules With No Name (Foundry Publications, by Bryan Ansell) to stage gunfight games. Under these rules, it quickly became aparrent that any number of fun games could be played without ever changing the terrain - so a 'fixed' table would not become boring.

With a random appearance chart to determine where characters emerge when their cards come up for the first time, there are fifty-eight possible entry points.

This was built on polystyrene and styrofoam, with the buildings constructed of foam-core board, balsa wood sheeting (for weatherboards, boardwalks and wooden shingles), bass wood (window frames, posts, railings, gallows), plastic boards, rods and strips (corrugated fences, lamp posts, water wheel), mini-corrugated card (tin roofs), acetate sheeting (windows and lanterns on lamp-posts), Woodland Scenics water effects and other materials (river, bushes, grass), DAS terracotta modelling clay (contouring and boulders), lots of PVA, lots of balsa cement and a very large amount of coffee.

I would be happy to discuss any of the techniques I used here. Please feel free to ask!

Thanks to Greg for the photos (above)
Miniatures painted by Greg Simmonds and Yours Truly.

MORE PICS FOLLOW: click the images to enlarge!

Townsfolk just can't help themselves, can they? The locals look on as Lefty Jones and Red shoot it out...

McFly and Brown's Hardware; Messrs Mincer and Packer - Tailors and Milliners; Palace Alley

R. Hermans - Guns and Ammunition
The General Store, the yard and Madame L'Amour's.Note the join in the boards. The long fence is a separate piece that drops in to cover it.

The town gallows, looking from Tannery Lane towards Main Street.

The view of the stables and corral from Bank Street. In the foreground, the side of George M. Leech, esq., Attorney.

The back of the saloon, looking from the graveyard.
Waterwheel, bridge and mule.

A view of the river.
The Laundry and Tannery in the distance, looking from the corner of Church Street and Main Street.
The yard beside the General Store and the stairs to Madame L'Amour's private entrance.
Chicken coop beside the tannery. It's quiet... Too darn quiet...
Trapper Jack hunts his quarry through Hooper's Lumberyard.
A wagon at the East end of Main Street.
The Claytons - Ma, Zeb, Pa and Jethro. Very genial folks when you get past the smell, the muzzle-loaders and the complicated family trees!
Arizona Frasier, Adam 'Cactus' Tucker and Jim 'Frontier' Shaw hold the crossroads at Hooper's Alley and Bridge Street.

Brother Matthew and Young Diggin' Tom survey the graveyard.

Albert Finch (irritating banker) and Maisy, outside Green Gables, at the North end of Church Street.
Ol' Diggin' Tom and Mule on the bridge.
Stonejaw Monroe, Apache Joe, Slim, Sixgun Tess and The Kid, just hangin' about outside the bank. Nothin' suspicious here...


  1. A truly awesome piece of terrain, and a pleasure to play a game on. Given my profession I was pleasantly surprised to have my first character start at the Apothecary, however my 2nd character emerged from the whore-house so I am not quite sure what that says about me! ;-)

  2. Thanks, Scott! It certainly was a good game. We need more - if only to justify building this thing in the first place!

  3. Anyone want to buy me a ticket to NZ so I can have a game?

  4. I thought you were a strong swimmer? Get on with it!

  5. All I have to say is: WOW!


  6. I am slack jawed in amazement at your accomplishment! Thanks for sharing the pictures and how-to tutorial. WOW! Now where did I put that ruler and notepad?!

  7. Thanks, Martin! You're more than welcome. Let me know what you come up with!

  8. Hi!
    Contact me at ryderscalm0508@att.net about plans and such, when you are ready.

  9. Will do, Sky. You'llhear from me soon.

  10. While we are waiting I was wondering two things. Would you share the ground cover recipet? Also what do you do when a player wants to chase some varmit into the saloon? All your buildings are solid.

  11. I was wondering what company your miniatures came from in the pics?

    1. Hi Erik.

      Most of the miniatures are from Artizan, along with Copplestone, Reaper Chronoscope and one or two from Wargames Foundry.

      ...I think that's all of them! Sorry to any companies I've missed!

  12. I like your town leadwood i am building a town like this my self that's why i asked about the miniatures.

    1. That's awesome! I'd love to see pictures when you're done.

      If you require any tips or advice on materials, design, techniques or whatever, I'd be happy to oblige.

      Email me at ordersforthecolonel@gmail.com

      All the Best!

  13. Truly inspiring, I better get to work. Basically...Wow!

    1. Thanks, Kes! I look forward to seeing your work!

  14. Now I must build one myself.

    1. Yes. Do... and since it has taken me seven years to reply to this, have you done it yet?

  15. Way out here in early 2021 and wondering if your Leadville still exists and if it is still getting gamed upon. Quite an impressive bit of modeling, quite a large bit at that. If does still exist, I'd love to see an overall shot of the whole thing - including a bit of non-board all the way around to put it proper scale with its real world environment.

    1. Wow! I only just saw this comment - sorry for the slow response, old chap!
      Ledwood (ahem!) very much still exists and is on display in a case in my hobby room. It has spent most of its life in boxes and is consequently in excellent condition!
      I'm planning a game soon - cowboys versus zombies... so pics shall be posted! Watch this space...