Old West

Discussion in 'Getting Started' started by Cookie, Feb 8, 2005.

  1. Cookie

    Cookie New Member

    Modeling the old west in HO...any suggestions on where I can see websites etc. to help fill in the gaps for ideas??
  2. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

  3. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    The old west is a big, big area to model!! Can you be any more specific about exactly where and when you'd like to model?
  4. Cookie

    Cookie New Member


    Thanks for the informatiion. What I am modeling is a "make it up as you go" thing. I have a small layout (4x8)......half being western and the other half being a logging area so both areas will be small and in all probability very packed in. I am a retired art teacher and my wife and I travel quite a bit out west during the summer and it just "seemed like the right thing to model". I really am not trying to model any area in particular....I just enjoy the western flare.

    Again ..thanks for the info.
  5. G Pfeifer

    G Pfeifer New Member


    Take a look at:


  6. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

  7. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way


    Old Tucson had a fire a few years ago an they lost around 90% of their buildings. It's since been rebuilt but I'll bet it isn't the same now. Apacheland, just outside of Phoenix also had a large fire about a year ago. They shot a lot of movies and TV shows there. They've taken the lower road and sold the property to developers rahter than rebuild. There are several other western "theme" parks around here that are being sold out to developers as well. So goes the way of the wild, wild west. :cry: :cry:
  8. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    Oh man, that's a durn shame. :cry: :cry: :cry: I had a great time at Old Tuscon with my family when I was 15. We did a major cross country tour, and Arizona was definitely one of the highlights.

  9. Will_annand

    Will_annand Active Member

    Wasn't it called "New Tuscon" way back then Val? :D
  10. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Welcome to the Gauge. I'm always pleased to see a fellow Old West fan. As my name implies, I'm also an Old West enthusiest, modeling the rough and ready cow town of Defiance, circa 1885.

    To the others, thanks for the great links. I've spent quite a bit of time searching the net for inspiration and only came up just a fraction of the resources you've posted

    Will, that's cold man!
  11. ezdays

    ezdays Out AZ way

    Hey, that's all there was way back then :eek: :eek:

    Anther link that is full of pictures of Arizona history is:Arizona Highway magazine You might even come across a old picture of Val about ready to draw on some frisky cowboy down in Tomestone or looking for gold in Bisbee. :wave: :wave:
  12. Cookie

    Cookie New Member

    Thanks for Western Flair...Doc and Spitfire

    Spitfire......thanks for the sites....they will be used as needed..I have them in the storage bucket.

    Doc......I appreciate the "welcome to the gauge" comment. I am a member of a couple of motorcycle forums (yes , I ride one of those things) and sometimes they can be a bit rough so again thanks for the comment.

    All the information has been saved.
  13. Jac's Lines

    Jac's Lines Member

    I've been working on a lot of scratchbuilding for a HOn30 mining layout set in the Black Hills in the 1890s-1900s. In addition to some of the sites noted above, I'd highly recommend the History of the American West component of the Library of Congress American Memory collection: http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/award97/codhtml/hawphome.html You can do a keyword search for "saloons" for example, and get a lot of good, detailed period photographs. The other collections in the American Memory site are worth looking at too (I'm sure others will recommend the HABS/HAER site at http://memory.loc.gov/ammem/collections/habs_haer/).

    Also, I ran across this site dedicated to preserving prototypical info on a 2foot narrow gauge line that connected a bunch of mines in central CO in the 19th century. http://gilpintram.com/index.html Lots of pictures, maps, etc.

    Beyond the internet, you might look at individual titles in the Time-Life Old West series. They've got great photos, and you can get decent used copies of specific titles for a just couple of bucks from ebay (I find The Townsmen, The Railroaders, and the Miners especially inspiring, but other titles cover cattlemen, loggers, etc.). I've also got a great book called Ghost Towns of the West (by Lambert Florin) that's got 800pages+ of period photographs of towns from all over the west. I got mine on ebay for 4 bucks.

    Waaay more information than you probably needed, but hope it helps!

  14. jim currie

    jim currie Active Member

  15. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    Post deleted so as to not encourage possible copyright violation.
  16. spitfire

    spitfire Active Member

    EDIT: post also deleted as it referred to the site Doc posted. Thanks for that Doc - you're one of the good guys!!! :thumb:

  17. jetrock

    jetrock Member

    The "Old West" is such a broad archetype--on a level with the medieval "knight in shining armor", or the Japanese Samurai. In the process of making an "Old West" layout, though, it seems like a little more specificity is needed--even though everyone knows what a cowboy looks like, decisions about terrain and scenery need to be made.

    The geographic area of the "Old West" covers more than half of the continental United States, and includes forests, plains, mountains, deserts, canyons, plateaus, coastal lands, unpopulated areas and cities.

    Logging, mining, ranching, farming and all sorts of other industries are appropriate for an Old West theme--if one side of your layout is logging, is that not an "Old West" theme as well, if it is a 19th Century Western American logging operation? One assumes your 4x8 doesn't run from Arizona to the woods of Maine.

    I may be belaboring the point--but sometimes "Old West" just isn't specific enough for a history freak like myself. Personally, I'm big on West Coast "old west" myself--specifically the great Central Valley of California and the western Sierra Nevada, including fun stuff like the Gold Rush, the Transcontinental Railroad, etcetera.
  18. Cookie

    Cookie New Member

    Great Info.......I appreciate all the help. It would have taken a heck of a long time to find the infomation by the search and destroy method and it will take a considerable amout of time to go through it with my "hunt and peck" method.

    Thanks to all of you for your help. I'll keep looking at the Gauge for the interesting facts and "fiction" that may show up.
  19. SteamerFan

    SteamerFan Member

    Actually, by definition, Old west refers to area west of the MN, IA, MO, AR, and LA line after 1870 and before 1900.

    Once you know the "Old West" refers to the 1870-1900 timeframe and that it entails the western states, you can then narrow down your landscape into Desert, Mountains, grass plains, and forests. equally, you can choose a cold climit or a hot one, costal or inland.

    Most towns and cities in this area were of the Stereotypical "Old west" Dodge City types that you see in movies and TV, with the exception of a few that were around longer (San fransisco for example would look more like a chicago style).

    Although, i hate to say it, but watch bonanza on TV, this gives you an idea of a small ranch town and occasionally they do show the bigger cities in the region (they did go to SF on a few occassions). amazing how some shows in the 60's tried to stay historically acurate on some details.
  20. Doc Holliday

    Doc Holliday Member

    You just described the inspiration for the B.A.D. Western. The more stereotypical the better.

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