Friday, June 4, 2010

Scratch-built Gallows

As a break from painting the (fabulous) Tabletop World houses I chose to scratch-build something quick that I had been wanting to do for a long time: gallows. Every table needs gallows. You can use them in wild west games, pirate games, x civil war, Mordheim - everywhere. It's one of those standard pieces almost every gamer has tried their hands at so now it was time to do one myself. This will be the centrepiece of my Gierburg market square, where the citizens watch the charlatans being put to justice while doing the weekly shopping spree. I am also using it (already) in my current pirate games.

I searched the internet for inspirational images but didn't find anything particularly to my liking that I could flat out copy. So the design is a mix of various depictions I have seen and what I felt would be a good design for gaming purposes. Now without further ado here is the piece:

The piece is made from all sorts of wooden sticks from my "wood bitz box": coffee stirring sticks (a pack I bought on ebay years ago, which seems to last a lifetime), toothpicks, balsa, un-/used matches, tongue depressors and other stuff. It pays off to collect all sorts of wooden sticks over the years. The hinges of the trapdoors are bits of wire. I glued the various pieces with glue gel, by the way. It dries much quicker than PVA and was just perfect for this construction.

I made this small lever which will be used in the games to activate the trap doors - from then on it's only few turns until it's all over. The attackers will have to prevent the executioner and other enemy models from moving into base contact with the lever and pulling it.

The stairs have a bit of space between the steps so that miniatures on 25mm bases can be placed on the steps (a system I stole from Pardulon's stairs I used on the Governor's Mansion):

It was a lot of work filing all the wooden strips and sticks but I am pretty happy with how the gallows turned out eventually. Now on to base-coating and painting...

Update: See the finished gallows here.


  1. That is a beautiful piece of terrain. Something I would have never have considered for gaming. It would add a great scene and scenarios could be based around it. I look forward to seeing it painted.

  2. Nice to see some scratch-build stuff from you. Looks great, I just hope there is enough criminals in Gierburg to keep the hangman busy ;)

  3. Very interesting. I want a gallow to my Mordheim
    I have drawn a lot of sketches, but I have no final idea.
    I will draw some inspired by yours ;-P

  4. This will really work well for some rescue-from-execution scenarios. I'm impressed you drew in all that wood grain!

  5. Thank you for your comments, guys! I am happy if this inspires you. I can definately recommend such a piece. I played a scenario with the gallows last thursday with brother and it was really great. It is now base-coated so it shouldn't take too long til I put up photos of the painted piece.

  6. Cool stuff :)

    All you need now is captain Jack Sparrow :D

  7. So nice and romantic models)

  8. Thanks, guys!

    @generul: Captain "John Finch" might work... :)

  9. It's a nice model to paint as well, Bill does some cracking sculpts :)


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