Skip to main content

Hi Guys, 

Sorry to ask to see different scenes (Winter, Desert), but I am still trying to decide on a desolate, low accessory scene, with sparse figures and buildings.

Has anybody done an old Ranch scene?  Maybe with  a desolate ranch house, a few cowboys, and a small herd?  Maybe with an old metal windmill?  (Thinking western Texas or its panhandle.)

I would love to see one of those.



Original Post

Replies sorted oldest to newest

I am trying to remember if Marx made a smaller version of its Western Ranch Playset?  Those larger ones were everywhere but l think l remember seeing smaller buildings.  The large, toy, ones would be good for ideas, even if you have to fabricate some of the components.  Plenty of large ones were used on childhood layouts, but not good for a "model", nor would the lithographed tin buildings of small ones be.


If all of those Marx western ranch playsets were floating around, you should have grabbed four or five of them and put them away in the attic.  The complete Western Ranch set, in original box, now goes for $400.

If you have a little more dough, you can spring for the Roy Rogers western town set, for $1,000.  :-)




They did make small Marx versions of the plastic frontier and military stuff that might be usful as individuals, but not so much useful as a full set with log cabins, etc.  The fences are ok. The military tents might be used by drovers or for some shade away from the house.

Ranch items could be selected from other farm and industry offerings too (Plastiville). A more modern ranch home might be painted as old if that's the goal vs a "pretty" one.

Slightly oversized maybe, but some of the cowboys, horses and wagons I've posted are just Dollar Store (not D.Tree) toy packs I painted. I think they used to be a Marx cowboy set too. Just ask if you want a comparison photo of $1 cowboys and wagons near a train car/truck or ruler, etc.

Look at the Bay for lazer cut western building kits for the old western town buildings.  (and search "old west" "desert" threads here, maybe three years back there was a few... closer to 6-7 years back there were a few very deserty layouts, but the one member I'm thinking of most was a real polecat who complained about everything and would get super rude and insulting at the drop of a hat...or the wearing of one.. or your hair color in contrast to the hat might p*** him off..  Simply being too friendly to him got a few folks "attacked", lol. 

I think he might have deleted everything when he finally moved on. (after quiting and rejoining a few times... He couldn't hide that attitude with a new name)

(easy cardstock or wood kits, $10-40 average, some are 99% ready printed/painted... hot glue and sharpie marker or paint for scores and folds where ink breaks up some. Some prints can be glued to wood or hardboard or posterboard for more strength, but they look better than it sounds with just cardstock though.

The traditional O-ish army men/cowboys are actually 3+ sizes, the larger are obviously oversized at 2"+, but the two smaller ones dont stick out as giants with a little "forced perception" and well matched items close by, imo.

(forced perception is mixing scales to a visual advantage; overscale up close, normal scale midway, and smaller scale scenery at the rear of a scene, to imitate depth of vision). 

Cows and horses really aren't hard to find at all. Model boat props make decent windmill blades; kinda fat blades, but passable for a small generator or later well pump imo. The towers are a nice fireplace matchstick or plastistrut project, but I know a few are premade too.

Folks don't mind the asking for photos and scenes. They tend to want to share (though lately dragging photos out of folk is like pulling teeth. For some reason folks seem to avoid it at all costs all of a sudden, and don't insert them in text when they do (the thumbnail viewer doesn't always work for everyone and full sized is also actually seen vs accidently missed or skipped and forgotten.)

It just makes for better referencing if it's in one spot vs a few spots. Reviving a thread you started to bring it back into the light isn't the same as bumping an ad (huge no-no). The alternative is half a dozen threads with the same requests and that make reference hunts needles in haystacks. (cripes,.folks complain when different folks start similar threads, the same person doing similar threads, it gets very confusing; bump your old thread after a day or two/week to rekindle attention)

I found a tremendous source for old west town building kits.   Click on Multiverse Gaming, Old West town.  They have four separate wooden building kits, for intricate old west buildings, each kit custom made in Poland, for dirt cheap!   The kits run between $25 to $45 each, and take a month to be made and shipped from Poland.  (The kits arrive in unpainted wood.)  The buildings are about 8 inches by 8 inches.

They also have a great western accessory kits, like a working hangman's scaffold!

Apparently, there are Multiverse games (like the old Dungeons and Dragons game) that use cowboy figures and western buildings in their "universe."  The gamers use these buildings in the course of the game. There are also separate models for Medievil castle games, and Future World science fiction games.

Not really what I am looking for, since I want an old ranch house and bunkhouse kit, and apparently there are LOTS of pieces to the kits that you have to glue together and then paint, but it may be the closest you can get to this type of scene.  And, you just can't  beat the prices.

They also make a cheap five building western town kit, but these buildings are made from panels of MDF and don't look very good at all.  Not much detail at all.




Just saw that Woodland Scenes Company has a great looking O gauge Shack cabin (looks like a like a lineman's shack), in pre-assembled pre-painted version only, for (gulp) $99.

They also have the old windmill structure (preassembled, prebuilt) for $69.

But, for all of that, . . .  I could buy a pretty nice post war engine.  :-(






I checked out the Pegasus website.  Sadly, no miners set.  They do have a few buildings, but they are HO scale.

I did like the prepainted figurines, especially the indians and the fighting gladiators.

I have two round areas in my layout where I can put accessories.  I may put an indian camp in one area, and  (no kidding), a cowboy scene in the other where cowboys are sitting on the rails of a round horse pen, watching two gladiators fight inside.  (I like whimsical stuff!)



I've found the 1/48 Pegasus figures on ebay.

I picked up a Plasticville "L shaped ranch house" kit with a missing wall at a trade fair.  I'm converting it into a run down ranch house with a beat up barn, a lean-to blacksmith shop, and pole fences.  Lots of desert flora including some cactus models that can be improved.  I'll make a galvanized water tank for  some horses and a mule,  a feed trough, and add a beat-up pickup.  I also found a smaller than S scale log cabin in an antique store that I might fit in somewhere in the back ground 

Okay, help me out.  I can see that kit in my mind's eye, missing wall and all.  It came with a grinding wheel, wood pile, well, chopping block with an axe, and a hitching rail.  Light yellow walls, gray or brown roof, porch railings, the whole lot. Just one long wall missing.

I can't find it.  I was going to move it up behind three other projects I have going on and I CAN'T FIND THE DANG THING ANYWHERE!

I know I'm getting old but didn't think I had gone over the edge....yet.

I thought it was Plasticville but can't find it under any of their sites.


Any hints, clues, suggestions, anything at all?

Okay, more research brings it up: Marxville  O/S gauge #3792 Deluxe Western Ranch House Set.  I had the colors backward.  Included a stump with an anvil, a water barrel, a tree, a cactus, a fence, and the items above.  It also had 10 assorted cowboys (1950s style TV guys).


I still can't find it, but I found some of the accessories.  I'll keep looking.

Hey guys. A little late coming to the party. Here is a small western scene on my upper level. A cowboy, his horse and some cattle. A Woodland Scenic windmill and a lost bull. I threw in a pic of the miner too. I need to add some snow fencing to the scene that still is in strip wood and awaiting construction.

Way up on the bluff look for a Native American (left side) surveying the whole scene. I think I see a tear in his eye. This is a homage to a commercial from a long time ago.







Images (5)
  • 73898AFA-E805-4198-8E01-ED0BD11F0B9F
  • 97BACAB7-6557-4E2C-A236-389108C18A2D
  • 60915053-BF27-4E27-AE9C-A9B0E15960DE
  • 838EE9D4-0F36-4ACF-8F9A-A6BF5EC6A9B3
  • B29F6EA0-BAA5-4D9E-A7E9-9799D4334FAA

Found a website with lots of O gauge western figures, all cast in lead free peuter, and only about $4 each.  Go to the site for Knucklebuster Minatures.

Problem is, they are unpainted.  (If only I could paint.)

Other problem is, at least half of them are very uninteresting western women.  Cooking, sewing, making bread, etc.

There are some good riders and miners though.


@Mannyrock posted:

Holy Cow 3Rail  (bad pun)

That is Exactly the type of scenery I had in mind.

Where did you get the figurines?

Do you make or buy those cliffs in the rear?



Hey Mannyrock...sorry I was away for a few days. Anyway, Widow66valley is correct. I got almost everything from Aspen. They are plastic and unfortunately require painting. It is not too hard using artist tube acrylics. Just take your time. There are also tutorials on the ‘net that are pretty good.

yes, I made the rock work from foam sheets, plaster gauze and sculptamold.  They were then painted with tube acrylics and given a dusting of ground foam in a few colors. The top portion is removable for access to the upper level and also a transformer for my low voltage lights in my kitchen.

Hope that helps.


Add Reply

OGR Publishing, Inc., 1310 Eastside Centre Ct, Suite 6, Mountain Home, AR 72653
Link copied to your clipboard.