The Oriental Hotel and Saloon

In my continual search for distraction to keep me from writing, I decided I was going to build an “o” scale model of a hotel for our game tomorrow.

When I started this project, I had no idea what “O” scale meant, nor that such a term even existed.  What I knew was that the miniature figures we use in game are 28mm.  (For those of us in America, that’s 1.1 inches).  So I rounded a bit, and assumed a bit, and figured that a 1.1″ figure represented a 6′ tall man.

The oriental hotel, a model for a Deadlands Game

Foam board core of the Oriental Hotel

There was a lot of guessing, conjecture, and estimating.  But I went to the local craft store and picked up some foam core board.  I’m delighted to say it was on sale!    A few bucks later, I was on my way home with some giant thick posterboards, an Exacto knife, a hot glue gun and big dreams.  Because I never do anything halfway.

The roof creation was somewhat of a trial and error mess.  I googled for at least an hour trying to figure out the formula on how to make a hipped roof, to no avail.  I did, however, come across an AMAZING blog, of a guy who is a gamer and builds this exact kind of thing. is worth checking out if you’re into this type of thing.  I browsed that guy’s blog, enjoying the pictures and posts of his creations, and ultimately came on his Yahoo IM screen name.

In desperation, I sent him an instant message, and to my absolute delight, he responded!  It turns out, not only is he a fantastic artist, he’s a heck of a nice guy.  He spent a lot of time creating a PDF document on how to make the roof that I had in mind.  Thank you Mr. Glenn!  He even made an entry in his own blog so the rest of the world can know how to do this too.

Kirk Allmond's model of The Oriental hotel and saloon

A LOT of Popsicle sticks.

Once the base was done, I made another trip to the craft store.  I bought all the popsicle sticks they had, more hot glue, and a few other things, and got to work.

First, I cut a lot of popsicle sticks.  And then I cut a lot more.  And more.  I cut three bags of popsicle sticks into various length segments.  I cut so many popsicle sticks that I dreamed of a little mini table saw made  of a Dremel with a little tiny table saw blade.

Oh, and I burned up a hell of a lot of hot glue.  so far I’m on my third bag of glue sticks for that thing.  Best $4 I ever spent!

On the right there, it’s starting to take some shape, and I was, at that point fairly proud of it.  It’s not perfect by any stretch of the imagination, but it’s pretty good for the first time I ever tried anything like this, if I do say so myself.  And I do say so.  It’s my blog, I can brag if I want.

The Oriental model hotel almost finished.

Almost finished.

Back to the craft store for paper and more popsicle sticks.   I had no idea this would use so many sticks.  I used somewhere in the neighborhood of three bags of popsicle sticks.  That’s two hundred twenty five popsicle sticks.  For two days I think all I’ve done is cut popsicle sticks.  There has to be a better way!

But at last, I’m done.  I’m not sure it’s 100% done, because I could probably tinker on it for another two days, but it’s done enough that I feel good about it.  It’s a gift for my friend and game master James Kirk, and I think he’s really going to like it.  At



least I hope so.

The good news about all of this is that during hours and hours of fairly mindless popsicle stick cutting and gluing, I worked out the problems I was having in three of my books.  So I’m looking forward to finally finishing some of my bazillion writing projects!  I knew that if I could keep my brain occupied enough, the endings would come to me.  It was just a matter of not overthinking things.  I put so much pressure on myself, having built this 5th What Zombies Fear book up to such a high crescendo  I’m afraid the ending might be a let down.  Laura and I just need to go write it now.   Two chapters left!


3 thoughts on “The Oriental Hotel and Saloon

    • I tried side cutters, but they splintered the ends, so I ended up using a heavy pair of scissors, which after about 1000 sticks made my hands really hurt, so I upgraded to a dremel.

      • I think maybe it’s time to buy a bigger and sharper pair of side cutters… Trust me… I’ve built a whole Warhammer Fantasy City out of paddle pop sticks… (I also got my paddle pops donated to me from my fathers work at the time… they come in 1,000 packs or 10,000 boxes, I did have 3 boxes… Also glue was free… But man oh man do I wish I had a glue gun back then, it seriously is the best investment, that I can back up)

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