or: The Phantom Crown.


El Gato Negro: A small Cantina suitable for Mexico or the American West.

Mexican Adventure: Terrain: El Gato Negro

I wanted a small cantina suitable for a very small village, and I had wanted to make a freestanding thatched area as well. I decided to combine the two projects in one.

Seen from above, it is evident how simple the basic structure is: a box. A door and window were cut in the front, and a larger window in the side to serve the eating area. A low wall surrounds the area.

A shutter to close the serving window is held up by a stick at the back.

The thatched awning is held up by posts at the low end, and by the building at the higher end. A frame was built on these supports, and the whole was thatched. (There are books on the subject. I read one!) Usually, my thatched roofs are just glued onto a solid board: This one is actually thatched, and looks right from the bottom as well. The supports are matchsticks, the frame round toothpicks. The thatching is string.

There is a jug and a bowl of food on the serving shelf, and shelves of supplies to be seen through the window. (The interior was visibly empty without them.) The jugs are wooden beads with wire rims, and the bowls & platters are thumbtacks. The shelves and serving counter are made from Popsicle sticks.

The door and shutters are made from smaller craft sticks, and the door opens and closes. I have used a new method of hanging the door: It is faster and easier than my old method.

I bend a piece of wire so that it has two arms sticking out of it (like an F with a piece sticking up from the top) and merely glue the door to the wire & arms. Fast & easy.

The herbs in the basket & on the shelves are string. The potatoes on the platter are mustard seeds, and the tortillas are small paper disks.(Similar items can be seen in the market area.)

The basket is in fact a small basket purchased at a craft store, but a similar item could easily be woven from wire & thread or paper.

I added a sign to the front of the store for those whose Spanish is not the best, or for those who cannot read.

I made the table & benches loose (and have made some more) as they can be moved to make a firing step in some other walled enclosures. Each table is 20 x 40mm, just the right size for 2 figures to stand on.


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Last Updated on June 1, 2007 by Tim Peterson