Finishing the Shotgun House

Having being half completed for a while, I took the time to finish off my The Chicago Way Shotgun House from 4Ground.

In the mid C19th on the French island territory of Haiti a narrow gable fronted worker’s dwelling had developed with external door openings in the gable ends in alignment front and rear. Internal partition walls were used to divide living space, with internal partition doors in alignment with the external doors enabling good air circulation; often built with a high roof pitch and small windows below the gable peaks which contributed to the cooling environment created by the effect of drafting air through the dwelling.

By the late C19th these dwellings had spread across much of the USA and could be commonly found from Southern Texas all the way up to Chicago – North East Illinois. Better quality examples were sometimes called ‘Shotgun Houses’ rather than ‘Shotgun Shacks’ to distinguish them from those of a poorer quality. By the early to mid C20th almost all of these houses were considered old and dilapidated and both ‘Shotgun Shack’ and ‘Shotgun house’ implied a poor quality dwelling.

I found the model went together really easily.

However I did find the doors a little difficult and I constructed them back to front, so worth watching out for that if you are building one of these houses.

As with most 4Ground models there are the burn marks from the laser cutting. I think they add a certain weathered appearance to the building.

I am now thinking about getting the other two Shotgun Houses from this range.

Building the Chicago Way

Though I still have to paint some models for The Chicago Way and make up the Shotgun House I bought at a recent show, I have been thinking about other potential buildings.

Looking over the film The Untouchables, which was the inspiration for the rules, has some nice shots of buildings.

Zooming in (click the images to see larger versions of the screen grabs) we can see the stye of buildings used in the film to represent the 1920s.


These are quite Victorian in style, which is why I might also use my Gaslamp Alley VSF buildings from Sarissa Precision.


4Ground already make a range of really nice buildings for The Chicago Way and they look really nice and appear to fit the game well. I already have one of the Shotgun Houses, but that is still on the workbench.

Shotgun House

I think there are other potential buildings from 4Ground that would also work well, especially some of those in the 28mm Gothic City range. I really like the Tenement building range and could see those as ideal background scenery for The Chicago Way games.

North Point Tenement 1

From other companies I have also been looking at Sarissa Precision, both their new retro American range and their City Block range.