The Saguaro is an iconic image of the American West. As such, these beautiful plants should also be a part of the terrain on any Western game board set in the Southwestern desert. Reading about this “old man of the desert” I learned a couple of interesting facts. There are no wild Saguaros to be found outside of Arizona or Mexico, so despite what the movies show, there are no wild Saguaros in Texas, Colorado, Utah, New Mexico, or Nevada or in the high deserts of Arizona. (They are some very, very rare specimens in California.) They live up to 200 years and reach as high as 70 feet/21m. They may grow their first side arm anywhere at 50 to 75 years of age, but some never grow one at all and those are called a “spear”. The arms usually bend upward and can number over 25. The Saguaro is the second largest cactus in the world–the largest is the Mexican Giant Cardon Cactus.
I took the liberty to collect some pictures off the internet and put them into a slide show. You will see some annotations on various features and design elements that I find common to the Saguaro that will help when attempting to create more realistic models of these cacti. The next post on this blog will provide a step-by-step method for creating your own 1:72 or 25mm scale Saguaros.