Sunday, 23 July 2017

Scratch building a French Indian War fort

Having completed a blockhouse to add to my French Indian War armies last week, it was time to figure out how to create a fort. One of the considerations I had was not to create a large piece of terrain which would require storage. 

The final result which can be set up with different configurations
I opted to build the fort walls in 6 inch strips to fit with the 6 inch tabletop grid I use. My figures are based on 3x4 inch bases so small firing steps are not going to work. The approach is to use MDF for the walls and an angled pine moulding for the firing steps. This allows a defending unit to be seen over the defence wall.
Man the walls!
The defenders can be seen over the wall
The MDF was cut into 6 x 1.5 inch strips and the moulding cut into 6 inch lengths with a 45 degree mitre cut on each end. These were then stuck together and stapled to hold them. The stapes were removed later on once the glue was dry.

Wood cut and prepared
Glue mounding
Staples used to hold pieces in position 
Once all the glue was dry, the walls get an undercoat of mid-brown. The next step involves stripping the walls with a watered down dark brown, then with a watered down yellow brown to represent logs used to build the walls. Although the yellow brown is less watered down, else they tend to disappear once dry.

Painting on stripes with watered down dark brown
A second set of strips were added with a slightly watered down yellow brown 
The back is painted green and will be later flocked
In all 12 wall sections were made - 2 were painted up as gates
Once painted all sections got a coat of varnish and the back flocked. Very simple to make and paint and can easily be packed away without fear of any breakages. It is surprising how effective a little bit of paint quite quickly applied can transform a simple strip of MDF into a log defence wall.

The whole lot including block house (made from balsa wood and card) cost less than $20, and made over the weekend.

A close up of the fort walls and blockhouse made last week. 
This shot shows how the mitred back supports work. 
A seige underway? 
The defence walls will also get a run with my dark age flats


  1. Great work!, the fort looks really good.

  2. Good crafting, that wood effect on the fencing looks superb and the whole thing looks right in the setting of the grid. The block tower would also make a good watch-tower for the Romano / Dark Age stuff.

    1. Yes, there is the option to reuse the block house/tower. The whole fort and blockhouse look has exceeded my expectation. Thanks.

  3. Your stockade walls turned out quite nicely. The last photo showing your Dark Age flats is intriguing. The flats look cool!

    1. Thank you. The flats are made from the wargaming 1066 book by Peter Dennis.

  4. Love the end product! The bevelled firing step is brilliant and I love the striping on the stockade - way easier than gluing bamboo skewers together!

    1. Thanks. They are quicker to make than bamboo skewers.

  5. Very nice fort. Lots of good work. I am building a scratch built fort as well. Where can I post a picture?

    1. Thank you. You are welcome to reuse the image if that is your question?