Tuesday, March 24, 2015


As I approach six decades on this planet there are fewer and fewer things that get me really excited but I got an email today that has me truly in a state. The National Park Service sent me a link to a laser-scanning survey of Fort Matanzas conducted by the University of South Florida. The documents that are part of this survey include a 3-D scan and model of the Fort as well as careful dimensional drawings. The quality is superb, the documentation excellent and best of all it is free!

an example of the superlative renderings from the USF report

You can download the entire report by signing up with academia.edu or just view it on line.

Now I have no excuses for not building the model of the Fort that I have been going on about.

Best of all they are probably going to be surveying the CASTILLO soon!

I wonder if I could find somebody with a 3-D printer that could handle this..........


  1. Hi,
    Do you by any chance live in the area of the fort? I'll be retiring to St. Augustine in 2 years, and I've been hoping there are other hobbyists in the area.

    When I was down there last year I asked the folks at the Castillo about their docent program, as I'd like to be a guide. They never heard the term before! (?!) I then gave a short tour to my family, explaining things like the parts of guns, why siege trenches look the way they do, etc. I wound up attracting some other visitors who joined the group, so I guess there are people interested in more information than what they can get by just looking at things.

    Anyway, thanks for the link!!

    Best regards,

    Chris Johnson

  2. Chris, I don't live there (just yet) I just visit every spring. Hopefully I can retire there sometime soon, probably 4+ years from now.

    The fort used to have uniformed guides but would greatly profit from a professional guide services like one can get at most of the significant Civil War battlefields. The length of history and feast of anecdotal information would greatly enhance the experience.

    Perhaps we should set up an "escort service" to guide people who have more than a passing interest in military history.....I am looking for work after I retire!

  3. Great! Looking forward to it. We may not make much money, but it will be interesting!

    I hear you on post-retirement work: I retired 2 1/2 years ago after 40 years of govt service. It was great for awhile--I got a huge number of figures painted! But eventually it got kind of boring, so I went back half time as a rehired annuitant. It's enabling me to put a lot go money aside for my youngest son's college education. It's only for 2 years, but that's when we're moving to Florida anyway.

    Best regards,


  4. When you do decide to build it, remember to go to "Michael's". They sell those stone blocks pre cut in sets that would be PERFECT for both forts. At worst you might need to paint them.

  5. Housemartin, I don't have to go to that level of work (although it isn't as if I am not that crazy, remember the Gallic hillfort that I built, brick by brick, those many years ago) the Spanish covered both the Fort and the Castillo with a bright white layer of stucco thus they presented a smooth surface. Even I can bring that off fairly easily!

    I DO love those bricks and have two boxes of them in the toy room begging for a project!