Sunday, April 26, 2015

At least this won't need rivets! 28mm Fort Matanzas

        I am much given to sudden enthusiasms but this is the result of an enduring fascination. Ever since I first laid eyes on the actual fort I have wanted to build a model of it. Many years ago I made a half-hearted attempt but it ended when I moved and the scarcely-started model was damaged.  Prompted by the release of the Lace Wars figures by Wargames Factory and by Joe showing up last week with some painted tricorne infantry and in no small measure by the release of the U.S.F 3-D survey of the fort just a few weeks ago I resolved to give it a go.

      Equipped with a print-out of the U.S.F.paper and a pile of photographs that I have taken over the years during visits to the site I descended into the man-cave and got out my trusty Proxxon hot-wire cutter and a pile of blue-board.

the first thing to do was to cut the base or plinth, 
in the real fort this is little more that a pile of rock 
to raise the fort and provide a solid foundation for the gun-deck and tower
I had decided to build the model in 1/48th scale to fit the figures and make calculations easy

the actual base has a draft angle to it, slightly narrower at the top than the bottom, this is my high-tech way of checking to see that the angle is correct, later it began to bother me and I went back and calculated it precisely, I was within a 1.32 of an inch

the base trimmed to proper size and shape

the actual base is a solid pile of rock, 
for gaming purposes I decided to add a hollow space under the fort, 
more storage for pirate treasure or a dungeon perhaps

rather than try something tricky and mess up my nice base
 I simple made straight cuts to remove the center section

then I got out my nemesis and hot-glued it back together 
(I am happy to report that -so far at least- I have yet to burn myself)

 to make the walls of the tower I split some foam-board into 5/8" sheets
 and then cut the walls from that

To determine the height of the wall around the top of the tower
 I used the tried and true method of comparing it to a miniature

I then glued the walls around the top of the tower, and the walls around the gun deck;
 the model was based on a sheet of heavy matt-board which also forms the gun deck

then I dug out my Spanish Succession artillery and stood them on the model to see how it looks, 
the ruler gives a sense of size

    There is still a ton of work to do on this model but at least this time I won't be applying a zillion rivets to the thing!


  1. Love it! look forward to seeing how it works out

    1. It is the fort that is the header (currently) for the blog. It was covered in a white stucco when it was finished, with red trim. Thank heavens I don't have to do all that brickwork!

  2. Great first step - did you use a band or table saw to cut the foam block?

    1. I used a Proxxon Hot Wire cutter, a real nifty tool designed for just such a modeling project. Check this link:

    2. That looks like a great tool - just ordered one via Amazon Prime - thanks for the idea

    3. I am still learning all the things it can do. You can use it like a table saw or a jig saw (if your hand is steady enough) bu adjusting the the wire attachment point you can cut consistent angles.

      One 4x8 sheet of blue-board will keep you busy for months!

  3. Just a few questions:

    A) Where is the rusty drain pipe prominent in the center of the fort pictured at the top of the blog? We would not things to become unsanitary and have the battlement become a fetid torpid pool fit only for alligators and turtles.

    B) Where is the little tower on the corner of the battlement level? That look out post provides shelter to lonely guards on stormy nights, we must think of the soldiers morale.

    C) Those Spaniards look a little 'bland', when will they be ready for the Pirates to rout? They will not provide much of a fight anyway, but they should look the part at least.

    1. A) The original had a simple scupper insyead of the drainpipe.

      B) See the next installment

      C) I will try to provide some foreign regiments

  4. Nice scratch model building!