Tuesday, April 28, 2015

Fort Matanzas Part II Sentry Watchtower and gunports

     Just a progress report on the 28mm Fort Matanzas Project. I have cut the windows, gun-ports and doorways into the model. I also added the sentry tower on the corner (are we happy now Housemartin?) and built up the thickness of the interior of the tower walls

 my ultra-careful drafting of the door and window locations is on display in this photo,
 I cut the openings with a fresh X-Acto #11 blade

 then I drew in and cut the gun-ports,,
 it seems that there were two on the seaward side and one facing the marsh to the west

 the two gun-ports on the eastern side of the fort

 I also cut the two large windows on the north side of the tower, 
again notice the superb draftsmanship

 it never occurred to me that being on blood-pressure meds would help build a fort but there it is,
one of my old Catapres bottles is now the sentry tower

 the plastic cut easily, much to my surprise, 
hot glue holds it in place handily

the beginnings of the hearth

 two thin strips of foam form the flue in the eastern wall

 the magazine is on the left (eastern side) the living space in the middle and the flue on the right

another view of the tower interior

 starting on the domed top of the sentry tower, it doesn't look high enough 
and it is nowhere near fancy enough, the Spanish liked architectural details

 a little better

 so I glued the base down

 then I stacked up the parts, it looks a lot like a cheeseburger, 
maybe I shouldn't work on stuff right before dinner

I was feeling quite happy with the results so far

 just as an exercise I tried to slice foam as thin as possible with a consistent result,
 I ended up with this interesting heap of stuff,
loads of possibilities here

 the slices are about 2-2.5mm thick

 with this new-found wealth of dimensional material I decided to give the chimney a go,
step one; the chimney itself

 the I added the top, in a land of torrential rains a cover over the chimney is crucial

 I test-fitted it onto the tower roof

the Fort as she stands now, next step is tower interior and the a coat of stucco


  1. Very impressive work - I love the use of the P/X bottle.

  2. Wonderful modeling. A nicely crafted description of your design thought processes and your "hands-on" steps to model your way to the finished objective.

    I'm enjoying immensely your scratchbuilding project. Thanks.

  3. Yes, ... yes I am! More importantly the troops will be dazzled. However, those troops need to be Spaniards. I am unaware of any foreigners used by the Spaniards to garrison the colonies ... ever.

    Stunningly great work as always, but you raise more questions than you answer. Why did you cut two gun ports in the south side of the wall and only one in the North? I thought that there was only one port on each side? If there were two why not two on the built in observation side (with the sentry tower)? I know the fort does not have them, but why no ports on the West side (facing wall in picture above with drain pipe)? Would not guns there lend support to the main Castillo in the event of a seige? I presume that the entry way is on the tower's ocean side? I presume that the reason is general laziness (not wanting to build the walls that strong nor heft the guns up), but why are there no guns on top of the tower. Finally, the sentry tower is gorgeous for shape, but how are you going to stucco it to match the walls of the fort with that plastic bottle as the base?

  4. Housemartin you are killing me!

    Old sketches of the fort show two ports on the east side (the side facing the river).

    The entire south face has a lower rampart so all of the guns can fire to the south at the narrow passage that the approaching ships would have to pass to sail up the Matanzas River to approach the Castillo from the south.

    The western side of the fort faced a huge tidal swamp full of gators, few ships would sail there and darned few men would be foolish to try crossing it.

    The Castillo is miles upriver and far out of range of the forts guns.

    There are no guns on the tower because one wants to fire at ships as close to the level of the water as is possible; it reduces the chance of missing and causes damage at the waterline. The tower walls are very thick, particularly on the side facing the river, doubtless built that way to survive the return fire on any ship lucky enough to get far enough upriver for a broadside to bear.

    But you knew all that already......didn't you?

    As far as painting the sentry tower I plan on spray-painting the model with texture paint after I fill the gaps....all in good time my friend, all in good time.

  5. Awesome looking project! You are inspiring me to work on one myself... ;)

  6. Take a look at the link to the USF report on the site, it has lots of info that would help you make a model. If you want more detail stuff I have tons of photos of the Fort and the Castillo that would help with little details. I would be happy to pass them along to you.