Wednesday, January 3, 2018

The Ravelin (Updated)

    Now that the hustle and bustle of the Holidays have passed I am working feverishly on the Castillo with one eye on the clock. Less than three weeks remain before the unveiling at Spartacon and I realized that I had not yet built the ravelin. For those not conversant with Vauban's method of fortification the ravelin was a smaller bastion-shaped out work that guarded the approach to the main gate. Ir was also often used as an additional layer of defense in front of the other sections of wall too. Happily for me the Castillo has but one and it stands on the south side of the fortress facing the town and covering the main gateway of the fortress.

 a photo of the actual Castillo de San Marcos

scale drawings? what have I let myself get into? Alas!

    Faced with the constraints of playability and portability I was forced to make certain concessions while building the ravelin for the game. Unlike its real progenitor it would have to sit on the broad that will contain the wall section that has the main gate, thus it will be smaller and closer than it should be. Not having time for my usual method of building by trial and error I resorted to making a scale drawing and working from that.

it has been a while since I did any amount of free-hand cutting with Proxie,
as you can see I was a bit shaky

the drawing looked OK but I had to see the actual item in place before I was satisfied

having satisfied myself that it would look the part I went ahead and cut out the second layer, 
this involved a LOT of free-hand work

the interior of the ravelin is raised slightly so the troops could fire over the parapet, 
so I had to cut a piece to fill the interior, if my hands were steady enough to have made the part from the  spoil from cutting the second layer

as it was I had to cut a piece and then slice it in half to get the correct height

thus was test-fitted into the ravelin second layer 
and trimmed and sanded to ensure a nice tight fit

then all the surfaces that would be joined were lightly sanded with 60 grit before being glued,
 the sanding ensures that the wood glue finds a  rough surface for a better joint

a little light sanding on the outside got all the surfaces tidied up

then I gave it the first coat of stucco

   All that remains is a molding just under the edge of the parapet and a drawbridge across the moat. Oh, and I have to paint and flock the whole thing. 

     And finally.......
a REAL scale drawing of the actual thing

     In answer to some questions that came up on TMP I have added the following photos;

 the National Park Service keeps teasing me with their tests of locally-made stucco,
 the Castillo was originally covered inside and out with this sort of material, 
the trim was done in a bold red color, those being the Bourbon colors
it is most unusual for a ravelin to have a rear wall, 
this photo shows that the interior is overlooked by anyone standing on the rampart ,
you can also see how thin the rear wall is-it would offer little shelter from close-range cannon fire


  1. I thought I smelled melting Foam-board. Will you need more figures. My infantry units are based .

  2. Wow this is very impressive. Great to see how the project is coming together. This is going to be quite a center piece.


  3. This is certainly shaping up into a major project!
    Inspiring building you have going on!

    Good luck with the deadline!