Friday, 26 August 2016

The stockade

Stockades are a very old form of defence. In America they were used by Indians and the first settlers, and continued well into the 19th century, usually at the frontier. They served as temporary miltary defences as well as defences of single farms or of whole setllements.
Masterton Stockade of 1669
1832 civilian fort with stackade and blockhouse
(Apple River Fort replica, Elizabeth, Illinois, USA)
I conceived my stockade again as a module construction. It consists of 3 straight sections, a gate section, 4 corner sections, 2 inner angle sections, and 2 stone basements and a new timbered ground floor for my blockhouse.

straight section
front view with some Indian figures

corner section
gate section with moveable gate wings
inner angle section (used with the settlement enclosure below to create a protruding sectin of the defence)
stone basement 1
stone basement 2
new timber ground floor for my blockhouse
With these parts it is possible to build differnt simple fortifications on the gaming table.
corner of a small fort with a defending blockhouse
blockhouse with stockade enclosure
the same blockhouse with an additional stone basement

enclosure of a small settlement
 The use of the stockade is not limited to the American Revolutionary War, of course.

Friday, 5 August 2016

The Redoubt

For a long time I had wanted to build a small earthen fortification that could be used on the table. My friend Horst and me agreed that a fort or redoubt should be built in a modular form. So I started planning. First I drew a sketch of the cross-section of the wall.
cross-section of the wall and ditch
The figures are in millimetres, but I changed the measures slightly later because I used 30mm thick polystyrene foam sheets to build up the wall in two layers.
I started with three straight sections of the wall, using 4mm plywood as a base and for the sides and the buld-up of the parapet. The front of the wall was then smeared with an olive-green coloured filler. And I then continued with four rectangular corners, a door section, and a section with a gun emplacement. The abatis palisades I added after everything had dried. They were cut from small sticks of oakwood I had collected sometime in the past (you never know what things like this can be used for, just keep them in your cellar).
The fort before the final finish, arranged as a simple redoubt shape and without stairs
The gun emplacement under construction (equipped with a British 6-pounder by Pipe-and-Drum)
The door section with Anspach grenadiers (figures by Warlord Games)
The outsides of the walls were then covered with static grass (from a model railroad shop).
The finished gun emplacement with British gunners (Warlord Games figures)
I can now use these moduls for a simple square redoubt, a redoubt with a gun emplacement (like Redoubt 10 at Yorktown), or as a small fort, or as the cicumvallation of a blockhouse.Here follows the photo shooting of the finished fortification:
The redoubt with a wet ditch (made of printed cardboard and plywood borders),
here the stairs in the corners are added

This is what the corner stairs look like
The entrance to the redoubt with removable bridge
Redoubt with gun empacement and a 18-pounder naval gun
A small fort consisting of a blockhouse with cicumvallation
The fl├Ęche guarding the entrance, with chevaux de frise,
made of rocket sticks (collected on New Years Day) and toothpicks
Seen from the interior
I wonder who will dare to attack this fortification. However, Redoubt No. 10 at Yorktown was taken by the Amaricans in a surprise night attack. It had a dry ditch though.

Tuesday, 2 August 2016


Blockhouses were very common in North America, either as single defences, or as part of larger fortifications. The most widespread type is the two-storey building, the groundfloor of which is either of stone or of timber, and the upper storey protuding so that defenders can fire down trough machcoli in the floor at attackers who have managed to get next to the wall.

Fort Hawkins
They were used from the French and Indian War well into the 19th century.
My blockhoulse has a stone groundfloor and a timber upper storey, the latter with gun ports. The cardboard roof is covered with shingles. Instead of a look-out there is a central chimney.
The Ansbach grenadiers (Warlord Games figures) are added for size comparison
The material I used is mainly 4mm plywood, the upper storey with a layer of balsa wood. For the roof I used cardboard and laser-cut shingles by Charlie Foxtrot Models. By the way: The stone wall is a product of my computer printer.
Here are some more pictures of the thing:

The groundfloor with the fireplace
The upper storey with machcolis, trapdoor and a cannon
Detail of the gun port
An attacker's view of the machcolis