Welcome to my blog, the story of my continuing journey into the World of Zombie Wargames.

Monday 27 May 2019

Fortress (AB#4)

Another week wherein ll I did hobby-wise was dig out some old stuff that hasn't seen the light of day in many years !
This fortress is now about thirty years old, looking very much the worse or wear and of course never used in a table top game.
It's made almost entirely from polystyrene (the old ceiling tile stuff) and hence is very fragile and having been moved many times from room to room it does show a lot of damage. In addition I've also managed to lose the entrance fortification that sat in front of the gateway.
The photograph at the top is heavily photo-shopped and I've included the buildings shown in last week's post too, so it does look like a city in a Vauban-style fortress (at least it does with my failing eyesight. The figures that can just be seen are 28mm pirates (either Redoubt or Foundry).
It is big !
It's huge too, the photograph above shows the important dimensions, all in inches and it also shows the damage to it, as other than the background the rest hasn't been photo-shopped.
It needs a 60 inch diameter circle of table to fit it on!
The side of the bastion is about 6", to accommodate two gun models.
Aerial view with above bastion in centre bottom.
Close up of Gateway, with pirate on guard
Looking much better when filled with houses.
The wall between the two bastions is about 9" long, accommodating two battalions
28mm Pirate firing over the parapet, whilst a smaller 30mm civilian watches
Another view with the whole set-up lying on a double bed  (just)
The while model was built in a bit of a rush, in case one was needed for the campaign I was running (it was never used . It's built specifically for my figure bases, so all the ramps are 1 1/2 inches wide as are the wall firing steps. The bastions are designed so that 6 cannon can just about be fitted onto a single bastion; mine have a base of 3" frontage and about a 4" depth.
This was the first of several large models I've built over the years,  another "star-fort" with six bastions was made for a friend, with accompanying siege lines and was about 6 foot in diameter!Sadly no photographs of that particular model survived.
Mine is designed (badly on reflection) so that it can be taken apart and various parts can be abutted onto a table edge for a game ( a bit like my "Pony Wars' " fort (LINK))
And that's it for another week in my nostalgic tour of gaming "in the old days", when armies were painted and terrain was made and all of which would never be used !

Thanks for taking the time to visit, here's hoping that you've found something of interest and as always your comments are both welcomed and appreciated.

I'll also be trying to catch up on my backlog of blogs to visit as time and real-life allows!


  1. A pity it never seen use Joe but does go to show how we're all spoiled these days with kits for everything we want been able to be bought but I always feel the ones that are home made are the more satisfying :)

    1. Thanks Frank, you're right of course,there really was very little available 'back in the day and certainly not Vauban style fortresses, though Ian Weekley would have made you oe at an astronomicl price!
      I was very happy with this model, evenit it was a bit rushed and my second one was far better.

  2. Really nice scratch modeling, Zab. It is a joy to see your creativeness. Thanks for sharing.

    1. Thanks Jay, I really was 'into' polystyrene at the time, cheapand plentiful !
      It's been a delight and priviledge to be able to share my nostalgia.

  3. What a great scratch built fort! It's a pity you didn't get to use but to be honest I'm building a Rennaisance Italian walled city that might well never get a game but is fun to do! One of my old school hills you commented on started off as a poly hill that I have added tile adhesive on top to make it durable and cork tile underneath which seems to strengthen it. It looks great with your buildings inside, couldn't you use it in one of your pirate games with different buildings inside,a city with a fortress and the city and port beyond?
    Best Iain

    1. Thanks Iain for the kind words, I nearly built an Italian city too after seeing Peter Gulder;s one in one of the early wargaming mags, butnever did. I did make an Italian fortress for a friend that sat on a 3 foot square base and was about 21" high though.
      The Italian Renaissance genre is one I'd love to play as it's got a lot going for it, but it's a pipedream now.
      IThe way things are atm I can;t ever see me playing a game over it - sadly, butaa Pirate scenario would fit it well.

  4. I've always had a thing for a Vauban, never played a period that needed one but I like that one of yours!

    1. Thanks AL, I fell in love with them after visiting the least visited top floor of the "Musee D'Armee" in Paris, where all his models are! I'm also drawn to the symmetry of them - that's my mathematical side showing.

  5. Replies
    1. Thanks Michal, I do like big structures.

  6. Always wanted to build a Vauban fortress, never the space. Yours is wonderful and inspirational, thanks for sharing.

    Willz Harley.

    1. Thanks Willz, the bit I @ve enjoyed the most was the planning stage, getting all the angls correct etc.
      There are many much smaller ones too (Newark) that follow the same lines and look great on a gamiong table.

  7. Wow Joe, you're certainly treating us to some stunning stuff on this wander down memory lane!
    Ah the good old days, when the club tables were just painted green, it was cut up beer mats for bases, lichen for trees and polystyrene ceiling tiles and cardboard for buildings :-)
    Testimony to your handiwork, it would still look fantastic in a game today!!

    1. Thanks TWA; you describe the "good old days" exactly as I remember them - right down to the beer mats! (though our club tables were never paunted).
      This model was a great learning tool and I'd suggest anyone beginning to scratchbuild, to have a go at something, anything, it's how I started.

  8. That's impressive Joe, just the sheer size of it, 5' across is fairly massive and the amount of storage space must be quite phenomenal.
    These Vauban style fortifications are still with us, I've visited a few over the last few years and so you could set a pirate game in it historically but you could also set a zombie game in it and still be valid. You have a period of 300 years available to you. A bit of filler and paint and you're away.
    I've always wanted a big fortification but it's never going to happen, the possibilities for a game are endless.

    1. Thanks Vagabond, I wish I had photos of the bigger, better one I built !
      My local Vauban fortifications are only an hour's drive away in Berwick and they're still impressive to this day. There are similar fortifications across the world too, Canada, USA, Sri Lanka, Africa, anywhere where Europeans settled (read took over).
      Though I can't say for sure Panama City may have also had them as do many Caribbean ports so pirate games using them are certainly viable.