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Re: Re: fort advice...

excellent idea, derek! the cost of the two kits wouldn't be that bad. i don't really need the figures in the airfix set but what the heck. plus, with the zvezda kit, i can always expand, if neccessary. the scenario is this. you're a commander of a fort in the old northwest. you have a small garrison of regulars, some militia, and a friendly tribe of indians and a trading post in the area. then the rumors are heard of 'drums along the mohawk', as iroquois parties begin to be seen. a scout reports seeing a column of british infantry, cavalry and artillery heading to you. the idea is to play a small scenario where the player has to be very careful with manpower and resources. action is ambush, skirmish, etc. it would be like many accounts i've read about frontier warfare. most of the time, forts surrendered after a few casualties. thanks, again.

Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

Dear Madpenman,

Just my opinion, but more than likely, you should consider a nice, full-bodied wooden stockade for the French-Indian Wars, as these battles were fought in the North Eastern U.S., weren't they? The North East has lots of tall, thick trees making great Stockade Walls.

I have always wanted to build the Airfix Fort portrayed on the American War of Independance British Box. Here is PSR's link to an excellent period painting!:

(+) The North West and North East had plenty of trees, translating into logs. Derek is correct. The Airfix kit has a very realistic living quarters. Use a sharp paper cutter to cut off the walls. The South West doesn't have tall trees, so most Fortresses there are mud and brick.

(+) And Derek is also correct in recommending the Zvezda Fort for the Stockades walls. Because it is designed to be plug together, you can make any size. And the logs have realistically pointed log tops, whereas the Airfix Walls look like a backyard fence being flat planks, not realistic at all.

(+) Zvezda's plastic is very hard, so you need to saw it. The Humborol Airfix is soft, you can cut it.

(+) Zvezda's nice corner towers can be cut into Block Houses, or Blockades to fit on the walls, and over the Gate, just like in the Airfix picture (see link above).

(+) With the Zvezda's Walls, and Blockade/Towers, and the Airfix Living Quarters, you can make the ultimate Wooden Stockade.

(+) If you go to the Osprey Publishing site, and go to the Fortress Series, and look at both the American Plains Fortresses 1820-1891 (?) Look at the covers for both the North West and South West books; there are 2 books. Check out both covers. They are towards the end of the list as just recently published. I have both and they are great. There is also a French Fortress book, but I do not have it yet :-( You can see the huge differences in Fortress types of Logs vs Mud Bricks.

(+) Humbrol Airfix Fort Apaches boxes/sets are cheap, shouldn't pay more than $25 USD and the plastic is soft, you can cut it with a paper cutter. The color is medium brown so goes well with Zvezda. And you get figures. If you buy the original Fort only, sold in the U.K. and Europe kits only available on eBay today, you'll pay $35 USD or more and no figures. These are dark, dark brown and hard plastic needing to be cut. Both are nice, but consider softness and cost $USD.

Note: I hope you do this project this year and submit it to Contributions. Cause if you don't I will ... this is a great project! :-)

Happy Converting

Re: Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

For views of an unusual early American fort
go to This is a recreation of Fort
No. 4 in what is today the state of Vermont. Build
during the early French and Indian Wars, it survived
several raids and one major attack. The original fort
is long gone, but the recreation is near the original
site and looks just like it. Fort No. 4 was where
the famous ranger Major Robert Rogers returned after
his most famous exploit - his raid on the St. Francis
(Abenaki) Indians in Canada.

At this fort, the settlers' houses were all build
side-by-side, facing inward in a square. This made a
fort out of the houses' back walls. A wooden stockade
was then build a short distance beyond the square of
buildings. But, unlike most stockades, the upright
stakes were not touching but had a gap of a few inches
between them - not enough space for a man to sqeeze
through, but enough so that people in the fort could
see through it and fire from the back walls of their
houses. It thus served as a kind of barbed-wire - it
stopped attackers, but left them vulnerable to enemy
fire at the same time. Its worth a look.

Re: Re: Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

Dear Britsfan,

Wow! A fantastic link to a piece of "Living History!"

I wish I could afford to build a log-cabin, however, I am satisfied with members links such as this. Beautiful!

Thank you and Happy New Year :-)

Re: Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

A very interesting period. Most of the early forts on the frontier of the Ohio River and tributaries ("Old" Northwest Territory) were pretty simple affairs but extremely effective. The following websites show examples of reconstructed forts today at Boonesborough, Ky and Nashborough(Nashville), Tn. Both were subject to regular attacks in their day.

Here is another site with several pages showing a beautiful model of Fort Duquesne and Fort St. Clair.

A common feature were strong blockhouses at the corners that provided enfilading fire along the palisades. The palisades were less substantial with walls of interior cabins often contributing to the stockade perimeter. Large trees were available but smaller timbers were easier to handle with the man/horse power at hand.

Good luck with your project.

Re: Re: Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

A little more elaborate frontier fort would be Fort Stanwix. The US National Park Service has reconstructed it. Their website is very good. There was extensive fighting there during the Revolution. It is really a wooded version of a Vauban fortress.
Another extreme example is Fort Klock. It was really just a fortified farm house that same some fighting in NY State in the Revolution. Their website is
The actions at both sites are well within reasonable range to war game. And both sites are well worth the visit if you are in the Mohawk Valley of New York State.
David Moore

Re: Re: Re: Fort Advice - Wooden Stockades

If anyone is in the Washington area before March, the Smithsonian currently has the exhibition "Clash of Empires: The British, French & Indian War, 1754-1763." It's been making the rounds in canda and elsewhere in the US.
It's a nice overview of the north american war from all sides. They include a fabulous diorama of Fort Duquesne (i'm guessing about 6-10mm scale.) and another one of Braddock's defeat. same scale.


Re: fort advice...

Dear 'madpenman'
Zvezda are really rather good with their modular fort designs. Better buy the wooden fort rather than separate bits - cheaper.
As for any internal buildings made of stone, you may have to visit a model railroad shop for scratch-building materials such as stone walling etc and go from there.

Re: Re: thanks, guys.

good suggestions from you all. i'm really looking forward to this project. as it is, i'm painting a lot of ARW figures that i put on backburner because of napoleonics. the imex artillery sets and italieri indians made me interested in the period again as a possible wargame. thanks again for the info people, and happy new year as well. (i'm off the forum for seven days.)