Thursday, August 27, 2015

Derry's walls - building 'em Part 1

The original idea - jacked up Kallistra 10mm walls x 4 feet
You have got to be careful with titles like 'Derry's Walls'. It might attract the wrong kind of traffic. Needless to say, it was hard to keep certain ear worms from taking over during my construction project. I managed to suppress that particular demon by running the entire boxed set of MORSE in my workshop as I indulged in my most favourite project for some time.
Yeah, but I need a gatehouse - so let's make one and add  x 2 feet
Why build city walls from the late 17th century? Very simple - I needed them badly for a variety of reasons and they simply weren't commercially available. An easy solution would have been to buy a four feet long section, paint it and put it on the table for photographs. Needless to say, there was absolutely nothing on offer that I could find that remotely fitted the bill.
start dressing the breach and.. hmmm I fancy a wet ditch at the gate
In event, my four foot length turned into a six foot length which in turn went from a simple stretch of wall with a gate to six feet with water filled ditch, ruined bastion and various interesting buildings built along the internal perimeter.
Extend that ditch, start dressing the joins and more breach build
The basis of my construction started with the leftovers on the Kallistra stand at SALUTE in April 2015. I arrived at their stall late, just after the Biblical plague of locusts had moved on. I grabbed enough little pieces to make barely four feet including a gatehouse section. I got it home and didn't look at it for weeks. When finally the pieces came out to play and I did some measuring the realisation that what had been bought was for 10mm figures hit me like a hammer!!! Aaaagh!
I love chocolate - it hides a multitude of sins
A little comment on the Kallistra products. They are pricey for what you get and the most annoying thing about them is that none of the resin pieces are buffed flush and straight. This means wall sections do not butt together but bulge away from each other and the tiny gatehouse (well tiny for my intended 28mm purpose because it is in 10mm scale!) was put on the sanding machine at an angle thus sat like the leaning tower of Pisa. Just as well I had already decided to discard it for a scratch built effort.
Ditch and wall dressing at this stage was wise before things got fiddly
I ordered some 10mm foam core on the net which arrived quickly. My first thought was to cut this into lengths so as to jack up (and straighten) the walls to a proper height. I needed to build a four feet long city wall section for a variety of scenarios in the Ireland book. It would be guising as Derry, Athlone, Limerick and various other locations.

If only I had ditched the Kallistra bits I could have done this for 6 feet!
 Having applied scalpel to foam core and messed around with stacking the Kallistra mini walls on about 30mm of props the pieces were all swept into a carrier bag which sat under my workbench from May till August because of other short term projects including Ainsty ships, boats and harbours, floating bomb platforms and numerous other Warfare Miniatures demands. The absence of my Irish town table layouts was holding up production so I had to bite the bullet and get started.
now we're cooking! things appearing behind the walls!
What evolved from a basic idea I could not possibly have predicted but if I had, I would have frightened myself to death.
Since starting on the construction I have put in 30 hours work. The vast majority of what has been built thus far has evolved organically from the original idea. As the project has unfolded and the experience and experimentation has proved successful, so has the scope crept to something more complex.
Inking happening for areas which will be awkward later or are nearly finished

Where I am now is 30 hours in, 6 feet done, detail evolving and ideas continuing to appear as I go to sleep, in the shower, whilst walking and eating my nosh.
Big, rough work almost completed - board edges taped
Although modelled closely on engravings, sketches and the work of Philip Armstrong, enough flexibility has been applied to allow my Derry project to migrate across northern Europe and guise (in the future) as several different locations. I can already see Northern European possibilities.
Aah! I see where this is going now - buildings and detail next
This series will take us into the detail of the construction and many of the blind alleys and new opportunities which opened up for me. I had no plan, no drawings and a barely formed idea of what I wanted to turn out but this first post will take you on a little compressed time journey through  my diseased brain.
Barry enters the house building market
iphones are extremely useful for spontaneous record keeping and this first post whisks through the frequent hasty assembly shots in order to check progress and spot opportunities.

The series will explore the trials, tribulations and triumphs of my architectural test lab by dealing with each part of the construction in detail.. stay tuned.

12 comments:

  1. Wow - I like this very much - well done

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  2. I hope you don't mind me saying....... Wow!!

    That's some project Barry and really well executed!! Suprb stuff!!

    Very much looking forward to seeing this game.

    Darrell.

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  3. looking good Barry, I must get a start on my town walls

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  4. Thanks chaps the project has really got the creative juices flowing. I am now stuck in the complex bit which is constructing buildings behind the walls but attached to them. In the central section with the taper this is more difficult that I first imagined but rewarding nonetheless. I am learning a lot!!!!

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  5. Nice.. I have been kicking around the idea of building something similar to play games around Limerick and Athlone. I like the idea of adding the buildings on the inner wall and the modeling of the breach.

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  6. photos of that coming soon Pal! :)

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  7. what's that saying "great minds think alike but,...., I have decided to put on the Siege of Athlone at this years Worlds, well a taster for the main event at May Partizan, So a month to build the walls, no problem I hope,
    Love the walls, Barry, can't wait to see the finished piece
    Mark Shearwood

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  8. Sounds excellent Mark. I have had the privilege of seeing what remains of the walls of Athlone, They are 'chunky'! I am spending lots of time on angles and walls now as will become obvious in some of the following posts. Have spent about 12 hours on the central board around the gatehouse. Moving on to roofs today.

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  9. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  10. Excellent work Barry. I think this is a wonderful piece of work. I have a huge project in mind. This is an inspiration for my Derry project.

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