Friday, September 4, 2015

Derry's walls part 3 - the breach


Now, I know a few of you will be reading this and saying - 'what breach?' but actually there were various points around the walls which had taken a bit of a pounding. There was a serious Jacobite assault during which they attempted to destroy a damaged bastion near Butcher's Gate facing out on to the bog side (west).

This is what I originally planned using the Kallistra pieces.

I intend to use these walls not only for Derry but for other Irish towns and possibly for other northern European towns at some point so the breach idea was on!
Building the breach using foam core and PVA glue

This took quite a long time to do and was somewhat trial and error

In the early stages of this project I was really struggling for walls sections and including the breach I had purchased from Kallistra I still had barely four feet to play with. This lack of material led me directly to constructing  the middle two feet of the wall section including the gatehouse - which was never part of the original idea.
Adding heavy metal objects and expecting them to stay put with wood glue was frustrating - the sand acts to form a concrete
The breach is based around the 10mm Kallistra wall breach section. I had to saw it in half to widen it and jack it up by 30mm in height.
Chocoloate brown emulsion - dry brushing and then layers of inking

Packing the breach area was fiddly and firstly involved large layered sections of foam core. These provided a discernible shape but  much time was spent on gluing many tiny slivers and chunks of cut off foam core to achieve the effect I wanted.
a perspective from early in the construction process
Having done this, a first layer of sand - PVA sealed the breach and then I set about building in layer after layer of wreckage. This included spare parts such as gun barrels, wheels, axles, chests, barrels, rope, gabions, fascine bundles, poles, timber, buckets, smashed ladders and other assorted debris which would have fallen from the walls or been dropped by the attackers.
Far from finished - I am still considering outer groundwork and inner buildings

The most significant element of this part of the build was the drying time between each layer which often had to be re-covered with yet more  fine sand, rubble, cat litter, sharp sand small rocks.
wreckage in the breach - see what you can spot!

When the bastion was skimmed with plaster and then coated with my usual sand mix the extent of the open space was clear. I decided that if a breach was affected in a fortification and the attackers had not stormed it, the defenders were likely to try and hold it. For that reason I built some temporary wooden gun platforms in the bastion. I intended to protect these with gabions and chevaux de frise when the walls were in use for games.

7 comments:

  1. My God Barry, you are already 'exceeding expectations'. Wonderful work & very,very accurate. *tips hat*

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  2. Thanks Paul. I have learned a lot about scratch building during this project. The next episode of the tale deals with some of the details work on buildings in the central two feet section around the gatehouse.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Barry, that looks great, love the detail, can't wait to see the finished piece,
    Mark Shearwood

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  4. Outstanding work Barry. The breach just looks so authentic- great blow by blow account...

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  5. Having seen the walls in the flesh today, all I can say is that the photos don't do them justice.
    Look out for them at a show near you next year.

    ReplyDelete

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