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Fort Apache - Part 2

Fort Apache - Part 2The major features of Fort Apache are the metallic panelling and the wall cantilevers. In this section I'll describe how I made the cantilevers and finished off the walls.

Fort Apache - Part 2The cantilevers were constructed from three sizes of styrene tubing/rod. The main pole is tough 8mm diameter tubing. The struts are constructed from two further sizes of styrene that were selected so that the thinner rod would slide inside the wider tube. I began by cutting a triangular guide from an offcut of cardboard to ensure I got each pole at the same angle to the wall. Then I fixed the pole at the bottom with a generous blob of hot glue from the glue gun, holding the triangular guide in place between the pole and the wall until the glue set sufficiently to hold the pole without it drooping.

Fort Apache - Part 2I cut a piece of thin tubing and thin rod sufficient to reach from the ground to a point part way up the tube. The thin rod was cut over-length so that it could slide inside the thin tubing for a perfect fit. I got the fit to the main pole by wrapping sandpaper around the pole and rubbing the thin tubing up and down it until fitted.

The support rod was anchored to a small off cut of plastic that had been glued to the base. Some glue was applied to each end of the thin rod and then I slid it into the thin tubing and glued the other end to the pole.

Since I intended eventually to thread cables over the poles they had to be very sturdy. They weren't. So, as you can see in the photograph I added a further strut between the pole and the wall of the fort. With this in place the pole was a very sturdy construction. I made four cantilevers like this, and finished them off by gluing a split plastic wall plug into the top.

Fort Apache - Part 2A little extra detail was added to the walls. Thin cardboard was glued along the top edges with a hot glue gun. There is an easy way to get the angled joints at the corners perfect: cut the cardboard strips over length and let them overlap at the corner. Then cut through both layers at once at the desired angle with a sharp craft knife.

A foamcore platform was added (glued in place with a glue gun) to the inside of the fort at the correct height for a miniature to be able to see over the top (use a model for reference). The edges of the foamcore were covered with thin card to protect them from the eroding effects of the spray paint.

Finally the fit between the fort and the styrofoam crags was improved by filling the joint with silicone bathroom sealer.

Fort Apache - Part 2The cabling is made from electrical wiring. Six small metal eyelets were screwed through the wall tops to route the cable, and a further eyelet was screwed into the base between the 'feet' of each cantilever. The wire was looped through the first eyelet and glued back to itself with hot glue then fuse wire was wrapped around the joint to strengthen it and add a bit of detail. The cable was then run over the top of the first cantilever, through the eyelet on the ground, back up to the cantilever then on to the next eyelet on the wall top, over the top of the next cantilever, down to the ground and so on. The end was fixed in the same way by looping the cable back on itself, gluing it with hot glue, and wrapping it in fuse wire.

The ramp is simply a rectangle of foamcore edged with cardboard. It is not fitted or hinged into the doorway and has just been left loose so it can be positioned open or closed.

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