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GorkaMorka Fort #2

by Mark and Stunty

GorkaMorka Fort 2This fort won the Young Bloods (14 yrs and under) category at our build a fort competition. It was built by Mark and Stunty, who are both about 12 years old. This fort features a working drawbridge (everyone loves winding the door up and down) and an interesting variety of wall designs.


  1. Plywood or Medium Density Fibreboard (MDF) and sand for the base

  2. foamcore

  3. Balsa Wood

  4. Corrugated cardboard - but not the sort cardboard boxes are made of. This type has the corrugations exposed on one side, like a freshly ploughed field. It is used as packing wrap especially around framed pictures and photographs.

  5. Corrugated wood joints

  6. Car repair mesh

  7. All sorts of junk around the outside such as a broken hairdryer motor, washers, bolts, a broken record player stylus arm, and bits from a computer mother board.

  8. Fine chain from cheap jewellery


This fort is basically a ring fort with wall panels made from different designs. Mark and Stunty planned it out very carefully on paper first and decided what finish they wanted on each wall panel. They then built the door assembly and hot glue-gunned foamcore wall panels around in a ring. The wall finishes were then glued on top of the foamcore wall panels. These were: corrugated iron effect (corrugated cardboard), steel plate (plates of card with split pea or lentil rivets), wood panelling (foamcore with a planking pattern carved into the surface), and car repair mesh. One wall panel had a big hole in it with a cross of girder-pattern plastic rod across it.

View of door and scrapThis is a view from the other side. Note the junk scattered around the walls of the fort, which was all sprayed black and then brushed up with silver. Chestnut wash (where would we be without it?) was liberally applied to give a rusty appearance.

This picture and the previous one also shows the raised decking around the tops of the walls which are the right height to allow da boyz to shoot over the top.

DrawbridgeThe working drawbridge is pulled up by turning a shaft which takes up the slack in the chains. Beyond the trukk you can see the tin roofed shack and mine entrance

Pin hinge assemblyThe drawbridge uses a simple pin hinge method. Push a nail into the drawbridge and snip the head off. Push this into the door frame on each side during assembly. Be sure to leave sufficient clearance at the bottom - test the door action before gluing the frame together.

Over the top!This spanner is looking out beween hard cover made from corrugated wood joints, available from DIY (Hardware) stores. These were just pushed into the foamcore.

This shot also shows the wood panel wall section (carved into foamcore) and the wall with a hole and girder cross. The joint of each wall panel is covered with a cardboard panel and big lentil rivets added. Internally the walls were reinforced with triangles of foam core, as you can see (out of focus) in the background of this shot.


Da snot flapThis fort also featured some nice little details that made all the difference.

This shot shows the cardboard covers over the wall joints, and some nice details. The door on the left is the working backdoor into the fort. The blue flap is 'DA SNOT FLAP' complete with emerging snotling.

In fact snotlings are running all over the darned place...

Splat!...and the first thing any snotling needs to know is don't hang around underneath the drawbridge. SPLAT!


The whole fort except the drawbridge was sprayed black. The metal walls were drybrushed with Chainmail and then washed with chestnut. Note that metallic paint on cardboard takes a long time to dry - leave it overnight or the wash won't work. The balsa wood parts were painted Bestial Brown and then dry-brushed with light brown. The base was covered with PVA glue and sand. When dry, it was painted all over with watered down Snakebite Leather, and then drybrushed up with light brown, yellows and white.

Well done Mark and Stunty. A couple of twelve year-olds who can put a great many of us older guys to shame eh?


These boys had to suffer for their art. They spotted a rubbish skip with some interesting discarded 'bits' that they wanted for their fort. They forgot all about it until it was dark, and so at about 8:00pm set off with carrier bags to get some scrap for the fort. Halfway there they were stopped by a policeman. "You don't have fireworks in those bags do you boys?" (It was near to Guy Fawkes night). "No officer" they replied, opening their empty carrier bags. "Hmm. So what are two young lads doing out after dark with carrier bags?" "Oh, we're model builders, and we're just off to nick some junk from that skip for our fort" "Oh" replies the policeman, a bit baffled... "Carry on then, I suppose"...

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