Saturday, February 23, 2013

Fort Ward Fare-thee-well

I've previously posted a couple of pictures of my Sculpey Fort Ward bastion.  As it is drying out, shrinking and cracking with age I thought I'd take some time to give it its due before it gets plowed up and paved over to make room for a 54mm Walmart, as do so many historic places.

Fort Ward is  a one of the Civil 
War ring forts which defended Washington DC.  It is in Alexandria Virginia and is maintained as a state park.  Much of the fort is in a remarkably good state of preservation and an entire bastion has been restored to its Civil War appearance complete with three 30-pounder Parrot guns.  Its really worth a visit if you find yourself in the Washington area.

My version of Fort Ward has three embrasures for Armies in Plastic 30-pounders.  Revetments are made with sandbags and gabions, all sculpted from Sculpey (European friends can use Fimo)

The guns overlook a menacing no-man's-land of chevaux de frise; ouch!

 If this gun looks menacing from this angle...

its even more so from the business end.

What's this?  I didn't realize the position was manned.  These officers seem to be zeroing in on a target.

"Action front!  Case, 850 yards!"

I'll leave off here lest the faint of heart swoon at the terrible destruction about to be wrought by this wrought-iron monster.

Cracked, and showing its age, my 54mm Fort Ward has now had its day in the sun.

Here's hoping we all do.

Soldier on!


Many comments on this post reflect a concern that I'm going to somehow destroy this piece; not at all I'm merely "retiring" it to let gravity, age, and the environment have their way with it.  Sounds like a parable for all of us.


Mike Bunkermeister Creek said...

A wonderful piece of history. I hope the Walmart has a good toy department.

Mosstrooper said...

An impressive earthwork sir !

Archduke Piccolo said...

It's sad to think of such a useful and well executed piece of war games gear passing beyond its useful life... Sad.

Unknown said...

Beautiful workmanship!

Scott B. Lesch said...

Great stuff Mannie. The two Gloucester, Mass CW forts are still here although one is someone's yard. I have a post cw photo of one of those two wheel siege guns parked in one but they used carriage guns in the 1860s
I really like the white washed details you made. They show up in a period photo from one of the Gloucester fort. The two local CW forts were made of "reveted sod", stacked bricks of cut sod.

I hope you post some entries.

Anonymous said...

It looks magnificent for its age. There's a modelling clay in the Uk called Das which can be used in really large amounts without cracking (well the stuff I made in the early 1990s is still, touch wood) crack free.

Maybe we should see some 54mm protesters with banners demanding this part of their national heritage be preserved.

Nmurray said...

Is there a way to contact you I have a few? On casting figures thanks

Nmurray said...


Mannie Gentile said...