Saturday, September 10, 2022

Fort Apache part 3: small detail

This is just a quickie.

On the over-the-gate blockhouse something was bugging me. It was the weird horizontal compartment between the floor of the blockhouse and the top of the can just make it out in these photos  (downloaded from the web). It served no purpose and was a weird engineering/design decision.

To fill it in, I took a fort wall section over the the bandsaw and cut out some horizontal pieces that exactly fit the gap.

Glued into place, I can hardly tell that the gap was there.

I think that details like this are going to make the project take longer to complete, but will also make the project that much more fun.

Soldier on!


Thursday, September 8, 2022

Fantasy Fort Apache: part 2 - barracks conversion.

MPC made this four-piece bunkhouse for a few years, and I think that you can still get recasts of it.  The box of Fort Apache odds  and ends that I got on ebay had three of these segments.  I used two for the structure and the third was cut up for raw materials.

The Fort Apache project has commandeered the woodshop, and I need to make significant progress if I want to get my Fall woodworking projects done.

On my smaller bandsaw, I started cutting-up the extra building segment.  The various pieces, shapes, and textures were used for the finished product.

From that new stockpile, I made two doors for the doorways at either end of the building.
(riddle: when is a door not a door?)

One of the odd things about this building is that the windows aren't square...the tops are wider than the bottoms.  I decided to correct this weirdness with some window-shutters.

Again, the shutters were harvested from the parts pile.

Glued into place, they cover the window frame discrepancies.

When it came time to join the two segments, I used Testors Model-Master glue and wood clamps.  Regardless of the material or the project, always clamp for the strongest bond.

Then it came time to deal with those ridiculous MPC chimneys.
The  chimneys are over-scale for the building, and the idea that there would be two free-standing fireplaces in the middle of the building was crazy; so I opted for a simple stovepipe.

The existing chimneys I turned into ventilator cupolas.

I salvaged the gables from the excess roof section to make the shingled covers for the cupolas.

Next I glued and clamped the two roof sections together.

The manner in which the MPC roof was joined to the building required a tab-and-slot system...leaving me with these unwanted slots in the roof.

Using water-putty, I filled and sanded the openings successfully.

With additional surplus shingle pieces I made awnings for the doors at either end of the building.

Ready for priming.

I use Tamiya primer for most projects, styrene plastic and pewter.  I've always had very good luck with it.

Coming down the home stretch.

Now comes the stovepipe.

Moving to the drill press, I made a hole the size of the pipe.

The stovepipe was salvaged from an old AMT Mercury Redstone rocket.

It was pretty straight forward.  The moral of the story:  Never throw anything away.

Glued in place and clamped with masking tape.

Once I fix those little discontinuities at the bottom, it'll be ready for painting.

Next up: the free-standing block house.

Stay tuned, and, as always...

Soldier on!


Monday, September 5, 2022

Fantasy Fort Apache (part 1)

One Christmas in the 1950s my oldest brother got a Marx Fort Apache.  I remember it but only vaguely, but I do recall that I was fascinated by it.  About a year ago I had the idea similar to my "fantasy" Giant Blue and Gray set, and that was to assemble an ultimate Fort Apache.

This past Spring, at the Gettysburg Toy Soldier Show, I got a bargain on a late-production Marx Fort Apache.  It was complete and even had some extras.  Then on ebay I got another bargain on a huge lot of Fort Apache pieces, enough to make a couple of forts, with lots left over.

Combining these two purchases, I laid out the footprint of my fantasy fort, including the over-the-gate blockhouse, the freestanding blockhouse, the headquarters/supply building, a little blacksmith shop that I made from a BMC building, a little Marx cabin, and a barracks made from three sections of the MPC bunkhouse.  All of these components, plus a small horse corral, leave plenty of room for a good-sized parade ground.

The plan is to make all of the palisade walls double sided, modify buildings, and then paint the whole shebang.  With school in session again, this will be a long process. I will be posting updates as the project progresses.

In the photo above you can see the MPC bunkhouse, in the process of being converted into a barracks; my next post will be about that conversion.

Stay tuned, and, as ever ...

Soldier on!