Monday, September 30, 2019

Fort Matanzas

Fort Matanzas was built by the Spanish in 1742 to guard Matanzas Inlet, the southern mouth of the Matanzas River, which could be used as a rear entrance to the city of St. Augustine. Such an approach avoided St. Augustine's primary defense system, centered at Castillo de San Marcos. In 1740, Gov. James Oglethorpe of Georgia used the inlet to blockade St. Augustine and launch a thirty-nine-day siege. St. Augustine endured the siege, but the episode convinced the Spanish that protecting the inlet was necessary to the security of the town. Under Gov. Manuel de Montiano's orders, construction of the fort began that year and was completed in 1742. Engineer Pedro Ruiz de Olano, who had worked on additions to the Castillo de San Marcos, designed the fortified observation tower. Convicts, slaves, and troops from Cuba were used as labor to erect the structure, which was sited on present-day Rattlesnake Island and had a commanding position over Matanzas Inlet.


I first found out about this piece of terrain from Slug Industries in a blog post from Cianty's Tabletop Wargames blog. It was originally a Kickstarter, but a quick message over facebook to Slug industries had one on its way to me in no time.


For those not familiar with Fort Matanza, it is part of the Spanish settlement of St. Augustine, Florida. As a kid, my family used to visit the Castillo de San Marcos there with a fairly high frequency, as most of my family lives within about an hour or so of the site in Florida. And, as a history nerd, I've always loved visiting it. St. Augustine feels like one of the few sites in the USA that has real history, as it was built settled in the late seventeenth century. Still young by European and Asian standards, but very old for us Americans.


I have also had both a pirate project and a Queen Anne's War project in the back of my mind for a little while now. In fact, you can see a few Foundry pirates in the shots! I haven't pulled the trigger on the Queen Anne's War project though because I can't decide between Front Rank's WSS or the Ebor Miniatures WSS.


To paint it, I mostly followed Cianty's Stone Tutorial, except I used cheap craft paint instead of expensive model paints! I also added a few steps to the end. First, I airbrushed it with some thinned grey ink, only to remember that these buildings were made from Coquina, which really isn't that grey. So I followed that up with a few thin layers of Seraphim Sepia, also through the airbrush, to brown it back up. I also applied some pigments to various stones and airbrushed Agrax Earthshade and Athonian Camoshade over various spots, to create variation. Finally, I airbrushed a mix of Contrast Plague Bearer Flesh and Creed Camo at the bottom and below the windows to simulate the mold and mildew that is on everything in Florida.


The wood flooring was based in a mix of Vallejo Charred Brown and Cold Grey followed by a quick drybrush with GW Rakarth Flesh. Easy, peasy. The stucco was airbrushed with a mix of Citadel Kislev Flesh air and Terminatus Stone air. After that, I applied various thinned washes and then sponged it with Tyrant Skull and Wrack White. 


He also sent over a Tyburn Tree with my order, as it was part of the kickstarter. For those of you, like me, who had no idea what a Tyburn Tree was, it was the official Gallows at Tyburn used by the English government for many years and designed to hang many people at once. To make that a little clearer, I twisted up some wires to make a rope, bent it into the shape of a noose, and and wrapped it around appropriately. The whole thing was airbrushed with Citadel Wraith Bone, and then covered in thinned Contrast Wyldwood. After that, I drybrushed it with Rakarth Flesh and then glazed it with heavily thinned Contrast Iyaden Yellow, to make it look fairly new. The rope was just Contrast Gore Grunta Fur.


And just so every one thinks I am suicidal, I also painted up a set of Gallows and Stocks from Mantic.These were painted mostly the same as the Tyburn Tree, but without the yellow glaze so it looked older and the noose was painted with Contrast Snakebite Leather. I figure this is actually more appropriate for my pirates, while the Tyburn Tree will be used with English Civil War stuff.

10 comments:

  1. Dude that turned out really good! 👍

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  2. Oooh, that looks beautiful! Great to see another version of the fort. Thanks for the detailed description of how you painted it. It turned out fantastic.

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    1. Thanks for the compliments! And definitely thank you for the inspiration, I'd have never even known it existed without your blog!

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  3. Wow, what a beauty. That's an area I'd love to visit one day; I really like your rendition of the fort. Lovely!

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    1. Thanks! If you get the chance to visit, it's really neat. Plus, it's not too far from Disney world 😉

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  4. Really like the fort. Hope to see more of this pirating madness soon!

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