First Look: DAE02 Dark Age & Feudal DBA BUA Hill Fort

Aug 16th, 2009 | By | Category: New Releases

DAE02 palisaded bank & ditch hill fort base BUA for DBA & DBMHot from the mould, I’ve finally got around to casting and releasing a model designed over 5 years ago, that had sat languishing in a dark recess of the casting room.

DAE02 should have been DAE01, but that honour was given to our highly popular Scottish Dun (fortified Dark Ages Scots farmhouse).

Here’s a first look at my DBA~DBM representation of a village perimeter on a bank and ditch hillock with planked palisade.  The original intention was for a 15mm table-centre BUA base for DBA~DBM~DBR-HOTT gaming.

Dimensions – The base maxima are 150mm long X 105mm wide, and the highest point is 23mm.  Inside the palisade, the highest point is around 18mm with the lower shelf of the crenellations being around 8-9mm from the compound floor.  The model weighs 97.5g (roughly 4 ounces) before packaging.  The inner area of the compound is roughly 125mm X 80mm, and has a rough textured ground surface for “quick & dirty” painting-up using damp and dry brushing techniques.

DAE02 Aerial ViewI used a plank style for the walls, as opposed to a log finish, due to having seen something about that construction type on the History Channel at the time I designed the model, but cannot remember the programme’s details now.

The beauty of this styling type is that it is sufficiently “raggety” to not look out of place as an empire outpost for classical empires (e.g. Roman marching camp) or as an “Age of Exploration” temporary fortification (e.g. a Pirate’s Fort) as well as the purpose for which it was originally designed – as the encirclement for a DBA~DBM Built-up Area (BUA) with smaller scale buildings or tentage placed inside it.

There are four entrances, any of which could be easily blocked off by fixing cut match-sticks into the entrance, or by using similar materials to create a hinged gate (or pair of gates).  Adding a little green stuff, milliput, or even just epoxy adhesive, could then rebuild the outer line of the double bank and ditch earthwork defence for each gateway that is sealed off.

Notice in the photographs how the crenellations immediately left and right of each gateway are the step-down part?  That was a deliberate design feature based on the concept that the gates would be at least as high as the highest part of the wall, thus the step-downs adjacent to the gates would maximise the number of bow-ports in the line of the wall – again something from watching too many history and archaeology programs on TV … my excuse, and I’m sticking to it.

The baseline of the casting has a slightly rounded edge-step to it, but again this could be smoothed by mounting the model on a piece of 1mm or 1.5mm perspex, and sculpting a smother slope with the materials mentioned above.  It’s virtually impossible to cast a smooth slope edge that will withstand the rigours of being moved from home to club venue and back again, when casting in resin.

Both the outer and inner bank are sufficiently thick to drill with a micro-drill such as a Dremmel, and then insert cocktail stick / toothpick tips as sharpened stakes for additional defence features (watch for a “how-to” article on this in the near future).  The inside of the ditch is fairly smooth and should easily allow for painting as a water filled ditch with a glossy surface.  I’ve not yet had time to paint an example of DAE02 to show how this effect works.

DAE02u Side DAE02uEnd

DAE02 is not yet included in our online store The Long Range Logistics Depot, but will be soon. As an introductory offer, I’m adding three pieces of DAE02 to our summer sale on eBay (see sidebar listings on this page) and once those have sold, I’ll add this new model to The Depot – maybe by then I’ll have additional photos showing it in use with our other models such as – the GFE-41 Wooden Watch Tower, or the generic ridge tent set and Medieval Pavilions set.  Eventually, I’ll get round to creating some “6mm” scale buildings to use inside it as a BUA for different armies and periods.

Let me know what you think, and which army / period buildings you’d like to see for the interior – post a comment below.


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