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"Building a Ravelin for my Starfort" Topic

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787 hits since 4 Jan 2018
©1994-2018 Bill Armintrout
Comments or corrections?

Anton Ryzbak04 Jan 2018 12:46 p.m. PST

Having finally finished the interior detailing of my 28mm starfort I have started on the outworks by building a ravelin to guard the front gate. You can see the step-by-step here link


Wargamorium04 Jan 2018 1:09 p.m. PST

There shouldn't be a back wall on it. The idea is that if it does fall to the enemy they will have no cover and will be overlooked from the main walls.

Yellow Admiral04 Jan 2018 1:30 p.m. PST

Agree ravelins normally had no back walls. Part of the design intention was to make each forward position as exposed as possible to fire from the rear.

The back wall on that ravelin at Castillo San Marcos is very unusual. It's obviously very old construction, but is it original? It's a violation of Vauban's principles, and Castillo San Marcos is otherwise a superbly Vaubanesque fortification.

Since the gate road winds through the back of the ravelin, my guess is that it's primary purpose is to intercept and enfilade the gate road. With the moats full, the gate road would be the only approach across water, and travelers would be exposed for some of the distance along it as they rounded the seaward side of that ravelin and tried to batter their way into it.

I note that the back wall of the ravelin is half as thick as the front walls, and there are a half dozen heavy guns in the fort facing it. Maybe the designers expected to remove the back wall before the ravelin was atttacked; or that in the unlikely case the ravelin was captured, the fort's defenders would simply be able to batter it down at their leisure until the occupants were exposed to the fort's firepower.

Or maybe Castillo San Marcos was such a remote and peaceful fort that the local commanders didn't give a fig about proper use of the ravelin, and decided it was more useful as a detached gatehouse. grin

- Ix

Yellow Admiral04 Jan 2018 1:39 p.m. PST

BTW – nice work. This is a fun project to watch.

I can't wait to see this fort painted. Are you going to try to make a mortared stone facing for the walls, like the real fort?

- Ix

Anton Ryzbak05 Jan 2018 3:05 p.m. PST


As you can see from the NPS survey drawing the ravelin has very thin rear walls, probably little more than bullet proof. What isn't immediately apparent is the way that the entire interior of the ravelin is overlooked from the Castillo walls and bastions. I have added photos to my posting that show this. Enemy troops would find it a death trap as cannon could easily shoot through the thin rear wall into the few dead spaces. Yes, it is most unusual to find a ravelin with a rear wall, I found it so at first until I looked down from the ramparts.

Yellow Admiral
You are probably right about it acting as a gatehouse, the Spanish did not live in the Castillo, the soldiers lived in town and "went to the office" as their turn at guard duty came up (an eminently civilized idea to my mind). I won't be applying stonework, the Castillo was covered in a white plaster stucco made from local seashells. I have added a picture of the NPS test patches that they have applied to part of the interior of the Castillo. It is very white at first but gently fades to gray. If I ever win the Lotto I am going to donate toward having the whole Castillo once again restored to its former glory all in white with red trim.

Yellow Admiral05 Jan 2018 3:35 p.m. PST

I won't be applying stonework, the Castillo was covered in a white plaster stucco made from local seashells.
On the one hand, too bad, the stonework would look cool; on the other, OMG what a relief! Even better, that means you've already finished the vertical wall surfaces. They're already stuccoed! grin

I didn't know about the stucco. It's not obvious now with all that gray exposed stone. I guess I shouldn't be surprised – whitewashed stucco walls and red tile roofs are still hallmarks of Spanish construction down to this day. In the American Southwest, you can't make a sound without echoing off a building in this style.

- Ix

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