Thursday 26 December 2013

Fort Barrista

Hello readers, and I hope you have all had a very happy Christmas. Santa was kind to me this year, with a new tablet for whiling away the hours with movies and ebooks on my various trips across the globe, a new book by Susan Rose on medieval navies, and a reading light for the lounge so that I can enjoy my library collection during the gloomy winter months whilst swinging in my hammock. Also some nice socks and ties, and large amounts of chocolate (including a stack of Tunnock's caramel bars - yum!)

Anyway, on to the subject of today's post. Inspiration comes in many forms, and it hit me whilst I was drinking a rather grim cup of coffee in the restaurant at NATO. Disaster relief had been high on the agenda at the day's meetings and so my thoughts were in the Caribbean. Being a naval wargamer they then drifted to the collection of 1/450 pirate ships from Peter Pig and I inwardly lamented the lack of terrain pieces to accompany those lovely models, in particular shore batteries and forts. I had already scratch built a couple of open batteries, but what PP really needed to add was a stone fort. As I opined to myself my eye was drawn to the plastic lid of the cardboard coffee cup. And in there I saw my inspiration. The coffee was finished (bloody hub of Europe, representatives from 20+ nations and you can't get a decent sup of coffee), the lid carefully put away in my case and then packed for the trip home and, on Christmas Eve in between bouts of wrapping Fort Barrista was created.

The fort, as you can see, is essentially formed entirely from the coffee cup lid. The imprinted text on the lid was obscured with polyfilla and the drinking hole covered with a wooden construction davit fr lifting guns up to the fort. The whole thing was stick on a sheet of heavy card cut to form a small island, the base sculpted with more polyfilla, decorated with a few small stones from the garden to form rocks, and then sprinkled with sand. More sand was included in the paintwork for the outer walls to give them a slightly rough finish, the original plastic appearing too smooth. The gun deck was finished off with a few spare guns and crews from the Peter Pig "Pieces of Eight" range. The end result was just what i was looking for.

Of course now I'm on the hunt for larger coffee cup lids to see about building a larger fort. But for now my PP pirate ships have a  shore based opponent that will give them a run for their money!


  1. Brilliant idea and very well executed

  2. Hi Dave,

    That is quite simply brilliant! What with acquiring hordes of wooden stirrers from Starbucks and the like I can now make use of the lids!

    Have a great Christmas and all the best for the new year!


  3. Absolutely superb. Top shelf wombling that man!

  4. Caffeine inspired genius!

    I really should dig out my PP pirate ships and have a game this year.

    Thanks for the reminder.

  5. Nicely Done! I'm looking forward to reading about a naval attack on the fort. I should think about getting PP ships. They look pretty nice and are better than scratchbuilding stuff.