Home Sweet Fort

Khador Wilderness Fort

By Nobody

Tutorial Date 7/30/06

A few days prior to a gaming night, Scarab challenged each of us to come up with some new terrain ideas and bring them when we came to play. I sat down to do some sketching and started thinking about what armies do when they are not fighting. Surely they don’t trudge all the way home? There must be some place where they go to regroup, lick their wounds or to celebrate a victory. I figured it would need to be a place where they could sleep and feel safe so it would need to be fortified but it would need to be made of materials that were on hand as I couldn’t imagine the army hauling heavy building supplies over a great distance. I started by rereading Scarab’s Bunker tutorial and the idea morphed into a fort. When I showed the ideas I had to the group Scarab suggested that it needed a tower and place for the troops to billet, so after game night I went home and added a tower and a shaft downward to the barracks. Anyway, this is how I did it. I hope you like it…

Be sure to check out the scenario that goes along with this tutorial.

Techniques Used:
Barbed wire, Bark Logs, Rocks, Weathered Wood

What you need to complete this project:

1/4" Foamcore or Gatorboard

Hot glue gun

1/4" Masonite

Heavy Card

1/4" Dowels

3/8" Dowels

3/4" Dowels

Air-drying clay

Paper Mache (Celuclay)

White glue

Super glue

Model paints



Flock or static grass

Step 1: The first thing I did was cut a piece of Gatorboard into the basic shape of the Khador emblem in the size I wanted the fort to be. Everything from this point would be built around this shape.

Step 2: I then cut a piece of Gatorboard to show the size of the fort where it touched the ground. An example of this footprint piece is show in the graphic above.

Step 3: I wanted to give the impression that the wooden walkways were up out of the mud so I cut a piece of Foamcore and glued it to the Khador emblem.

Step 4: I then cut a base to size and beveled it. I used 1/4" styrene but Masonite or similar material will also work.

Step 5: I wanted to give the fort some elevation so I cut three 3-1/2" x 7" pieces of Gatorboard and used a hot glue gun to bind them together.

Step 6: I then attached the triangle to the footprint and covered the center with a coat of white glue and sprinkled dirt for the barracks floor.

Step 7: At this step I attached the emblem, triangle, footprint and base together as shown in the photo below.

Step 8: I then cut twenty-four 2" lengths of 3/8" and twelve 2" lengths of 1/4" dowels. These "logs" were affixed vertically to the emblem with white glue and used to anchor all of the corners.

Step 9: At this point I cut two logs for each vertical position and used white glue to affix them in place. Be sure to leave an opening so your boys can get into the fort!

Step 10: I then created the basis for the foundation by joining the heavy card from the emblem to the footprint as shown in the photo below.

Step 11: I then used a Xacto knife to cut the shaft to the barracks.

Step 12: I then created the wooden shaft and glued it into place.

Step 13: I didn’t want the dirt around the shaft to be completely flat so I used Celuclay around the shaft to give the earth there a little character.

Step 14: Use a 3/8" bit to drill holes in this area to accommodate the supports for the tower.

Step 15: At this point I affixed the dirt to this area with white glue.

Step 16: I then glued the wooden walkway planks and the remainder of the logs into place.

Step 17: I created the spikes by cutting down 3/4" dowels. Note the angle on the non-business end. I attached them in place with white glue.


Step 18: I then sculpted self-drying clay around the spikes to look like rocks.


Step 19: At this point I applied Celuclay to the gaps in the rocks and created the bark look on the spikes.

Step 20: I then applied the Celuclay to the rest of the timbers at this point. Below is a photo with figures to show scale.

Step 21: I then cut and affixed the pulley timbers and applied a weathering wash on all wood surfaced that didn’t have bark. The weathering wash is 1 part India Ink to 20 parts Ammonia.


Step 22: I then cut metal support brackets for the pulley timbers and put rivets/nails everywhere I thought they should go.

Step 23: I painted all of the bark areas with one coat of Burnt Umber and another of Flat Earth. I then gave it a Burnt Sienna wash.

Step 24: I then drybrushed all of the bark areas with Brown Green and again with light grey.

Step 25: I then spread a thin coat of white glue around the rocks and covered with dirt.

Step 26: I then painted the rocks using Dark Grey, Medium Grey and Stone. I altered the tones of some of the rocks by applying watered down paint to random rocks

Step 27: To paint the earth around the rocks I applied coats of Burnt Umber, Flat Earth, Tan and Stone. I also painted the rivets using Dark Grey and Terra Cotta.

Step 28: I then took some time for some last-minute details. I built and painted a door to the barracks, ladders down to the barracks and up to the tower, a folded up staircase for entering and exiting the fort, and foodstuffs like a barrels, clay pots, a buckets of apples and potatoes, etc.

Step 29: I then applied static grass on the base and foundation with white glue. I also made some barbed wire by giving two strands of wire a few twists and twisting in a third to make the barb. I repeated this a bunch of times. When finished I spray painted the wire black, then lighter coats of grey and rust.

There you go, a very cool terrain piece you can wow your friends with at your next game.


Afterthoughts: Although I didn’t have this problem, I have read that if you are not careful with the white glue when affixing the planks, etc., the weather wash will not soak into the wood and will leave a pale spot where the sloppy glue was.

Allow the wood weather wash to dry completely before adding a second application in selected areas. This will keep the wash from spreading where you don’t want it to go.

Tedious looking things like a zillion rivets, individual shingles (not on this particular piece), hand-made barbed wire, and bark really score high on the aesthetics scale. If you have never stooped to that level of lunacy before try it in a small area on your next terrain piece. You may find it worth it.

Tot siens,