Tuesday, July 12, 2011

How to: Make Celtic ring-fort

Having a limited budget purchasing a fancy Celtic ring-fort from the various manufacturers is out of the question, so I went about making one of my own. First I needed to make one that could be taken apart after it's use and stored away.
     I drove around to several constructions sites and found in the dumpsters thrown away styrofoam, lots of it in big sizes. There are many different types of the foam material. The majority of the one I found has little pellets welded together and the pellets can be of various sizes. Once of the things I found about it was that with clever painting the pellets could be used as rocks or masonry.
     I found around the house round objects I could use to trace around. I traced three circles on the foam and then cut them out. In hind sight I should have cut farther away from tracing lines, then cut each layer beveled, tapering to the palisade walls.


Cutting the foam is very messy, remember to cleanup the mess, don't leave it around for someone else to cleanup (say one's wife).

I then used Elmer's tacky glue to adhere the three circles on top of each other.Make sure the glue used is safe for styrofoam, many glues will melt the foam. I then cut the circle into three sections and cut two small holes for magnets (make sure the polarities are right).


I then painted the bottom two levels a dark brown for earth, and the top layer gray for rocks. I went to the market and purchased a pack of 50 bamboo skewers for cooking for $2.25 USD. It took three packs to form around the top of the rings to be used for palisades, I used about a third of the length of the stick.The bamboo I could stick into the foam, later I glued them into place for added strength.

I then went to the hobby store and bought a box of 1000 Popsicle sticks, cut off the round ends and glued them down behind the palisades as a catwalk. Using brown paint wash over the palisade walls and walk ways. Don't worry if the painting isn't even. The left over bamboo and sticks can be used for other projects. Using left over plastic canvas from the round hut project, I cut off a couple lengths to look like ladders, and painted a different brown color.

Last step is covering the earth area of the ringfort with a water/glue dilution and use pre-painted sawdust, sand, or real dirt, and sprinkle over area liberally. Turn upside down and lightly shake off excess, then spay over with like solution to make shure it sticks. (I haven't done this yet.)  
Using the left over bamboo and Popsicle sticks, balsa wood and broom bristles from the round hut project, I built a guard tower over the enterance of the fort. Still deciding how to make a gate.