After some thought I decided to make a staggered entrance, similar to those found in ancient fortifications in Britain and other places the world over. The general principle is to prevent an enemy having a direct line of attack through the opening by making the approach into the enclosure turn at a sharp angle. Two further enhancements are:- To make the pathway narrow so only one person can traverse it at a time, plus it's easy to block: To make it turn to the left (viewed from outside) so a warrior carrying a shield will have the right side of his body exposed to attack from the defenders.
For the gate I made a large base area from laminated card. Cutting the corners off prevents warping when base-work spackle is applied. The line which the palisade sections will follow is drawn out in black felt pen and is wide enough for one figure to stand inside. The Colonel kindly demonstrates the idea.
The curves require a slightly different approach in making the palisade sections. I held the mini-dowels in place as before using a strip of masking tape and a popsicle stick, but instead of lengths of bamboo kabob skewer I used thick thread to bind the rods together. By weaving the threads between the rods and fixing them in place with a spot of craft glue, I created a flexible length of palisade work. A short piece of bamboo skewer served to edge the threads into line. This isn't as fiddly as it looks! The masking tape is a life-saver here.
Here's a photo showing the two flexible lengths of palisade leaning against the box cutter knife. Two more lengths of the ordinary type are under way. The line the gate sections will follow has now been raised to the height of the ordinary sections using two pieces of card cut to shape and glued into place.
Next, to fix the palisade lengths in place. I anticipated the flexible curves would pose a problem as ordinary craft adhesive takes time to set, even in hot weather. For this job I used a hot-glue gun, which allowed me enough time to tease the curved sections into place before setting. The whole job took less than a minute, with the results shown below.
The only task remaining now is to apply the groundwork. For this I use lightweight spackle (available in most hardware stores) sprinkled with florists sand. More to follow once my wife and I return from our 1st Anniversary weekend trip out of town!
In the meantime,
Happy Fourth of July!