Tuesday, 28 January 2020

Rohan Palisade Fort

Originally appeared on www.talesofmiddleearth.co.uk back in 2017.

Materials, Equipment and Paints Used:
5mm Foamcore
Thick Cardboard
Wooden BBQ Skewers
Square Balsa Rod
Duct Tape
Air Drying Clay
PVA Glue
Metal Rule
Sharp Craft  Knife
Cutting Board
Textured Paint

The sun was already westering as they rode from Edoras, and the light of it was in their eyes, turning all the rolling fields of Rohan to a golden haze. There was a beaten way, north-westward along the foot-hills of the White Mountains, and this they followed, up and down in a green country, crossing small swift streams by many fords. Far ahead and to their right the Misty Mountains loomed; ever darker and taller they grew as the miles went by. The sun went slowly down before them. Evening came behind.


A palisade, sometimes called a stakewall or a paling, is typically a fence or wall made from wooden stakes or tree trunks and used as a defensive structure or enclosure.

It seems appropriate that Rohan would make use of these to protect it's outlining villages from attacking Dunlending raids.  They are relatively quick to build and make use of wood that is readily available.

This article will take you through the steps to build a palisade fort that you can use to surround your Rohan villages and make you games more interesting to play. Note, this article does not show how to make the Rohan buildings shown in the photos, only the palisade walls themselves.


There are not historic palisade forts still standing as the wood has long rotted away but there are lots of information about them online and also pictures of recreated forts that can be searched for.


Cut a piece of thick card that is 12" long and 2" wide, and then a piece of foamcore that is 12" long and 1" wide and using PVA glue these two pieces together.

Cut another strip of foamcore that is roughly 1/2" wide and glue this next to other piece of foamcore, using two skewers as spacers.

Next you will need to cut lots of skewers to size. You will need to types, a pointed ended piece that is 2" long and a short flat ended piece that is 1 1/2" long. You will need a lot of these. A tip is that you may not have enough pointed ends in the pack of skewers so you can sharpen pieces to give you enough pointed ended pieces.

Using PVA, glue these into the slot that has been made. You will need about five pointed pieces and six flat ones. Keep repeating this pattern along the wall section.

Using either balsa wood or thick card (which I used here) cut a piece that is 12" long and 1" wide.  Using a ballpoint pen score a floorboard pattern into this and glue on top of the foamcore.

Using clay, model a bank onto the front part of the wall. You will need to make sure that all your wall pieces match up and fit together well.

You will need six of these wall sections and two shorter sections that are 6" long.


The corner pieces are made in much the same way as the walls above. Cut a piece of thick card 2" by 2". Draw a curve from one corner to another and cut this out and add a little piece of foamcore as the picture below shows.

Add in the skewers as was done for the walls above, remember to add a piece of foamcore separated by the wide of a skewer.

You will need four of these corner pieces.


The gates themselves are made from two pieces of thick card that are 1" by 2". Add a piece of duct tape on one edge and fold it other to the other side, creating a hinge.

Next the front of the gate needs to be covered in pointed skewers 2 1/2" long and the back with flat tops 2" long.

Next cut a piece of thick card that is 12" long and 2" wide. Cut out two pieces of foamcore that are 4" long and 2" wide and using PVA glue these to either end of the card. Like with the walls, glue some spacer pieces of foamcore to the base.

Cut two square pieces of balsawood rod to about 2" long and 1/2" wide and then cut them in half vertically. Taking the two halves, glue them back together with the duct tape hinge of a gate in-between them.

Next glue these into place on the base.


Before undercoating, paint the clay banks in any colour textured paint.  Once this has dried undercoat all the pieces in black.

That banks are then painted in a dark brown such as Rhinox Hide and then drybrushed with Steel Legion Drab.

The wood (both the floor and the wall are drybrushed using Rhinox Hide and then Karak Stone.  The tips of the pointed skewers are painted Ushabti Bone.

Apply some PVA to the front of the banks and then cover in the same flocking material as you use for main gaming boards.

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