|Rough mock-up shot of Garrison Point Fort in 1667. Van Ghent's squadron attempting to sail past.|
My ideas for the Medway Campaign 1667 involve it being conducted by map, in 1/2400 scale and finally, in 28mm for small land and naval actions.I thought I would begin building the small scale terrain with the first significant defensive work encountered by the Dutch.
On the north western tip of the Isle of Sheppey is Garrison Point Fort. It appears that the settlement of Sheerness grew directly out of the fort's location at the mouth of the Medway and that the first dwellings were probably houses or more likely shacks, for the few labourers who could be found to work in this inaccessible site. Apparently workers were so hard to find that often less than six were working at the same time building it! This may account for the fact that it was incomplete when the Dutch attacked.
|Position of Garrison Point Fort and the mouth of the Medway|
Many fascinating aspects of this place can be woven into the campaign. It appears it was garrisoned by Douglas's Regiment who were Scots in foreign service. This unit was later to be the 1st Foot, Royal Scots - Dumbarton's, Orkney's ,Pontius Pilate's Bodyguard etc. At Garrison Point however, they seem not to have covered themselves in glory with a mere seven men of the garrison staying to resist the enemy attack whilst the rest fled!
|Garrison Point Fort 2014 photo by Stefan Czapski. Same spot, Victorian construction|
The fort was rebuilt andthen rebuilt again after the Medway disaster and the Victorian era structure which still exists is derelict and subsumed within the Sheerness port complex. The map and photos show the location and current condition. It is a Grade II listed building slowly decaying from within.
|Contemporary Dutch print of the attack on the Fort. Isle of Grain in the distance. It has clearly already been taken.|
I chose to partially scratchbuild in the indeterminate scale zone between 1mm and 2mm.
Having bought some component parts from Irregular Miniatures I set out to build my version of Garrison Point Fort in June 1667 together with the small associated hamlet of Sheerness (later to be an important naval dockyard).
|Victorian era print showing Medway Forts - Garrison point on the left and looking south upriver|
The ultimate goal is to slot these terrain vignettes into a custom built board but for now they will act as stand alone, place-on pieces.
|The raw shape with milliput additions. Sheerness will fit in the bottom right. Notice incomplete left hand lower bastion.|
This fort features an additional gun platform purely to fit 2mm artillery from Irregular.I have no idea whether it follows the design of the original fort but to make a feature on the wargaming table I had to use a little licence.
|Before the gun platform was added to the sea- facing rampart|
Other components used from Irregular were tents, wagons, some infantry, small medium and large guns. The base is 2mm MDF from Warbases and the scenics are the normal stuff you would be able to pick up anywhere.
|Low angle shot with the gun platform in position|
The standard is my usual aluminium foil on a brush bristle and the space left on the bottom right hand corner of the fort is for some small buildings from Brigade Models 2mm scenery to represent the hamlet of Sheerness.
|Mock up shot with the first English defensive flotilla lying off the fort - HMS Unity and two yachts|
Garrison Point Fort was supposed to guard the mouth of the River Medway and the Fleet anchorage however it was woefully inadequate for this purpose being under equipped, under manned and only partly finished. It was in the first instance supported by the guard ship Unity (a captured Dutch vessel), some fireships and a couple of sloops. The Dutch quickly chased these back up the Medway after Unity fired a single broadside.
|Work in progress shot of Garrison Point Fort - still some work to do though.|
The fort was bombarded by Dutch frigates before being occupied with the garrison mostly fleeing.
Where it will feature in the campaign and games is in the initial approach of van Ghent's squadron, the naval defence by Unity's flotilla, the land advance from Queenborough by Dutch Marines.
|Literally just off the slips - mine now and the Navy's at Chatham in 1667 - HMS Monmouth. She fought in the battle.|
I have decided to fight the land actions in both 2mm and 28mm for different perspectives.
The hamlet of Sheerness has yet to be added to the model as I await the necessary buildings. Should be done by next week. More on the terrain and some nice pictures of the 28mm units soon.
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