How To Build...

Introduction

Medieval TenTs
tools & materials
With this month’s WI theme being “The English Bowman”, the guys asked me to put together something for a medieval battlefield. I decided to show you how to build some basic medieval-style tents. A brief browse through the Internet quickly demonstrated that there was considerable variation in style. Some were conical, some had flat sides, some were oval and others were more like modern-day pavilions. And some tents had alternate panels in contrasting colours and some did not. Given all the possible options, I decided to design something ‘generic’ for maximum use. Another area of discussion is whether or not medieval tents had supporting external guy ropes? In the primary source material shown here, some did and others did not! For me the decision of whether to include them is a modelling one, rather than an historical one. If you want your tents without bases, then guy ropes would be impractical, but if you intend to base your tents then it would be a simple matter to stretch a short length of thread from each corner of your tent, through a hole in the base, and then finish it off by adding a tent peg. MATERIAL NOTES AND PLANS These tents are designed to be made from thin card - around 220gsm or as thick as you can safely put through a printer. You can either use a matt coated card which will provide a very sharp printed image or a rougher, uncoated card which will respond well to light drybrushing to bring out the texture. Ideally, try out a few different materials until you’re satisfied with the result. These should all be available from your local art, hobby, and sewing stores, failing that they can typically be found through various online vendors. • Cutting mat and steel ruler • Sharp hobby knife • Thin card (220gsm or 60#) • PVA glue and super glue • Fine thread • Balsa wood strips • Paints and brushes The plans have been drawn at full size for 15mm figures but obviously they can be scaled up or down to suit. If you have access to a computer and the right software, then, using the plans as a basis, you can ‘drop in’ colour, and then simply print out as many tents, in whatever colour combinations you wish.

By Paul Davies

Plans for three Medieval Tents .

before gluing the roof and walls together. decide on the shape and size of your base and whether you want your tent to be individual or part of a group. then do it now. If you’re intending to paint the tent. Repeat at each corner •Once the glue has completely dried. • Once the walls are securely glued to the base. Glue the completed tent in position on the base. For the tent pegs. Then set the tent aside to dry thoroughly. If you are adding guy ropes. Note: Remember to carefully cut out the ‘crenellation’ edge of the valances. Apply PVA glue to the flap and glue the wall together. • For the purpose of this ‘How to…’. lightly score along the lines. . I cut some thin strips of balsa and glued them into each hole with the peg leaning slightly outwards. and either simply fold the flap back or give it a slight curl by gripping the flap with a pair of tweezers and carefully rolling it up. • Cut a length of thread to reach from inside the tent wall through the nearest hole. • Apply glue to the upper wall edge and gently press the roof down into position. Glue the thread inside the tent walls at the corner. Take the first length of thread and thread it through a hole from the underside. • Cut out and lightly score along the wall panel lines.Construction (without the guy ropes) • Once you’ve cut out the roof. drill a series of holes surrounding the tent where you estimate the guy ropes would be ‘pegged down’. then cut along the ‘door line’. Texture and paint your base to match your usual playing area. I’ve left the tent in its natural/canvas finish. • I assemble the roof first as it will help to keep the walls to shape Fold the valence sections down and then fold the roof panels and finally glue the roof together by applying PVA glue to the flap and pulling the roof to shape. Construction (with the guy ropes) • First. If you intend to have the tent open. skip ahead before attaching the roof. gently pull each thread taut and glue the opposite end of the thread to the underside of the base.

construction and decoration. • If you have the appropriate software on your computer you can “colour in” the appropriate sections on the tent plans. we’ve put up the plans for these medieval tents on our website in a handy. there were plenty to be found.edu/~sbloch/sca/tents/taxonomy. if the tent flaps are open.htm References FLAgS: Both the following sites feature a magnificent collection of flags for downloading. This could be a simple banner featuring the colours of the tent owner. and I cannot recommend them highly enough. • http://home.. . BANNERS If you can source a ready-made flag or banner. • Make a small hole in the apex of the tent. The following are a good starting point for your research.” articles. • www. FINIALS AND BANNER POLES Most of the contemporary images I studied featured finials at the apex of the tent through which a banner pole projected.. you’ll need to make one. or even before you cut the pieces out from you printed plans. their appearance. finials and banners) ADDINg SOME cOLOuR TO yOuR TENTS There are two basic ways that you can add some colour to your medieval tents and. • Slide the bead down the wire until it rests on the tent apex. which will project through the apex of the tent.Adding the details (like Painting. as the contemporary pictures suggest. It will look all the better for it. then this can now be glued to the banner pole. I made mine from piano wire.net As with most of Paul’s recent “How To. or a more complex design reflecting the knight’s personal heraldry. downloadable PDF. Mix up some modelling putty (such as Milliput) and carefully press a small ball of it into the apex of the tent from inside. by painting your own.adelphi. paint the inside section of the pole too. To create the finial itself I used a small pre-drilled metal bead of the sort used for jewellery making and available from most craft shops. • To fit the finial you first need to have a central tent pole. if your hand is steady enough. Failing that.warflag. and. remember to add a few curves in your flag. TENTS: A short search on the internet will produce a large choice of sites with information on medieval tents. This is best done before you affix your roof to the walls.com • www.krigsspil. • You can use the age-old method of simply painting your thin card. Ensure that the wire is vertical and leave the assembly until the putty has set. These can be produced by using decals of heraldic devices. • Paint the banner pole a suitable colour above the bead.dk/download/download_2 . • Gently push the piano wire through the putty (before it fully cures) and out through the hole.html • http://midtown. downloading something suitable from the Internet or. Whichever method you use. Drop a tiny dot of superglue in the hole through which the wire protrudes to fix the bead in place.net/dragonwing/col9712.

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