1/72 Scale Castles, Forts and Fortresses.
1/72 Scale is an amazing scale to represent such large elements like forts and castles, from ancient times to more modern ones.
Only some manufacturers were brave enough to add such models to their catalogues and we wanted to bring all together in this feature article and say they thanks.
Is not possible speak about this kind of 1/72 scale models without start by the Airfix range, for being the first ones, populating kids fantasies since 60’s.
Airfix Roman Fort
Following an historical timeline, the first offer by Airfix we want to mention, is the Roman Fort. It’s maybe not the most accurate thing, specially in terms of scale, but it was an amazing complement for the Airfix figures compatibles with the Fort. It depicts a stone fortress and started to be issued in 1969, stated as HO-OO scale then, and since them it has seen several reissues, many times grouped with the Roman and Ancient Britons figures by Airfix.
It’s being a long time since it was re-issued, this makes it a hard and expensive piece to collect nowadays. The fort is composed of 21 different parts and they were only molded by one side, more in toy side than a real scale model, but still making a great model.
It’s interesting to note, that with all the simplification the model has, it’s pretty accurate in historical terms, since it depicts one of the forts from the Adrian’s Wall.
If you have your wallet ready, you still can get one of them following the link below.
Zvezda Roman Fort
A lot of years were required till another brave manufacturer, Zvezda, bringed another Roman fort to us, this time, a wooden one. In term of accuracy and quality, the Zvezda fort beats Airfix one by far.
Unfortunately for us, is also a long time since Zvezda re-issued the fort for last time, so prices are terrible high nowadays and also is very hard to find.
Again Zvezda only molded one side of the pieces, but each wal section is composed of two parts in and out side, both molded, so the final built aspect gives you a totally molded fort, inside and outside. The inner side of the towers, is not molded also, but is not very noticeable once they are built.
Ancient and Medieval Fortress.
This is probably the largest batch of available models, with 3 different manufacturers pushing original items on it. Airfix, Zvezda, Imex and MiniArt, and other manufacturers re-issuing same models.
Again, the first one must be Airfix.
Airfix Sherwood Castle.
Airfix created the Sherwood castle as complement for their Robin Hood and Nottingham Sherif figure kits, it was first issued in 1967/1968, with the figures in a playset format, and upgraded one year later and released as stand alone product as the roman fort in 1969. It’s being quite a lot time since then.
The castle itself is very toy alike, and downscaled even for 1/76 scale, but it was a formidable complement for the figures, incomparable at its time.
Last time issued was around 1996, so one more time is a hard to find set in any format, and again, expensive.
Other brands issued the Airfix castle, we want to highlight the Accurate – 7270 – Excalibur Castle Set , which also included the 2 figures references by Accurate for the 100 years war.
Zvezda Ancient Stone Fortress (Zvezda modular system)
Zvezda developed a modular system for the walls and towers, which allowed them to release a well bunch of stone castle/fortress with small variations between them, such round or square towers, more or less wall segments and complemented by a well bunch of separate sets like more walls, height increase for towers, observation and watch towers.
All of this development, makes Zvezda, in our opinion, the great 1/72 Castles maker of all times. We recommend to take a look to our specific category here so you can see all the items they released at the time.
Unfortunately they haven’t been re-released in a long time.
We’ll not extend on every Castle Zvezda released using the same modular system, and multiplying or adding new parts, but we’ll list all of them here.
Together with the Ancient Stone Fortress , Zvezda released all the following amazing fortress:
- Zvezda – 8506 – Ancient Stone Fortress
- Zvezda – 8527 – Castle of Lancelot
- Zvezda – 8519 – Royal Castle
- Zvezda – 8512 – Medieval Stone Castle
- Zvezda – 8510 – Medieval Stone Fortress
- Zvezda – 8512 – Medieval Stone Castle (This one has been re-released not much ago, so it’s widely available by decent prices at the time of write this article)
Wow, what a list, and all complemented with a wide range of standalone extensions, siege machines and some auxiliary buildings. You can see all of them in our Buildings and Accessory » Zvezda category.
Some of the accessories / extensions released by Zvezda:
Zvezda also issued the Ancient Fortress in one of their Age of Battles title, Zvezda – 8206 – Siege of Ancient Fortress
And it’s not all. Zvezda still did another medieval fortress, wooden one.
Another well known manufacturer who took advantage of the Zvezda nice castles was Italeri. Italeri re-issued Zvezda castles in 2 playset boxes as follow:
At this point, it worth it to mention that Italeri, a powerful manufacturer during years, and with an absolutely nice range of figures, both Esci inherit or their own production, never released its own castles, fortress or forts.
The Zvezda Ancient fortress still was used by another manufacturer, Heller in it’s Heller – 52607 – Chevaliers & Forteresses (Knights and Fortress) Diorama Set , but note that this time, it was just partially included, as it was just the frontal section of the fortress, 3 towers (one with the door entrance) and two wall segments.
In our opinion all of these products are well worthy the price they had in its time. Nowadays many of them become too expensive since haven’t been re-released in years.
Zvezda Medieval Fortress, 12th–17th Century
Zvezda still released another excellent product, a Russian style wooden fort covering a wide range of centuries as stated by the box itself.
Again thought of a modular system for this wooden pattern fort, and released three stand alone extensions, Zvezda – 8504 – Fort Wall with Gate , Zvezda – 8503 – Fort Wall and Zvezda – 8502 – Russian Fort Tower, 12th–17th Century , allowing customers to extend the size of the fort.
The fort itself still can be found by reasonable prices, check its product page Zvezda – 8501 – Medieval Fortress, 12th–17th Century.
Zvezda also issued this fort in the Age of Battles title Zvezda – 8212 – Assault of the Fortress which is pretty hard to find.
Imex Ivanhoe Castle
Imex started a range of medieval stone fortress in both 1/72 and 1/32 scale, probably after the acquisition of the Accurate brand (at least distributtion), which had in their catalogue figures for this period in both scales, as by its own, Imex never produced a medieval range.
Is very hard to find information about these castles, according to all the sources,three were planned for the 1/72 scale, but one never was released.
The difference between the two castles shown here, is just the use of square (Avalon Castle) or round towers (Ivanhoe Castle). The third box, without evidence of it was never released, was entitled Lancelot Castle and was a combination of both previous castles (and it should also have included the 2 Accurate/Imex Hundred years war figure kits).
The castles are quite good and big enough, and still available, especially in the U.S. by a reasonable price.
Ivanhoe Castle kit contains 4 round towers, 11 walls and 1 drawbridge/gate/entrance wall. When completed, the castle is square and the length of one side is 15.5″ at the bottom. The height of the towers is 7″ tall.
Imex Avalon Castle Kit
The Avalon Castle kit contains 4 square towers, 11 walls and 1 drawbridge/entrance wall. The castle is square and one side measures 14.75″ across the bottom. The towers are 6″ tall.
Unfortunately we haven’t found any source allowing us to use images of the box contents for the Imex castles either a decent back box picture.
The last two entries in the medieval section are for MiniArt.
MiniArt MEDIEVAL FORTRESS
MiniArt is a well known manufacturer of 1/35 scale kit, but they also keep a small range of 1/72 figure sets, a some more greater range of 1/72 scale buildings, many of them based in a modular system, and also 2 nice medieval castles, based on the same sprues, but one is bigger than the other.
To us is really sad that this manufacturer didn’t found profit enough in the 1/72 scale products to keep expanding the range.
The smaller one is entitled Medieval Fortress, but if even smaller, it’s still a very decent fortress for the scale.
Both castles share the two sprues shown below. The fortress contains 2 of each, while the castle contains 4 of each. So it’s exactly double size.
MiniArt MEDIEVAL CASTLE
Both kits are still widely available at decent prices, since company keep re-issuing them.
Also, you get the idea about they are some sort of mudulars, since same sprues in double number makes a bigger castle, it must be possible to combine a third or fourth ones to make something really really bigger.
It worth to mention that MiniArt packed the Fortress along with many of their produced figures in a play set entitled Miniart – 72033 – ASSAULT OF MEDIEVAL FORTRESS which is a very good acquisition for any one.
Some eye candy pictures of the finished models:
Airfix Fort Apache.
The far-west, wild-west or cowboys and indians, was one of the more common topics in toys during decades, and they had a pretty good number of forts in larger scales plastic toy soldiers, but the only attempt to move it to the small scale was done by Airfix a the end of the 60’s, offering us again a pretty much toy alike fort, and small for today 1/72 standards. In 50 years any other manufacturer attempted to bring us a decent U.S Fort.
The fort was also issued with compatible figures from the Indians and U.S. Cavalry sets, as well as initially with the wagon train, but in the latest reissue in the 90’s the train was removed.
Imex Fort Apache
Imex released another playset also entitled Fort Apache, containing some of their nice figures, but their fort, is a vacuform ones, not plastic injected, so we are not including it here.
We want to make a mention about another Imex set, the Alamo Defenders play set, which contained a cardboard fort.
Atlantic Fort Riley
It worth it to mention another toy alike release from the ancient times of our hobby. The Atlantic Fort Riley.
The fort itself is quite small for today standard, but it’s a collectors jewel by itself, as any other original Atlantic Box. Atlantic, as Airfix, was one of the pioneers of the small scale and their creations entertained generations from the 60’s , 70’s and 80’s.
The wild west, was one of the favorite topics of the Italian brand, their listings are full of entries for the topic.
Airfix Fort Sahara
Colonial warfare is one our favorite subjects, sadly, the old Airfix fort Sahara, is the only one in this category. It was issued first time in the late 60’s as complement for the French Foreign Legion and Bedouins figure kits by Airfix. Keep in mind than till the last issue of this kit in the 90’s the box playset type including the figures, was using the first type of the Airfix French Foreign legion, and only this last issue with the box as you can see below contains the second type of the legionaries which are pretty much better figures.
We want to drop some lines about the latest Italeri releases including MDF laser cut buildings, such castles and forts. MDF laser cut buildings are a very well know resource for 28mm Wargamers, it’s cheap and pretty decent for a wargaming table, but can’t be considered as plastic scale models, and hardly, without lot of work, can be useful on any diorama.
Italeri MDF Buildings
Italeri issued a MDF building for first time in the Italeri – 6111 – WATERLOO (200years) BATTLE AT LA HAYE SAINTE, using the same MDF model for La Haye Sainte already used by Warlord Games in their 28mm range. The cooperation between both brands was started some before, with Italeri releasing 1/56 models and figures from Warlord Range, and Warlord releasing a couple of the scenery boxes from Italeri.
Since then, many of new Italeri Playset has contained an MDF building, and at the least 3 of them, had issued great MDF forts and castles as follow:
- Italeri – 6180 – THE LAST OUTPOST 1754-1763 FRENCH AND INDIAN WAR
- Italeri – 6183 – BEAU GESTE: Algerian Tuareg Revolt
- Italeri – 6185 – CASTLE UNDER SIEGE – 100 Years’ War 1337/1453 – BATTLESET (A replacement for the old playset which used the Zvezda castles)
Other playsets has been included MDF buildings, but since they are not forts or castles, we are not listing there. You can take a look to the latest released by Italeri in the Playset section here.
And this is how the MDF fortresses looks:
BUM Resin buildings and forts.
The polemic manufacturer, had issue many times in their limited series boxes excellent resin pieces, and many of them fitting this article about Forts and Castles. It’s impossible for us at this moment trace and list every single BUM box which contained a resin piece, but we want to overview some of the most important here, without join any other polemic discussion.
BUM Far West Fort
An impressive full fort in resin. Available in very limited quantities.
More buildings in resin to join the fort, were issued by the brand, you can check many of them in their listing pages:
FAR – WEST / MEXICO / ZORRO / INDIAN WARS
The FRENCH-INDIAN WAR series also contains resin building which could fit this article, as well as the CANADIAN POLICE series.
It worth it to mention that BUM also joined the MDF side.
BUM Fort Sahara
Almost another full resin fort is included in their LA LEGION ETRANGERE series.
We all know that the golden years of the small scale, are gone long ago. Think of a new release to extend this article in the future is quite improbable unless the above mentioned MDF buildings. We can consider us lucky if all the above brands keep re-issuing and maintaining the molds of all the products spotted in this article.
Do you want to help us to complete / extend this article ? Write us at [email protected] , we would be very happy to have more details, contents images, different boxes layouts images and whatever you consider for the above mentioned castles/forts.
If you just want to prickle all of us with your nice castles & forts, you can use our Contributions section.