Russian Fort, 12th–17th Century

ZVEZDA 1:72 Scale Scenery Review

Russian Fort 12th to 17th Century, 1:72 Model Kit ZVEZDA 8501.

The Russian Fort is ideal for wargames and dioramas. Palisade sections are detailed on both sides, and they connect securely to the corner towers provided in this kit. ZVEZDA offers separate wall sections and towers which may be used to enlarge the fort and create town walls. The suburbs of Moscow were surrounded by tall palisades as late as 1638. The components of the fort are compatible with the new land and siege wargame system published by ZVEZDA. All parts are cast in beige plastic which looks good enough if left unpainted, although it’s well worth the effort to paint the fort and weather it appropriately. Serious modellers will want to convert some of the tower roofs and wall sections to add even more visual appeal to this fine model kit.


  • Russian Fort – 235 × 235 mm ground space
    • 4 corner towers, 154 mm tall
    • 3 palisades, 70 mm tall
    • 1 palisade with gate, 70 mm tall
    • 8 ladders
  • 8 siege warfare roster cards
  • Colour print-out of siege engines and rubble markers


Excellent choice of subject, the Russian Fort is suitable for the medieval to renaissance period of warfare in Eastern Europe. The wooden towers may be used to recreate the Cherta border fortifications against Mongol and Tatar invaders.

Easy to build: only 67 parts plus 16 soft plastic pegs which connect the wall sections and towers during play.

Wall sections and towers may be arranged to create a long town wall across the wargame table or along one edge of it.

The laminated roster cards and print-outs of siege engines are used in conjunction with the medieval siege wargame system published by ZVEZDA.

The Palisade may be extended using 5 mm dowel sticks.

The tower sections do not match perfectly on two of the four sides. The problem may be fixed by sanding the log ends and filling any remaining gaps with putty or wax.

The loopholes in the towers are not large enough and they are not located at the proper height to allow an archer to fire through them.

Corner towers may be used in the center of a linear wall section, but the doorways cannot be rearranged to allow lateral movement through the tower. Cut a new doorway in the opposite tower wall, and use the cut-out to fill the unwanted door.

The palisade stakes are too perfectly round to represent naturally grown trees, and they are all exactly the same length and diameter. To look realistic, wooden fortifications need to be slightly imperfect. Compare the ZVEZDA palisade with a reconstructed section of the ancient Roman Limes border fortifications in Germany.

Ejector pin marks on exterior surfaces need to be filled prior to painting.

It will be difficult to place miniatures inside the towers if the roofs are glued in place.

Historical Employment

  • Russian Fort, 12th to 17th Century

Possible Conversions

  • Flank Tower
  • Russian City Walls, 12th to 17th Century
  • Cherta Border Fortifications, 16th to 17th Century

The Russian Fort is an excellent centerpiece for a medieval or renaissance wargame scenario, it looks great when painted.

Sample from Zvezda

Buildings and Scenery for Wargames and Dioramas