So, as we mentioned last week, the Salute releases are all up on the website and it’s now time for something completely new. Today we have a collection of new releases with a Spanish flavour, partially taken from my Menorquin holiday last summer.
Menorca is an island with a damn sight more military history than I expected, being dotted with fortifications and castles all around the rocky coastline. There are seventeen small towers of varying designs around the coast, primarily on the eastern side of the island. These are mostly different types of Martello Tower, cylindrical or conical in design with one or two guns mounted on the roof. The first item this week is a set of three different versions of these towers – the Torre de Fornells, a well-preserved large tower on the northern Fornells peninsular; the Castillo de Sant Nicolau in Ciutadella on the far west coast, an unusual octagonal castle built by the Spanish; and the Torre Son Ganxo, a smaller and more conventional Martello design. Incidentally, if you follow some of the links and notice that the positioning of some doors seems to differ slightly from our models, it’s because new doors have been opened at ground level on the towers for easier access. When in use 200 or so years ago, access to some of the towers was by ladder to a door on the first floor.
Next up is another design from Menorca, the Castell de San Antonio. This remains of this castle are located in Fornells, very close to the Tower. It was built in the C.17th to defend against pirates, but its very low elevation right on the harbour front made it vulnerable to fire from ships and it ended up being partially demolished in 1782. Despite its rather undistinguished military career, I’ve chosen to make it as a perfect example of a four-pointed star fort design which can be used to stand in for other castles around the world.
We’re now moving down in size to some very small fortifications built by the Spanish in Cuba during the War of Independence in that country and the Spanish-American War. There were many of these dotted around the island of various designs, and our pack has four different models. They’re of a similar design to American Civil War blockhouses so would serve a dual purpose there too.
Finally for this week we’re staying on Cuba with a model of a church. This has two towers and would serve in other locales around the world, notably various European Mediterranean and South American countries.