Tree Fort

Tree Fort in St Williams

What kind of parent would build a tree fort for their kids that’s 15 feet off the ground???

The awesome kind!

Injury potential aside, a tree fort has to be the coolest place for a kid to hang on a hot summer day. And a tree fort with a view of the tracks? Well, the kid would have to fight for their space with most of the model railway enthusiasts I know… myself included.

Since I’ve been working so hard on getting my trees right, I thought a tree fort would be a great detail to add to one of the big trees in the backyards at St. Williams. (The fort shows up in several other photos I’ve shared in the previous two postings, so have another look at those, too.) I built the fort into the tree armature before I planted it on the layout and added the canopy. It’s eight feet by eight feet, with a 42″ railing around the perimeter.

Here’s a closer look:

Tree Fort - close up

It’s actually fairly difficult to photograph, what with it being tucked away under the canopy and all. But at left in the above image, you can make out the open lid of the trap door in the floor – and behind it, a rolled up rope ladder on the deck. The sign at right featured prominently in many Calvin and Hobbes comic strips, and in fact I created it by finding a suitable comic online… cropping, resizing and squaring up the sign… and cranking out a copy on my colour printer:

Tree Fort with GROSS sign
(Yes, I’m a fan. No, I don’t think girls are gross – or slimy!)

I need to find a kid or two to finish the fort – perhaps wearing pirate hats folded out of newspapers?

And where can I find an anthropomorphic tiger?

Calvin Hobbes Tree Fort Comic

Tigers are great!
They can’t be beat…

10 thoughts on “Tree Fort

  1. A agree about “gross”, but it’s Calvin’s world! I think at the time the sign would say “Keep out” or “No girls aloud”, with the spelling mistake. And I had a Davey Crockett hat, so I was there! Nice one.

  2. While I wasn’t there at the time, I don’t think that “gross” was part of the lexicon of the youth of the era you model.
    But the tree fort and the C&H strip brought out a huge smile.

    • My pleasure, Pierre. And I’m comfortable in messing with historical accuracy in subtle ways, providing it’s for something that makes me happy.
      I’m pretty sure they didn’t have anthropomorphic tigers in the 1950s either – Tigger, like Hobbes, is a fiction. But if I find a suitably sized one, he’ll be in the tree fort, making Calvin sing the password.
      Perhaps I need to bait a trap with a tuna fish sandwich. Tigers are suckers for those…

      • Sounds like a job for someone with the design skills to do you up a 1:64th scale 3D printed Hobbes to add to your display (i do my own 3D printed stuff, but i am useless at creating lifelike figure models, only mechanical parts and the like).

        I share your sentiment on historical accuracy and subtly messing with it. Whenever i get to having a place to design and build a full layout, i will make little winks to people and places i love, even if they didn’t exist back then. Even as it is, on the 1950’s ish based on rolling stock and vehicles switching shelf i have in my parents basement, one of the buildings on my little main street has a sign for “Bar Volo”, my favourite bar in Modern Toronto!

  3. It could have easily been a branch (pun intended) of “The He-Man Woman Haters Club” from Our Gang short films, but I prefer the C&H reference.

  4. Very cool, Trevor. Reminds me of my days in the tree fort on the farm in Manitoba in the Manitoba maples.
    We would light a candle and go out and read comic books in the fort at night. Of course thoughts went through my mind about something catching fire and how quick an exit we could make it out of through the constricted door and down the 15 or so feet down to the ground. – Never happened, we always made it down untorched and we certainly did have good times. Now all we need is a night train running past the tree fort!

  5. K & H is one of my favourite/must read every day comics, closely followed by Hagar.
    Yes you do need to put either K or H in the house, or have someone wearing a pirate hat. S scale will allow for some sort figures to be placed in the house.
    K & H must have a world wide following. Here, down-under it is in most of the National Daily papers. Comics first, then sport than the news .
    Keep up the posts and blogs.

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