While going down the final checklist of projects on my settlement revision tour, I decided to improve the Castle. Otherwise known as Fort Independence, this location is popular among FO4 builders because of its apparent defense advantages. I personally don’t care for it very much because a great deal of time must be devoted to repairing the broken walls and because it tends to glitch the resource counts at nearby Spectacle Island (and vice-versa). But I am a completionist, so I set about fixing it.

I’ve already redone the place, but that was on a different save. I’ve incorporated some of the ideas from that build, but I think this one turned out a bit better.

Some people like to elevate the garden area, but I’ve kept it at ground level because enemies rarely get inside the walls.

Gardeners gardening

Bars and restaurants elevate happiness, so I added a bartender. Notice how happy she is.

Happy bartender happily bartending

Other builders like to fru-fru up the Castle for some reason, but I see it as a primitive military installation. It’s something like the Alamo for the Minutemen, so they don’t pay much attention to elegance. Thus, their target-practice area is very ad-hoc. On the other hand, they’re not averse to upgrades, which is why they’ve acquired a vertibird from the Brotherhood of Steel.

Target range and vertibird on a repaired wall with a gated entrance

The wall and gate were repaired on both sides, of course.

Other side of wall/gate

The front entrance is intended to be rather unwelcoming. It’s heavily defended, since enemies usually approach from this side.

One side of the front entrance

This is the other side of the entrance, with cannon defenses.

The other side — the cannons are behind the sandbags.

It’s not perfect, but I think it’s a defensible place.


As I may have mentioned, I’ve been going around the Commonwealth improving my existing settlements. My priorities have been happiness, safety, and functionality. In most cases, I think I’ve succeeded. The settlers have a minimum of 88-89 happiness, with the average somewhere around 91. That’s pretty good for a population of 21 in every location. Safety-wise, they’re very ably protected. Turrets are strategically arranged around enemy spawn points, and most settlers have high-level weapons like automatic assault rifles. In terms of functionality — well, one does what one can. The pathing is generally good, though in a couple of places the settlers won’t go to bed at night. This is some kind of Bethesda navmeshing thing I just have to live with. It doesn’t seem to affect their happiness score. (Happiness, in case you’re wondering, affects productivity and cash flow . . . somehow. All I know is that I’ve been collecting an average of 17,000 caps at every settlement. Of course, this is after a hiatus of several weeks. If I made weekly collection tours, I would probably be getting about 3,000 per location.)

Anyway, you may recall that I said I had to move my human settlers out of Graygarden to a Conquest outpost down the road. Here is a shot of the outpost, and I only include it because the settlers are insanely happy (score is 97):

Happy days — probably all the nature and giant bugs.

At Sunshine Tidings Co-op, I made many changes, but the settlers seem to be especially fond of the kitchen:

Many happy meals are made here.

At Starlight Drive-In, many doin’s are afoot. I’m most proud of the wading pool/spa I made out of the big irradiated puddle there, but I haven’t been able to get a decent screenshot of it yet. In the meantime, here are a couple of shots of dwellings. One is still being worked on:

Many rednecks are on a waiting list.

I fulfilled my dream of creating what appears to be a house under repair.

Finally, here is a shot of some cliffside accommodations at Kingsport Lighthouse:

Sleepwalking is discouraged

That’s all.


This is one of my favorite places. Located on the Charles River not far from the edge of the Glowing Sea, it’s easy to miss unless you stumble across it. The settlement has docks, shop buildings, warehouse structures, and other wonderful accoutrements. Plus, it’s extremely challenging to repair and populate correctly. I like it a lot.

I decided to make an inn (on the left) near the existing shopping area. A garden adjoins the inn on the other side, but you can’t see it very well.

I only have the one shot here because my other contributions are taking long enough to load. (Simulcast on BF.)


I tried to get the inn design as close as possible to the existing architecture. Sadly, the mod I was using couldn’t duplicate certain trim combinations and other things.

I did some work at Graygarden, hoping to intermingle robots and humans. Unfortunately, the humans wouldn’t sleep on the overpass, so I had to move them to a small Conquest site down the road. I thought I would load the images on Imgur to give muppet a bandwidth break. My images are taking a while to load here. Anyway, here is the link and a sample shot:


The overpass structure, designed to access both tiers of the highway.

I revisited the Red Rocket near Sanctuary. It mystifies me that this is such a popular settlement. I guess its proximity to the game’s starting point makes it seem like a good place to build — that and its promise as a private player home. In reality, it’s full of problems, not the least of which is all the unscrappable crap you have to work around, like the gas hoses and all the trash in the service area. It’s all right as a make-do home away from Sanctuary, but to create a settlement for 20 or so people, you have to get pretty inventive. As with other difficult places, I decided to build upwards as well as outwards.

Housing can be constructed on the sloping ground surrounding the station, but it suited me better to build a dorm on top of the structure and put other interesting/useful things on the ground.

Where 21 people sleep, sort of.

Dogmeat in residence

Your basic redneck guard tower

There’s more to show, but it’s not really screenshot-worthy. I did some functionally interesting things with vendors, but I decided to move on to another challenge, to wit, the Home Plate residence you buy from the mayor’s secretary in Diamond City. I forgot what it cost, but the price is pretty steep for what you get, which is basically walls, floor, ceiling, and a bed. It’s also ugly and impossible to link with your provisioner network, which means that you have to use only the resources you can carry on your person. Fortunately, there’s this thing on the PC called console commands, one of which enables god mode. This allows you access to unlimited supplies at no cost. I felt it was only fair in light of Bethesda’s cheesy real estate scam. I also used some wonderful clutter mods which I would recommend if I could remember their names. Anyhow, I tried to imagine what kind of place the Minute Man general would have, given the cramped conditions.

The living room 1

The living room 2 (apologies for Steam’s awful image compression)

Kitchen/laundry area 1

Kitchen/laundry area 2

Research area 1

Research area 2 (the armory is not visually interesting)

The sleeping loft/dressing area (sans princess phone)

Until next time, fin.

In the absence of anything interesting to play, I’ve been mucking away on my Fallout 4 settlements. It’s gotten difficult to find appropriate acreage for Conquest sites. I did finally find a nice spot, but in the meantime I’ve been occupying myself with improvements to a couple of Preston-authorized places, namely Bunker Hill and Abernathy Farm.

Bunker Hill

This is a notoriously difficult place to work on. As a center for caravan trade and a sort of covert node for the Railroad, it’s already pretty well developed. Most people give up when they see all the in-game structures, including an indoor market and cunning little sleep alcoves along the fence line. There doesn’t seem to be much you can add. But I was not deterred.

I made quite a few additions to the main entrance. The scaffolding around the monolith was quite challenging to augment, but I managed.

Settlers love two things above all else — bars and places to sit. This establishment has both. It also has two bartenders.

A gun shop and guard post. The shop occupies a pre-made building which was being underused. The upstairs functions as an apartment.

As there is no room at all for a proper farm, you have to resort to elevation. The farmers seem to like it.

It seemed reasonable to fill this empty space with crafting stations. I had fun embedding plywood into the ground and finding a new way to use shack roofs.

I spiffed up the inside market with an armor and clothing shop. I cleared the two tables in the foreground and used plywood for eating surfaces. I’m pleased with how the Nuka Cola marketing schlock turned out. (Apologies for the smudgy graphics. This looks much better in-game. I think Steam does something to degrade screenshots.)

This bar is a few feet away from the clothing and armor shops. As I said, settlers love bars and seating. This establishment pays tribute to Bob the dog, who is no longer with us.

Caravan guards make pilgrimages to Bob’s doghouse shrine.

Bob is interred with reverence at the foot of the monolith.

Abernathy Farm

This is one of the first places Fallout 4 players attempt to settle. It’s universally liked for its plentiful room and unusual build height. Since the area around the farmhouse was already occupied with crops, I added some new living quarters to the lower half of the property.

Because ramps.

Shameless Nuka Cola product placement.


Pod with a view.

The finer things.

That’s it for now. I hope to finish my newest Conquest area pretty soon, at which time I will duly inflict it on the three people who look at these picture exhibitions.

To dispel rumors of my death, I thought I would share some of the improvements I’ve made to Sanctuary. I had a gun factory, but I wasn’t getting much use out of it, so I tore it down and built a sort of middle-American house. I had in mind something that Willy Loman would live in back before the war.

Imagine Willy and Biff shooting baskets amid the flamingos.

The living room, where the family unit might recreate themselves after a hard day of being wholesome.

The first floor area and back door, which leads to an unremarkable back yard.

A passage leading off the stairs to the second floor, where the family keeps radiators and files on Un-American Activities.

A bedroom, which weakens the Willy Loman vibe a bit, as these are obviously my clothes and hippie bedspread.

A bathroom, which required a great deal of glitching and schlepping.

The attic, containing memories and wonders. I was able to sell Shaun in a garage sale, but no one wanted the crib.

Having finished the house, I imagined Willy and the boys constructing a treehouse. The fantasy didn’t work because this is obviously a postwar structure. Nonetheless, it’s bristling with Americanism.

A treehouse, because everybody builds a treehouse in Fallout 4.

Another shot of the treehouse, because everybody takes at least two screenshots of treehouses.

Using the treehouse properly.

Finally, I noticed that Sanctuary was missing a shrine to me. At the time I made it, I thought the structure captured my dignity in a simple, unassuming way.

Your basic shrine.

Me, reconsidering the shrine. Is it too much? Do I look fat? (That’s not aliasing — it’s the way the pedestal and flags actually crenelate.)

There you go. I think I’ll go around to other settlements and replace perfectly good buildings with other ones.



I decided to take a break from building towns and try my hand at making a house. This was inspired by a Steam chat conversation with muppet. I don’t recall exactly what he said, but it was something to the effect that if he did any settlement-building, he’d prefer something nice instead of all the junk huts and weird plywood flooring. I thought this was an interesting idea. I didn’t want to do an antiseptic Institute building, so I tried for something a little warmer, made possible by an ambitious mod called Snappy HouseKit. I also used the wonderful USO (Unlocked Settlement Objects) mod and some other things.

I needed some relatively flat ground with considerable space, so I went to the enormous Red Rocket settlement in Nuka World. I had to elevate the structure because Bethesda can’t resist putting weeds and crap all over the ground even in a desert location, but I think it worked out reasonably well.

I decided to go with a more-or-less gothic/Victorian look.

The exterior — couldn’t find a full moon or bats.


Potted plants on the porch (for alliteration)


The living room


The kitchen


A bedroom


Stairs to the second floor


I decided to make the second floor a kind of gallery for my various stolen paintings.

You can be sure there was much glitching and fudging, especially to cover up electrical wiring and get objects nudged properly against walls. I’m presently working on another house at Sanctuary Hills, but I’m not sure I’ll show it, as it’s not as beau-monde as this one. Mostly, it’s an exercise to see how far glitching can be taken. Maybe I’ll show one room or something.


The original Lyon Outpost was built over a dam near the ghoul-infested Forest Marsh township. Unfortunately, it was quite buggy, either because of its attachment to Forest Marsh or its proximity to Oberland Station or for any of a hundred reasons. After multiple attempts to fix it, I destroyed Old Lyon and murdered most of the annoying settlers. Some got away. May they perish in some ignominious fashion.

Anyway, I started New Lyon a little bit southwest of Vault 81, thinking this site might be less affected by glitches. So far, the three settlers who showed up have refused to use the nice beds I provided, preferring to stand in the market all night, staring at the nearby overpass. At first, I was upset because I had made certain that pathing and bed access were 100% functional. Then I no longer cared. Maybe there’s something wrong with the Conquest mod that’s letting me build in these weird places. Maybe I have too many settlements. Whatever. I made the settlement. They can fix it themselves.

As usual, New Lyon is an ugly place because I don’t believe the “lore” allows for many settlers with sophisticated building abilities or access to good materials. In “real life,” they would have few tools, primitive carpentry skills, and only the junk they could scavenge from nearby towns. The result would be functional but rickety-looking villages. I won’t try to explain how they get hold of nuclear generators or high-powered defense turrets. Anyway, here are the pictures without interstitial commentary: