Posts Tagged ‘bunker’

Trench Afoot

February 16, 2012

Gutted as I was to realise I’d already used the pun “Last Ditch Effort” I’m happy with this new secnic which I’ve just completed. It’s not only a handy piece but it proved to me how our humble Slug Industries sandbags and planking actually knock together to make a decent model without the hours I’d have spent in the past by hand making every single piece.

It also gave me an opportunity to use modrock, a bag of which I’d bought around a decade ago but never even opened. It’s a great material, gloriously messy with a hint of mudpies making the endeavour an even deeper recession into child-like joy. To start with I glued the sandbags in place, then used scrap foamboard to make formers for the ground. I wanted the look of earth which had been dug up and piled just a couple of months before, so quite smooth, howvere if you wanted more craggy a style that would be possible too. I overcoated it with Woodland Scenics plaster, or wotsit hydrocalifornia as they insist on calling it. It was great fun and I recommend it for that reason alone, anything more is a plus eh?

Then it was a bash of colour prior to flocking. I used three types, short dark for the undercoat, longer on top with a few added sprinkles of a flowery flock. The planking was stuck in place, plus a few crates, an oil drum and some single sandbages which we’ve not released yet and the piece was complete. It comes alive with a few figures, these all Uncle Crouchie’s BEF range now available from the ever regal Warlord Games.

Finally the hour spents cutting the seams on all those sandbags and the grain on the planking has proved itself worthwhile now on with the slaughter!

Rubble and Concrete

February 15, 2012

It’s been quite a productive week here at 6mil mansions. First I bashed out these three small rubble piles, which were very quick after the ruin set which took a full week to put together. The result can be found over at the Slug site.

Also a couple of pieces I needed for an approaching 6mm game. So rather than just make the pieces for my own use I decided to make pieces I could cast from. This is also handy for my pillbox needs, as I don’t fancy building more than one of them.

The sharp-eyed amongst you might have noticed how there’s no opening on the bunker, a deliberate step as I wanted it for something a bit different, but I have build a gun port for it, which I’ll attach to a casting and make another mould from, and that’ll be a proper gun toting bunker.

This Radar station is what I wanted, so you can see my thinking. The screen for this was some of that brass etched stuff which is getting cheaper. If you do try something like this my top tip is make sure your brass is totally flat before working it. Mine wasn’t but I added the plastistrip anyway and then I had to flatten both that and the metal.

Not totally finished though, I’m tempted to come back with a simple camoflage scheme, but it’s ready for a game.  Both these pices can also be found over at the other place.

One flew over the machine gun nest

July 5, 2011

Regular readers will recall my conversion towards table mats and drinks coasters as bases for structures thanks to Daring Dan. Someone gave me four old drinks coaster for this very purpose and here is the last one finally finished. It’s a machine gun nest for the jungle made mainly of cork cut to strips, DIY filler, and coffee stirrers. There’s a bit of various flocks, a plastic plant but most effective is the spagnum moss donated by Wobbly Steve.

It’s a very simple build, crudely slapped together and saved by the filler render and the liberal use of flocks and moss. I did try to make it as unobvious a bunker as possible. When I find my hessian I will cut some to cover both gun port and door and remove the contrast they produce.

As is my preference I’ve made it so you can get inside with enough room for a based machine gun and crew. The interior could do with further detailing. Perhaps a pin-up of Betty Grable or a photo of the Emporer.

It’s a jolly piece which I like a lot not least for it’s simplicity as well as another coaster based project where the base didn’t warp in the slightest. HURRAH!

Fortify yourself

August 1, 2009

DSCF1766There are few things I won’t attempt to scratchbuild myself, one of those rarities are dragon’s teeth. I don’t know what it is about them but on the few times I’ve decided to have a bash I’ve always found something else to do instead. Luckily for me Mike over at Angel Barracks makes them so I decided to buy a few, some painted to get an idea of his skills and some unpainted so I could have a close look at the casting job. Above you can see the large zig zag ones which are a bargain at £2.75 painted or £1.75 unpainted, and at 155mm long and 25mm deep they’re a sizeable addition to anyone’s scenics. Quite by chance their width is just slightly (3mm) wider than a lot of my standard building bases, including the last bunker I built. So they’ll fit in perfectly.

DSCF1770I also ordered these haystacks, which are a lovely little detail which most gamers don’t have and at 30p painted or 20p unpainted won’t break the bank. I’ve already started on a scenic which will feature these so check back in the next week or so and see what they inspired.

Bunker Mentality

May 22, 2009

DSCF1069Bunkers or pillboxes are one of the easiest structures to build, limited only by historical record or for the futuristic modeller imagination. Typically it’s all square and boxy, and no fancy details like glazed windows, roofing nor chimney. I’m going to show you how to make one, in the style of a World War II German bunker such as you might find as part of the Atlantic wall. For this project you’ll need some foamcore board, plasticard, a base board and the usual selection of tools, glues and paints. To start take a pencil and ruler and draw out a plan on the base board similar to the picture above. What I’m after for this bunker is enough room to get two bases inside, one larger weapon such as an 88mm gun plus a smaller support weapon like an HMG. At the plan stage I’ve had one of my standard miniature bases around, I’ve also traced the finished design onto a scrap of paper for making measurements for the later stages.

DSCF1073Next is cutting strips of foam board to the height needed to comfortably allow based pieces to fit inside. On the last bunker I made I used plasticard with an eye to having a bash at getting the texture right. It worked but was a little on the large size, and very slow. In using foam board I’m hoping to get an authentic look but easier, so I’ve scored the card horizontally on the exterior of the walls. You can just about see it in the photo. I’ve made sure I’ve plenty of spare pieces left for later on. Then I’ve marked where the apertures and interior door will be, as well as where the walls need to be cut. I’ve made life a trifle harder by only having a single ninety degree corner. If this is your first effort you might want to stick to square corners.

DSCF1074Cut out the apertures and door before you stick them down. Then I superglued the walls in place, gel is better for this than the liquid variety, let it dry and then used PVA glue to strengthen the joins. The join of the two aperture walls is the only one I bevel cut before before joining, the others I overlapped slightly, and then trimmed. The first embrasure is cut from the spare pieces and rather handily a single piece. It’s important to get these walls set square on the vertical, and this will depend greatly on how square you’ve cut the bottom of the walls. To the right is an embrasure which wraps around a corner and I tried a different approach for it.

DSCF1075Here’s the corner embrasure, which is a sandwich of pieces. To make sure there’s a slight slope to it I’ve cut the first piece to the plan and then just placed that on a piece of foam board and traced around it with a pencil. This makes each piece slightly larger than the previous. When glued together this can be trimmed as a whole. This was time consuming, and I wasn’t happy with the finished result, so although I’ve shown how to do it I’d recommend trying just about any other way. I’ll drone on about this lack of perfection later.

DSCF1076To the left is an embrasure with a better finish, again from scored spare foamboard. I’ve added the stepping to the main weapon port (I got bored with using the word aperture).

DSCF1077Now for the bunker entrance and ammo store. I’m going to have a fixed roof onit so I’ve used scored plasticard for it. Again it’s double glued. There’s an important if near invisible step to the model at this stage, and that’s liberally applying PVA glue to all the exposed foam edges. This is for a number of reasons; mainly it’s to seal it, so when painted it doesn’t just soak up tons of paint like a sponge. It will do this given a chance, then gravity will go about it’s evil way in sucking that down into the very core of the model which may warp the walls, detach the paper on either side and even leaking through any poor joins at the bottom. The PVA glue also protects the foam from materials which might damage it, like green putty, misplaced plastic-weld or some spray paints. It will also prevent the near suicidal or neo- psychotic (depending on your style) episode which result from the experience of finding a near finished model slowly destroying itself. Isn’t PVA glue wonderful?

DSCF1078Here a roof has been put on the extension to the left, and I’ve added a ridge to it. Paints been brushed on to the now PVA’ed foam edges, and most joins. Green putty has been smeared around the base on the exterior to allow purchase for later stages.

DSCF1083Next is the roof, which is two pieces; one being the roof itself cut from foamboard, another being a piece of plasticard to hold the roof in place. Now to measure this from the model is troublesome, but remember how I traced the original plan in the first stage? That’s where you can take your measure from, bear in mind you’ll want the roof to slightly overlap the walls like any good bunker.

DSCF1084Spray undercoat the model, and onto what for me was an experimental stage using a new material – oasis. This is the material used by many florists as a base for flower displays, not the brothers who sing “Wonderwall”. It comes in two colours, green for use with fresh flowers, and brown for dried. I picked some of this up at a pound shop and have been looking for a model making use for it. It’s very light, cheap and can be cut and shaped easily, but it’s insanely delicate, just touching it can produce a dent, and press it hard enough and it becomes paper thin before giving up the ghost and crumbling at your brutality. However this doesn’t mean it’s without use, namely as a type of filler where others would be too costly, heavy, awkward and in drying lead to warppage of your base. So I’ve cut and shaped several slightly oversized pieces to fill where earth would be heaped against the bunker walls. This has then been sealed with lashings of PVA glue, which takes a long time to dry with this material.

DSCF1086Then I’ve mixed some miliput, rolled it really thinly and applied it over the top. This gives it a hard shell which can be sculpted, drilled etc. You could use basetex, any other filler or similar of course.

DSCF1088I’ve spray painted the model in a lighter shade, roughly brushed on a camo pattern, and added the first coat of flock.

DSCF1090It’s a decent piece now, although I’ve yet to add a dirty brown wash and the finishing layers of flock, although for the purposes of this tutorial it’s finished.

DSCF1094Lo and behold plenty of room for two bases inside. I may well add a couple of posters to the interior to make it more interesting. All that remains is a little whinging…

DSCF1097Here’s the main weapon port, you can see the camo is roughly applied which is deliberate as most camo was, plus a dark brown wash will pull it together as well as bring out the detail of the scoring. However the right embrasure is awful, unless you want the look of poorly laid concrete. Discovering a use for oasis has made up for it though.

DSCF1199Here’s a shot of the finished thing with a couple of tiles of British Infantry creeping around in front of it.

It’s a fair Copse

April 8, 2009

dscf0743Okay it’s not the most exciting feature but we all need trees. This is a large copse featuring the full range of Irregular metal trees, with a few bushes, patchy grass and although the photo doesn’t reveal it the patches of mud are glossed to look more like wet mud. Although it looks flat it does have some relief, which I tend to do to every base even those for miniatures. There’s something not quite right to a flocked base which is perfectly flat, unless it’s a bowling or golf green, it’s one of those things that I believe the brain sees even if the eyes don’t.

dscf0745A set of tank obstacles which are probably a trifle too large. The H-bar is prebought in strips and cut to size, and even at this gigantic size is very fiddly to glue together. Various short pieces have been stuck into the ground at an angle. In future I’ll use a smaller guage H-bar and cut them even shorter. By the way if you didn’t spot the GHQ jeep in each of these pictures I insist you subtract one from your next dice-roll.

Bunker Wallah

April 8, 2009

dscf0739Here’s one of my most recent efforts at a scratchbuilt bunker with firing posts either side. To accomodate the base size I’m using it did have to be a little larger than I have liked, but it remains a playable piece. One detail I tried with this was the texture which a lot of bunkers have. Now if you’ve seen real bunkers you might know what I mean but for those who haven’t here’s a picture of the texture.


This texture is a side effect of the process used, namely a frame is made of wood planking and liquid concrete is poured into it. Once dried the frame is removed and the concrete is left with the impression of the wood. Although I think I’ve reasonably replicated it my texture is just too large to fit the 6mm scale, it’s more 10 or even 15mm, which is as close to blasphemy as I’ve ever got.

dscf0741Apologies for the blur, but it still shows how a base will fit the interior. All I’ve got to do know is work out how those cunning Canadians got an M10 through the tiny door.