So, with the canal sort of on its way, I though I’d next crack on with the defences. One interesting factor which intrigues me about the Peel-Ramm line is that whilst covered with bunkers, these were less than ideal and, in truth, not really fit for purpose. Every 200m or so the waterline defences had a bunker, usually of the S3 type which was built for three men with a Lewis gun. Normally this was a section leader and two men with the Lewis gun. A strange arrangement which left the rest of his section without a leader and generally saw them in trenches nearby.
Anyway, for all of its rights or wrongs, the S3 Kazemaat had three weapon ports which gave it a 190 degree arc of fire, albeit demanding some movement between ports with the Lewis gun which, when moved, was prone to jam. A rear door gave access with the whole bunker tending to stand about 6′ above ground.
I had two options here. I could model a bunker which had sufficient room for three figures internally, or I could just create a solid block in which I could imagine three men being deployed. I chose the latter as the model would be more robust, an important issue when being dragged across Europe, and, just as importantly, it was a MUCH simpler project.
Recently, I purchased some rather nice transparent skull tokens from Charlie Foxtrot Models (you can find them here: Skull Tokens) so that I could track casualties on multi-figure bases or where figures were not actually deployed on the table. These would be used to track the fate of the men in a bunker such as this.
So, going with the lazy option, I grabbed a section of 1″ thick blue polystyrene and cut the basic shape out based on scaling down the actual dimensions (there will be an article on various Dutch and Belgian fortifications in the forthcoming 2018 Annual).
With that done, I chopped off the corners and quickly moved on to the weapon ports. Here I used a sharp knife to remove a whole section before cutting off a smaller slice from the section removed and sticking that back in with a hot glue gun. This was much easier than removing a square section.
A quick chamfering of the rop edge followed by a quick rub down with sand paper resulted in the block on the right becoming the bunker on the left.
Next, I used plasticard to create the detail of the closeable weapon ports. This is a very simplistic representation, but it is quite sufficient for a wargames model.
I popped these in with a dab of hot glue and then gave the whole model a coat of PVA glue. Once that was dry I plastered it using quick dry polyfilla which as polished to a smooth finish with a wet finger. If you get this wrong you can always sand down the finished model when dry. I also added a fairly tight fitting hardboard base. Here you can see the weapon ports in the plastered model.
A light sand down and a slap of paint and some sharp sand on the base….
…followed by a final highlight and some basing work saw the model complete.
In isolation above it looks a bit of something and nothing. In action along the canal line I think it looks rather better and, for me who likes his history, it looks like the real thing.
So that’s another step on the road to Crisis completed. Tomorrow I will be looking at my Dutch riverside buildings and medieval waterside Inn.
A wise man once told me, “You can’t have a proper wargame without some nice animals”. Naturally, I laughed politely as I called the local psychiatric care department, but, on reflection, he could have a point. What is it that makes a good wargames table a great wargames table? To my mind it is attention