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Sunday, 4 September 2011

15mm D-Day Bunkers - Postscript - the Tobruk Positions

As mentioned before, I'd hoped to be able to recreate in miniature some of the defensive positions I'd come across on my visit to Normandy earlier this year.

Antenocitis Workshop had provided the 50mm open pit and enfilade bunkers I wanted, but I still wanted to create my personal favourite - the Tobruk position.
Here's a partially exposed example on UTAH Beach.
Some feedback on my blog pointed out to me that Battlefront produced such an item in 15mm and I finally tracked one down from Wayland Games for a very cool £3.78 delivered.
You can see from the image that you get to build a choice of MG position or emplaced obsolete French tank turret. The kit parts are both finely cast and very easy to assemble. In fact on taking a closer look I deduced that the base was simply sculpted by using a small FoW base with an appropriately sized washer stuck to form the concrete Tobruk opening. The terrain was then sculpted around with Green Stuff or similar. If they were that simple I ought to have a go myself and that way I could use both the MG gunner half-figure and the turret.

So that's what I did. I found a couple of suitable washers in the shed, made a base to accommodate the turret using one of these glued to a 40x40mm mdf base and a mixture of green stuff plus (afterwards) Vallejo Pumice.
Home-made turret position
The second MG position was made in the same way manned with a cut-off Peter Pig Late War German MG42 Gunner. The MGs were usually mounted on a skate rail (some even had a small shield similar to tose mounted on an Sdkfz 251 Half-Track) so it would not be unusual for the MG to have the bipod removed (as here).
Home-made MG position
And of course the original Battlefront item was based in the same way so they all match.
Actual Battlefront item
I'm quite happy with these finished items and, should I need any more, I can simply raid the shed once again.
Left to right - home-made turret position, Battlefront item & home-made MG position
Looking on the interweb the other day I saw that Battlefront have now produced a revised design of this item that is a much more accurate representation. It doesn't look a whole lot different to the real one in the picture at the top and can be supplied with a gunner figure for just about every nation taking part in WW2. A pack of two comes in at £7.50 which I guess isn't bad.

I think, however, I'll be sticking with my home made version with a steel washer on mdf with half a redundant figure, as it comes in a whole lot less.

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