It's been a while since I've been able to work on the BMC German Bunker Building, which Mike Kutnick suggested I call the German Secret Stronghold. That's got a pretty good ring to it, so I'm trying it out.
The 3D printed prototype arrived just in time for the Chicago Toy Soldier Show last fall. It's been so crazy since then, I haven't had time to sit down and really play with it - until today. Here's the building all put together:
The walls are from a vintage BMC San Juan Hill Hacienda, and I think the color will stay the same off-white, just like the stucco walls at the Maisy Battery in France. I think the new roof parts should be medium gray to match the BMC Pillboxes. This version includes some nice refinements from the first prototype. The signs have a little border detail at top and bottom and improved attachment system (from pins in holes to tabs in slots). The ladders received an extra set of 'bumps' so it stays in place better against the outside edge roof as well as the hatch opening. I think they could use one extra rung? This roof version includes holes in the roof to accept Flak guns and flagpole. The holes were a last minute change and are a little too large, so that will either need to be corrected, or I may eliminate them and go back to the plain flat roof. You can also see the new door prototype. It attaches from the inside or outside, and fits the opening perfectly. It might need to be a millimeter or so shorter:
An alternative to the holes in the roof for the guns might be to create a new base for the guns. I made a prototype base by carefully cutting it out of the top of a BMC Pillbox (I've seen a couple of people do this modification). I think it looks pretty good, but could use 'feet' to raise it up a little like the real deal:
Here's a quick setup I did to give an idea of what the set might look like with some figures and accessories. The freestanding Flak gun is on the left:
Another small detail is I changed the underside of the hatch covers so they can double as equipment shelves. I don't know if it will be feasible to add both the door and the gun base to the set, but a number of folks at the Chicago show expressed they would like freestanding guns, so I'm going to see if we can do it. I think the D-Day barbed wire and sandbags make a nice addition The gray pieces shown are test shots I had made last year. I'm considering including some Germans molded in black. I know some would like to see new German sculpts, but that's beyond the scope of this project.
I made a lot of refinement to the underside of the roof so it could be used as part of a multi-story building. Here's a configuration that uses 2 sets of walls and one roof set:
The walls can also stack on top of the roof so there is a complete inside 2nd floor. I only have one full roof, but here's a setup with the full roof as the 2nd floor and the first prototype roof half on top:
The building could also be combined with BMC Pillboxes in a couple of different ways:
This project started off as just an accessory, but is shaping up as a really nice complete 'shoebox' size playset. I still need to work out the contents, but I'd like to include the building, 2 ladders, 2 Flak Guns, Flag, a small number of German soldiers, and possibly a small number of US soldiers. The signs would have stickers so that would be German on one side, and reverse to English on the other once captured.
Here's links to the previous blog posts about this project:
Let me know what you think of the progress so far.