I added a model pillbox to my most recent N gauge model railway layout, detailed in my blog post dated 07 January 2014. The scratch built pillbox was placed in a commanding position overlooking a railway bridge and surrounding countryside.
A large number of small fortified structures known as pillboxes were built all over the British Isles during the Second World War as part of a defence network in case of invasion.
Pillboxes were built to many designs to suit local requirements using whichever building materials were available in a particular area. The variety of building materials used meant that pillboxes built to the same design could have a very different appearance.
Pillbox wall and roof thickness varied considerably from approximately 12 inches which were designated bulletproof, to approximately 3 feet 6 inches which were designated shellproof.
Many pillboxes were made using reinforced concrete poured into shuttering. Timber shuttering was removed when the concrete had set. Where corrugated iron shuttering was used this was sometimes left in place for added protection. If bricks were used to create shuttering they were usually left in place after the concrete was poured in. Rebars were used to reinforce concrete, though sometimes, pieces of scrap metal such as angle iron from bed frames, old railings etc. were also used.
I have chosen to blog construction of a OO gauge model pill box as the components are much easier to photograph than ones required for an N gauge version. The construction process I use to construct a pillbox for N gauge model railway layouts is the same, though the sizes, thickness of components and surface finishes are different. I used 1mm thick cardboard taken from a broken box file to create all of the components for the OO gauge model pillbox.
The roof measurements for this particular OO gauge pillbox were:
Measurements marked in red 60mm
Measurements marked in blue 30mm
Measurements marked in green 25mm
Measurements marked in purple 27mm
Measurements marked in black 50mm
When the glue had dried the next wall of the model pillbox was fixed to the roof and to the side of the first wall.
I gave each pillbox wall component about half an hour to set before fixing the next.
An appropriate hobby knife was used to cut the waste cardboard away to create the doorway and embrasures.
Some embrasures on pillboxes I have seen are simple square or rectangular shapes which are the same shape and measurement front to back.
Other pillboxes have stepped embrasures which gave a wider field of vision from inside the structure.
Modelling putty was used to fill any gaps or irregularities and allowed to dry overnight. I then painted PVA all over the model pillbox to seal the bare cardboard.