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Old 11-12-2019, 10:37 AM
Erik Zwaan's Avatar
Erik Zwaan Erik Zwaan is offline
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1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway

Time for a new build! And a bit of history to start with....

In the 19th century the Dutch Government decided to extend the outdated Dutch Water Defense Line around Amsterdam with a new line of defense that would encompass all of Holland, including the city of Utrecht, from the fortress island of Pampus in the Zuiderzee (nowadays called IJsselmeer) to the estruary of the southernmost rivers in the Biesbosch area.

The Dutch have always been familiar with the abundance of water in the western part of the country and although history showed several times that water was a formidable enemy, it certainly could be deployed as an ally as well. Such was the function of the water line: If required, a strip of land could be flooded quickly with river water to halt advancing armies from the east. A water depth of about half a meter, and a width of a few kilometers were thought to be enough to hold soldiers and other equipment. Fortifications and other strongholds were built at those locations where land could not be inundated, such as important traffic hubs or for protection of the water intake locations. The new defense line was named “Nieuwe Hollandsche Waterlinie”, which speaks for itself.

Just before the outbreak of WW2 in Western Europe, extensions to the line were made, but it would quickly appear that the defense system was outdated. Airplanes and the deployment of parachutists by the Germans in May 1940, behind the water line rendered it useless. Those were the first time ever airborne assaults on large scale with the aim to quickly conquer the airports near Leiden, The Hague and Rotterdam, as well as the Moerdijk bridges which are the gateway to Rotterdam from the south.

The last additions just before the outbreak of war consisted of some 570 small bunkers, called Groepsschuilplaatsen in Dutch, or group shelters (GSP). Because of their characteristic shape, they were nicknamed Pyramides. The GSPs offered shelter to 10-13 soldiers who often manned nearby trenches.

A few weeks ago, I was hiking with friends in the area of the new Dutch Water Line and we encountered a couple of these bunkers. The fact that we could not enter them made us curious about their function, history and interior. Luckily Wikipedia comes in very handy!

As it appears, Dutch publisher Tekamo Paper Models offers models of Dutch military heritage, such as the GSP. The model is available in several scales (HO, O) and the 1:35 one is available as either a cut-away showing the interior as it must have looked like in 1940 or in its entire shape. I decided to buy the cut-away version with interior, which is a nicely designed model with a good fit. It comes with several soldier figures to complete the diorama. The model is printed on 200 grams paper and not extremely difficult to build.

Herewith the proceedings. The build starts with the reinforced base plate and several wall sections to be added later on. Also a bit of the surrounding area and a part of a parapet (or trench) are included.


That's it for now,
Erik
Attached Thumbnails
1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1081.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1082.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1043.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1044.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1045.jpg  

1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1049.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1050.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1051.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1052.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1053.jpg  

1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1054.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1055.jpg  
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  #2  
Old 11-12-2019, 11:17 AM
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Butelczynski Butelczynski is offline
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That is a really good idea.So far most paper models of fortifications I have seen were made in Czech publications.Too bad because they can be very interesting.
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Old 11-12-2019, 03:21 PM
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An unusual subject. Looks interesting.
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:03 AM
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Heel origineel, Erik!
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Old 11-13-2019, 10:27 AM
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Interesting Erik - and I learnt something new!

Never heard of those fortifications.
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Old 11-18-2019, 05:51 AM
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Erik Zwaan Erik Zwaan is offline
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Update

Thank you Butelczynski, Philip, Ab and Kevin. The bunker is indeed an original subject for a paper model and along the process I have learned historical facts which were new to me.

A short update and a few more bunker facts. The wall sections are separate groups and should be placed on the ground plate separately but I joined several sections before placing them on the ground plate as I found it easier that way. I used rectangular pieces of thick paper (blue was the available color....) to ensure proper 90 degree angles. The ground plate is reinforced by adding paper ribs on the reverse side, and also some of the wall sections are reinforced that way. This comes with the model. Additionally I glued cereal box cardboard (0.5mm thick) on the inside walls as well.

The thickness of the reinforced concrete was considerable: outside wall thickness ranging from 1.5-1.8 meters, ceiling 2.15 meters, inside walls 0.9 meters and floor 0.8 meters. Due to the soft soil the bunkers stood on piles. Overall dimensions 8.2m long, 6.5m wide and 4.85m high. Due to the thick walls the factual shelter area measured only 3.5 x 3.0 meters.

Worthwhile to notice some of the details: The main entrance had a high threshold with three steps leading down to the entrance area. The entrance could be defended via an embrasure in the wall of the shelter area.

Via a metal door one entered the portal area with a poster hanging on the wall trying to persuade you to join the landmacht (literally "land force") and the same area also holds the poepdoos ("shitbox"), or to put it politely, the toilet.

The factual shelter area was equipped with a wooden table, benches, coat hangers and a metal cabinet, presumably to store rifles, etcetera. Entrance from the portal via another metal door.

The metal doors consisted of three segments each and opened to the outside. In case of a blast the doors would shut themselves and the double door arrangement could act as a gas lock. The segments allowed partial opening, like an escape hatch.

The bunkers were equipped with air and wiring ducts, and a periscope assembly but those details are not included in the model.

Up so far the fit is excellent.

Cheers,
Erik
Attached Thumbnails
1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1084.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1085.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1086.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1087.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1088.jpg  

1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1089.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1090.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1091.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1093.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1094.jpg  

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Old 11-18-2019, 06:00 AM
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This really looks like an interesting build, it's good to reflect on historic, defensive structures, looking forward to seeing this complete...
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Old 11-20-2019, 03:05 AM
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Erik Zwaan Erik Zwaan is offline
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Almost there...

Thanks FRD! Indeed, one of the nicest aspects of building in fact any subject is checking background information. It puts things in a better perspective and usually also provides inspiration for adding details.

Well, the build is almost complete. All wall sections are ready and glued on the ground plate. I had to correct here and there by trimming some of the walls for a good fit on the ground plate. It looks like some wall segments are meant as fitting pieces, which comes in very handy to achieve a proper fit.

The only things left to do are placing the furniture, the soldier figures and a final spray coat of varnish. With a bit of luck I can show you the final pictures by the weekend.

Cheers,
Erik
Attached Thumbnails
1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1095.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1096.jpg   1:35 Dutch WW2 Bunker Cutaway-img_1097.jpg  
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:02 PM
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That's a really cool and unique build. Great work.
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Old 11-20-2019, 12:30 PM
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A fascinating project! I enjoyed learning about these fortifications and seeing your (as always) outstanding build.

Don
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