Gimme Shelter
by John "Scarab" Salmond

All a soldier needs is a reliable gun, dry socks, and if he is lucky a sturdy bunker to keep the weather and the bullets out. Now if he can just find a way to get rid of the bugs...

Materials Needed:
1/4" Foam core poster board
1/4" Masonite Wood
120 Grain sand paper
60 Grain sand paper
Acrylic paint
Balsa wood
Bull wire (picture wire)
Filtered dirt
Joint compound
Filtered sand
Sheet styrene
Superglue (Bondini gel)
White glue

Step 1: The Base
You want to have your bunker to scale. This is 1/48th scale (1"=4'). I used a Cygnar Long Gunner to make sure it all worked as I put it together.

After I determined how large I wanted it to be (I actually drew on the wood to make sure) I cut out a piece of masonite making sure it had rounded edges to give it a more organic feel (1A). I then filed down the edges of the wood to give a gentle slope I then measured and cut some foam core. I used white glue and stickpins to hold it together while it dried (1B).

Step 2: The Bunker
After it dried I applied joint compound on the foam core (1/16 to 1/8 inch thick), making sure to fill in the cracks (1C).

I put the bunker in front of a fan to speed the drying process along. The compound will more than likely crack, which is okay. Sand the bunker with 60 grain sand paper to smooth it out for a second coat. Apply a thinner second coat of compound and let it dry. You may need to apply a third. Sand with 60 grain sand paper and then with 120 grain (1D).

Cut out your next level, glue and pin together and let dry (1E & 1F).

Repeat Steps 5 through 8 on the new foam core area and blend the two pieces together. After you have sanded the whole bunker and got it smooth take a damp washcloth and go over it, this will take all of the sand lines out of it and make it smooth (1G).

Step 3: The Barriers
Determine how many straight iron barriers you want. Use sheet styrene and cut into 1-1/2" and 1-1/2" lengths based on your decision (3A).

For every barrier you want a piece with two cuts creating a point and one piece with just one cut at about a 60-degree angle. Superglue the pieces together (3B).

Take some bull wire and wrap it around around a 1/4" dowel or piece of PVC pipe until you get the desired length of looped wire (3C).

Step 4: The Ground
Place joint compound in front of your bunker (4A).

Take the barriers you made in the first part of Step 4 and dab a little bit of joint compound on the bottom side before you insert them in front of the bunker (4B). Insert them on a higher angle than you want them to finally rest. You may want to use something to prop them up, like books. Take your coiled bull wire and lay it across the front of your bunker. It may move your barriers a bit. Slightly bush the wire into the compound. Take a small putty knife and cover the wire that is in the compound to give it a flat surface. Make sure everything is propped up and let dry (4C). Take filtered sand (sand strained through screen the size of window screen). Spread white glue on the surface of your bunker in front, sides and partially around back. Apply the filtered sand generously and let dry Apply some sand in the crevasses in the upper level as well (4D). NOTE: Whenever applying glue or anything that can cause the wood to warp while drying, make sure you weight your wood down so it dries flat.

Step 5: The Details
I made a trap door with a square piece of sheet styrene with thinner strips for a boarder. I then took scrap plastic sprues and melted them. While they were hot I stretched them into thin plastic pieces. I then cut them up and glued them on my trap door (on the thin border strips) with superglue. After they were dry I cut them down to make rivets. I bent and cut a stickpin for the handle and cut small strips of a stickpin for each hinge (5A).

I made the door in a similar fashion. I used a pinhead for the doorknob. I made the ivy by crushing and straining eggshells with the same strainer I used for the sand and the dirt (5B).

I then used white glue and applied it to the bunker and sprinkled eggshells all over the glue and lightly tapped. For a thicker look you can repeat the process (5C).

To make the bullet holes and such I took a craft knife and would lightly stab it and then snap it to one side to take a chink out. For smaller holes use stick pins. For the larger explosive rounds do a little carving with a craft knife (you can plan ahead and actually carve out some foam so you can apply more compound to work with, you can also use stickpins for rebar). Spray the entire bunker with GW White Primer. Now you are ready to paint. I prefer doing washes with Ceramcoat paint (just a preference because I like the texture). I used a small cup to mix the paint with water until it had the consistency of 2% milk. I used Storm Gray (dark gray) for my first coat. When I apply it, if it turns out too dark (which I prefer) I just dip my brush in clear water and thin it out while it is on the bunker until I get the look I am after. This step you want to do very quick so you don't get drying lines. I started at one end and moved across. Vary your gray wash to get a varied cement look (5D).

I then used Spice Tan (medium brown) and Green Isle (medium, dark green) to dry brush and do some spot washed. When I do spot washes I always wipe it immediately after so it doesn't get drying lines caused by pigment drying along the edges. I also dry brushed green where the cement comes in contact with the earth to give the feel of algae growing. I also rubbed actual dirt onto the bunker (5E).

I tuned my attention to the ivy I painted it Green Isle (you can do a darker wash on it if you prefer). I dry brushed Jubilee Green and then finally Livery Green (Vallejo Paint) on the edges lightly.

I used GW Boltgun to paint the doors and then did a black wash over top. Then I highlighted with GW Chainmail and Boltgun. I then dry brushed Ceramcoat Iron Oxide over the top. After everything on the bunker was painted I did a Ceramcoat Spice Tan wash over the sand (3 parts paint, one part water). I wanted some of the sand to still be seen.

I did a spot wash of (skim milk consistency) black in random areas. When that dried I took Burnt Sienna and mixed Black in it to give it a dark brown look and did a 50/50 wash over the sand. After everything is dry, I went back and dry brushed Ceramcoat Spice Tan and then lightly dry brushed Ceramcoat Trail Tan.

Step 6: The Platform
I made a stencil for my walking platform inside the bunker out of paper to make sure it fit. I made the platform out of balsa wood. The theory behind the platform is so a trooper that is not engaging the enemy can have more room to move without getting one in the head.

Step 7: Final Details
I roughed up the platform a little with my knife to give it a worn look. I painted it with a Spice Tan and a very thin Burnt Sienna wash. I used a black wash to darken in between the planks. After that I dry brushed a light gray to give it a faded look. I glued the platform in and let it dry. Now in the area in the back and inside the bunker I applied white glue and heavily applied my strained dirt. After it dries I highlight it with Trail Tan and for the worn paths in the dirt, I just rubbed it with my fingers until I got the look I was after. I painted the wire and the barriers in the same manner as the doors. After everything was painted and applied (except the grass) I sprayed the bunker with Tester's Dullcoat. I then applied two to three different mixtures of static grass (some of which I have created by mixing various colors to my taste). I apply it in light patches so I can still see earth beneath it.

I am more than happy to field any questions. Just email me at or you can respond on Privateer Press forum under this post.