Making Pillboxes for 15mm SF games

I’ve been working on a sort of ramshackle, mixed technology setting for my 15mm SF games, as I’ve alluded to in earlier posts. The settlement I’m building would be early days for a colony, with a lower tech than the the core worlds forces, and the structures are characterized by use of re-purposed tech and castoffs, and a high level of improvisation.  New colonies are ramshackle, yes, but they are not without some form of defense.  In my mind’s eye I’m seeing a series of defensive “Picket Pillboxes” controlled by a central defense office and run remotely by the CDO.  I could buy some fancy resin terrain for this (there are a few vendors who make something along the lines of what I have in mind), but I’m finding it to be very amusing to build out the scenery pieces from a kitbash or a ground up-build from bits of junk or arts and crafts stuff.  And so we arrive at making Pillboxes for a remote defensive picket line.  This is what I came up with, pre-painting:

Low-tech pillbox on platform

Needed: 2 inch/5cm paper-mache boxes (preferably round).  Sold in craft shops.  A paper hole puncher, small craft dowels, a piece of Popsicle stick, two cheap craft cylindrical beads such as “Perle” beads.

Cut two holes side by side with the hole punch.

Create the center brace by cutting a 2 inch piece of a craft or popsicle stick. Trim it to fit in the center of the paper mache box snugly. Using a stick, mark the spot where the barrel comes in through the front holes and mark the spot with some paint. Using an X-acto style knife, drill through the markers and make a hole big enough for the dowels to pass through. Glue the barrels in place.

Fitting the internal structure

Top of the gun barrels with a bead.  I’m using Perle beads to accentuate the barrel tip.

Finished item, ready to paint

And there you go. I trimmed just above the barrels with an craft knife to make them more visible and less hidden by the overhang of the lid of the box. I glued the lid of the box to the rest of the structure and a little piece of wood to represent a maintenance hatch. I’m going to prime black and go over it with a dull metal paint and then rust on top of that.

Not the most sophisticated model, I admit, but each one cost about 1.00 in parts, and I’m a cheapskate.