Making a 28mm copy of the Airfix strongpoint
When I was about nine or ten I had a large collection of Airfix 1/32nd scale WWII soldiers that I played with constantly. One of my favourite things in the collection was the Strongpoint building that Airfix made to go with their figures.
It occurred to me the other day that it wouldn't be too hard for me to make a 28mm version of the Strongpoint so I set about finding a picture of the original and drawing up plans.
Here are the basic components scaled for 28mm figures.
I've glued a 90mm x 15mm x 5mm piece of balsa wood to the rear wall for the chimney. The original chimney flares out towards the base; I may yet add some bits of balsa to the chimney to replicate this before I paint the finished building but at the moment I have no plans to do so.
I glued a couple of matchsticks along the roof line to form he eaves and the shutters are made from thick card.
Here are the walls assembled. I've stretched the building along its long axis to better fill my standard sized 150mm x 100mm base and ensure that a stand of Crossfire figures can fit inside it.
One of the best bits about the original Strongpoint was the little piece of upper floor that remained, it was just big enough to place a single sniper on.
I've glued a couple more matchsticks to the underside to represent the exposed joists of the original and made a fireplace from some small cork off-cuts.
The roof section has a distinctive grid pattern to its supports. I pondered over how to replicate this for quite a while before deciding on a base of wire mesh. This is a good compromise between looking like the original and being strong enough to survive play.
I glued matchsticks to the mesh for the exposed roof struts.
The roof section sits in place nicely and looks ok to me. It's not finished though...
Thin cardboard tiles from the back of a pad of paper finish the roof and a length of lovely resin sandbags from Pardulon (sadly OOP now) complete the building.
Here's the best picture of the original I could find...
And here's mine. Not too shabby I think, I'm very pleased with it.
Not quite identical but close enough. Once it's painted to resemble the box illustration it should ring some nostalgia bells with some of my regular opponents.
It took me an hour to build it (even with several mistakes along the way) and was made entirely with off-cuts from other building projects. It really is a simple building to make, there's not much measuring and you don't have to be good at cutting in a straight line as it's mostly ruined. However, it utilises several different 'cork building' techniques and would make a quick and satisfying beginner's project.
Since i wrote this originally the model has been re-issued by Airfix and there are plenty of photos of the components online.
Here's one that's particularly good.
Dave C's Strongpoint
A beautiful little model made by following my plans.