Pasir Panjang Pillbox

Pasir Panjang (Malay: Sand Long, thus “long sand”)

This is probably the best example of the British Naval Design Type 1 pillbox that still stands in Singapore, there are others in Malaysia* along what was the Kota Tinggi Defence line and I believe a rather good example still stands in Penang, also in Malaysia. Located, today, at the corner of Pasir Panjang Rd and Science Park Rd, the pillbox once covered the west coast beaches and the coastal approach towards the battery and storage depot located at Labrador Park, further East. Land reclamation in the west has seen the “beach” move a few 100m south, and now the pillbox is a landlocked landmark.

It is unknown whether the forces here took part in the Battle for Pasir Panjang since most of the battle took place on the long line of hills and ridges of Bukit Panjang (Malay: Hill Long, thus “long hill”) to the North but it was under the command of the 1st Malay Regiment, who were positioned to oppose any Japanese advance along this route. Although it is well within sight of Bukit Chandu, (Malay: Hill Opium, thus “opium hill”) where C Company made it’s heroic last stand against the Japanese troops, and having visited the site a few times in the past, there appears to be no “battle damage” nor is there any visible repair work that would suggest that it was involved actively in the events on 12-15 February 1942.

I always wondered at the merits of having the door into the pillbox at the side, and can only imagine that there once was some form of sandbag curtain wall to protect the entry, since it would make more sense being placed in the rear. However similar Type 1 pillbox’s built in Malaysia show the door also at the side. (eg: Southbay(1), Southbay(2), Mt Erskine Cemetery, and, Relau Pillbox which are all in Penang) and there are Type 1 examples at Pengerang Coastal Battery location in Johor, Malaysia, not to be confused with the Johore Battery that was in Singapore. And while I have found photos, my search skills have not found any that reveal the doors, but I am willing to guess that they follow the examples that still stand. Though interestingly only the Type 1 at Pasir Panjang has the addition of the rear curtain wall and extra firing ports.

A bit “fresher” and less weathered than it stands today(though I think I need to add a little tropical mould) this is my take on the pillbox. I have to decide whether the level of the earth at the right is a result of modern roadworks, or represents the original dunes above the beach. Maybe a foam insert that I can add if I want, but remove as well?

* I know Singapore and Malaysia were one country and known collectively during WWII as Malaya, but for the sake of convenience when taking about war sites I am going to refer to them in reference to the country they now exist in.


I realised the other day that I have not really been keeping my focus “on the paint table”* list at the bottom, and instead have been distracted by things I had decided to “back burner” for the moment, and, in truth, COVID restrictions have seen myself and a group of colleagues delve back into Dungeons & Dragons and I have been a little distracted by that.

So in order to redress that situation, I made a start on some ACW terrain, chiefly the redoubt on the Seven Pines battlefield, and given that I like to make my terrain usable across periods, I decided to keep it to a gabion wall style, so I could also use it for Napoleonic’s or Seven Years War. I got the gabions from Wargaming3D (Thanks ironchicken) and then set about 3D printing a random assortment of the pieces that come with the download. The straight sections are based straight onto wooden tongue depressors while the redoubt was a custom shape I created to fit my imagined layout.

Note: The ironchicken gabions come in 28mm, I simple scaled them in my slicing software (Cura) to 60%. The very short gabions on the left of the redoubt were simply sunk into the bed while slicing and printed to be that height.

Gabions: Burnt Umber(223), dry-brush Naples Yellow(634), dry-brush Burnt Umber(223), dry-brush Warm Grey(078), dry-brush Tyrant Skull (C-dry) or Buff Titanium(024)

* This list was supposed to act as a guide to focus my energy (and time) on a few projects for the rest of this year. But of course I have gotten totally distracted with Hirst Arts and rebasing my Vampire Counts Army & Dwarves for AoS.

Realm Gate

The original before up-cycling.

So part of my recycle and re-use efforts included this “gate”. Originally made before Age of Sigmar existed it was inspired, and poorly so from the Stargate series, and served as nothing more than an objective marker on the tabletop.

AoS of course incorporated the idea of gates between the realms as a central tenant of the new Lore and thus I decided to not just recycle this model, but rather up-cycle it and add some “bits and bobs” to enhance it’s over all look.

Inspiration: Here. (it took me ages to re-find this image to give credit where credit is due. NTS: get better at bookmarking.)

Although I have supported a number of 3D model Kickstarters (Printable Scenery) that included Realm Gates or Portals, I decided to use the inspiration above and create the extra bits I needed using SketchUp and then printing my own embellishments. Thus all the metal pieces, cogs (the small one is Lego), and Dwarf Runes were printed then painted: using Black, a dry-brush of Plate-Mail, a liberal dabbing of Typhus Rust, followed by another dry-brush of Ryza Rust, and then some edge highlights of Plate-Mail (all paint colours are Citadel or Army Painter). The stone work is Hirst Arts, either regular Plaster of Paris or Woodlands Scenics Hydrocal, and the timber bits are simply cut and shaped balsa wood.

I probably went a little heavy on the rust, but I wanted it to look like it was rarely used, or even abandoned. The ramp and bridge section are a separate model so I could swap this out for something less damage if I had the inclination, but again I like the ruined and damaged look that Age of Sigmar sort of inspires. This is probably one of what will only be a 2-3 fantasy specific elements, but I did enjoy the challenge of melding the Hirst Arts with 3D printing, and did give me lots of other ideas for future projects.