Civil Defense Art Gallery

Fallout Shelter Model Sets

This set of shelter models was found with a lot of civil defense equipment purchased from the state of Montana in 2012. The purchasers contacted me about the models and were kind enough to send a good set of photos to me so I could document each model here on the site. All of the small shelter models are 1"=1'-0" scale and are built to plans from the Family Shelter Designs booklet H-7 published by the Office of Civil Defense in 1962. The two large models are of schools. These aren't based on actual plans, that I know of, but are examples of similar designs shown in booklets sent out by DOD OCD as part of the program to promote architects to include fallout shelter space in new construction. The school models are 1/4"=1'-0" and 3/16"=1'-0" in scale.

The model set of small shelter models and one school model was stored in a specially made crate in which each model fits for storage. See photos of the crate at the bottom of this page. Not all of the shelter plans in the Family Shelter Designs booklet have been modeled in this set. I assume that this set must have been used at public events to promote fallout shelter construction by citizens. I would be very interested to know if there were other sets like this sent to other states. The models and crate were built by Art Designers, Inc. 2610 Jefferson Davis Hwy, Alexandria Virginia. I think it's pretty amazing they have survived in this almost-new condition for so long.

I have put up individual pages with photos of each model and another page featuring the school models so they can be seen in more detail. The Family Shelter Designs Booklet is downloadable at the link below in Adobe PDF file format.
Click photos or links to see each page.


Basement Concrete Block Shelter


Plywood Box Shelter


Corrugated Culvert Shelter


New Construction Masonry Shelter

Booklet PDF File 18Mb


Incorporating Fallout Shelter Into Building Design Scale Models

Fallout Shelter Into Building Design Link

More Fallout Shelter Models. Photos Sent By Rich Foster

The model set shown below was owned by Rich Foster who sent me these photos in April 2015 after seeing the Montana model set on this site. I was glad to hear from Rich and find out there are at least two sets of these models out there. Here are Mr. Foster's comments about his model set...

Sunday, April 05, 2015
Dear Mr Green
A note of interest regarding your models.
I donated these models to the Museum of Nuclear History in Albuquerque a few year back/ How they ended up in Montana I haven't a clue but am glad they have found a home. I acquired them for $1 each at a garage sale in the Green Lake neighborhood of Seattle back in 1992. After a long life in my attic in Santa Barbara contacted the museum who expressed an interest if I would ship them out. I believe I shipped four but I may be mistaken. There was one larger one that was a model of a nuclear core protected office building made out of plastic sheeting. I used this for a coffee table for a number of years until it came to an unfortunate end. I found pictures of my former models when I googled images for bomb shelters and recognized the earth berm shelter. Having grown up in he fifties and sixties I felt these were worth saving and so appreciate your efforts. I tried researching the Virginia architectural firm on the nameplates but never found anything about them.
Best Regards
Richard Foster

Sunday, April 05, 2015
Mr Green
I was just looking at your web page and my models were in black boxes like yours but there was not a shipping crate. Plus I see you have a broad flat model that appears to be by the same firm, so I suppose my models may actually be in storage (or display ) in Albuquerque.
Evidently this firm made multiple models. Sure be nice to know more about there history.
Rich Foster

After a few emails back and forth we figured out that these are obviously two different sets of models. It would be very interesting to find out how many sets were made. I don't know if the National Museum of Nuclear Science & History ever put the model set that Mr. Foster donated on display but at least they can be seen here!


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