Tuesday 6 August 2013

Bridge Building - 28mm

Last year I started a project suitably titled rivers, a full write up on these can be found here:


In summary these were constructed using a hardboard base and specifically using the Oxford Blue floor tiles found in Homebase. I appreciate that blue water doesn’t always appeal to everybody’s taste but I think they look good and capture the right essence on the battle field. They also come up brilliantly in photos. This is one of my favourite shots ever....

However Rivers need crossings and where my small stone bridges are adequate for crossing my smaller width waterways I needed something more substantial for the wider streams. So with a bucketful of bamboo skewers left over from my French Indian Wars fort I decided to knock up a simple wooden. Of course these types of bridges are suitable for all genres and will no doubt be making an appearance in many other games.

Construction is really straightforward.

First up I built another river section that would act as the base for the bridge. By having the bridge fixed to the board I would ensure that the construction would be as solid as possible. On the reverse side I then market out where the river posts would emanate from the water. Holes were then drilled from the reverse side through the board and the water tile.

Through these holes I pushed the supporting posts (skewers). The length of the poles were about 10 cm in length. They get trimmed once the superstructure is in place.

The next step was to secure the cross spars – again using bamboo skewers I tied these on using garden wire (the same stuff I used for wattle fences), Once tied a blob of super glue was dabbed on top. Once the cross spars were in place I glued a the bridge surface into place (cut skewers to required length) and then overlayed these with another cross spar.

Realising that the painting of the underside would be near impossible I pulled (gently) the bridge off the base board and covered the whole thing in black matt acrylic.

Its at this point I realised the ramps would need construction. So the baseboard would need to be wider to accommodate these. Putting my original board to one side (more on this shortly as nothing will go to waste), I cut out a new hardboard base and repeated the first step using the original board as a master.

The ramps themselves are pink foam cut on the hot foam factory jig. The resulting triangles are then fixed using PVA to the boards. To illustrate the man made nature of these ramps some wooden poles have been affixed to the side.

The ground areas on the boards and ramps are then covered in ballast, grit and sand using PVA glue. A top coat of black acrylic paint helps to fix this material in place. Almost there.

The ground areas are then dry brushed browns and liberally covered in static grass. The ramps themselves are also painted but with less grass (afterall they see the wear and tear). Finally the bridge is finished off in browns and greys. Static grass and clump foliage finish the scene.

The following shots show both scale and versatility...up first some Crusaders (recently painted) riding towards Shedwood

and then some French troops from the French Indian War

If you drop back another time you will see the ruined version and the one under construction...

Until next time


  1. This is great! I will have to steal this one.It should not be too hard to do in 15mm, right?

  2. That´s excellent..idea stolen :-D

  3. Great looking bridge and I think I have to steel the idea for the river sections.

    1. Please do they are very fast to make and look fab

  4. Great timing, with a number of bridges being the next on my WIP table, this offered some great hints. Also for the wider river link, thanks for all the inspiration.

  5. That is so amazing, great detail!


  6. Wow thats looks brilliant nice job!

  7. fantastic work simple and highly effective!

  8. Great looking bridge, very impressive!!