Friday, 13 June 2014

Crossing The Fontanone Part 2 - a 15mm scratch built bridge

Having sourced, and then repainted, my streams to represent the Fontanone I then had to find a bridge for the Austrian Army to cross. I struggled. There were many bridges that were correct in scale, but were wrong in style or size. My favourite was from Baueda, available from Magister Militum, but it was far too long for the bridge I needed to cross a smallish stream. It was also a bit pricey.

After getting fed up searching for something the ideal height, ideal length and breadth, and ideal style and period, I decided to build my own, or at least give it a try.

I visited the local art and craft store, purchased a sheet of plasticard and some thin balsa wood strips, and then got out the cutting map. My seven year old daughter decided she would oversee the project and sat giving some good advice.

I cut the plasticard to the size required, then scored across the length at each end, then carefully bent the card to the correct angle for the ramps. I put some sellotape over the seams to hold the plasticard from snapping, then cut four heavy card shapes to hold the angles. These were attached with superglue.

While I was waiting for this to dry, I cut the balsa strips into "planks" which were then glued cross ways across the bridge, again using superglue. I didn't take too much time ensuring each plank was the same width or length as I wanted the bridge to be a bit rough.

After leaving this to settle for about ten minutes I glued side strips onto the planking using pva woodglue. I left the whole thing to dry for an hour or two, put the kids to bed, then came down and painted the bridge with Games Workshop's Mournfang Brown, let this dry, then drybrushed with the brown plus some white. I added some mud and tracks to make the bridge look well used, gave the whole thing another light drybrush, and it was finished. Allin it was about two hours work and cost about £3, with plenty of spare card and balsa left over.

The bridge fits perfectly over my streams from Small_Terrain and is wide enough to easily accommodate a 40mm wide base. I think I need to look at the supporting card under the bridge to find a way of making that look a little better, as its the only bit I'm not happy with.

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