Tuesday, 1 August 2017

Wide Bridges

Ah, those little terrain pieces for our miniatures games.  Some think them a chore, some just buy what is required, others - and yes for those, like me, who are a bit old school (read: been doing this for a long time!) - enjoy the process.
Take inexpensive materials, do a bit of creative construction, a bit of time, to create fun terrain and, frankly, necessary decoration for the tabletop.

In this case, the large bases used for our Napoleonics games, don't normally require special terrain features.  With the exception of bridges. Yes, those normal ones could do, but placing a large base precariously on top and the inaccuracy of placement upon the table affecting the gameplay, suggest much wider examples.
The 'earth' surface of the bridge is still wet!

So we need wide and we want cheap so I made some with both criteria satisfied.
the wide one in the rear, already with a coating of the slurry

These 'stone bridges' ( I made both wide and "normal" at the same time ) by using pieces of hardboard of appropriate width, placing strips of foamcore on each side.  Then came the rather tedious gluing of lentil beans - being the 'stones'.  A slurry of plaster was, well.... plastered over all.  Once hardened, it was painted and the approach ends flocked.

both now covered.
Painted and in place.  

As you may have noticed, they are flat and not arched over the 'water' but replace one of the river segments.  However the lack of this realism is not apparent and makes the construction much simpler!

I needed these new wide bridges for the upcoming big summer game. Lots of water crossings for this one.
A wood one I made using inexpensive long BBQ matchsticks.

Oh, for us wargamers and especially we old school guys, the cost of these (other than time - which I needed to fill in any case) was virtually nil.  Heck, I have been meaning to use these beans for a task like this for at least ten years!


  1. Very, very nice and cleverly done, Doug. I totally agree about bridges and multi-fig stands, particularly Napoleonic troops in formation.

    1. With the new trend to larger multiple figure stands, "to scale" bridges might not work and so need to be wider to accommodate in any event. As you read, I also made smaller width ones for use with the smaller stands I have with other collections.
      Thanks for the kind comment

  2. Replies
    1. Thanks very much.
      I have gained excellent modelling and very concept ideas from others tutorials and so like to 'pass it on' should the reader think it interesting. And frankly I do it for myself to record my activities and perhaps even answer a future question of myself, like: "what the heck did I make THIS out of?" ) : - )

  3. Replies
    1. Thanks once again, Bill.
      The advantage with these beans is that they can spilt in half, offering a nice flat surface on which to glue to card or sheets of wood. I guess I needed to dry them (?) -being stored in a plastic bag even after all those years did not have them release often - so I used them whole. I had some split later but the plater should keep them together. Lesson learned nevertheless.

      A good miniatures wargamer project: simple and very cheap!