Sunday, 8 March 2015

Building Wooden Foot Bridges

The cheap Ingredients

While preparing our Attack on the Lorient Dockyards 1942 board, we needed some bridges to get from the walls to the submarine. Like most terrain we build, we want it to be useful for multiple boards and scenarios. And we wanted it to easy to make and inexpensive, yet look good.
So we started with the basic ingredients:
  • Pop Rivets 35mm long.
  • Icy Pole sticks/Coffee stirrers
  • Cheap wool
  • Super Glue
  • PVA Glue
Using the clippers trim the rounded edges of the wooden sticks.
Completed but unpainted
Then using some shorter pieces as supports make your bridge. You can be rough or neat depending on the look you want. At this point all you are using is the wooden stocks and PVA glue.
Now we want our rails. Drill holes near the edge and at roughly 1 inch intervals. Then poke the pop rivets in so they stick through about 1 cm or half an inch. Use superglue to keep them in position.
Once dry use the wool to create the rope railing, wrapping it around each pop rivet, move it down over the edge and then around the base of each pop rivet. This is to give the bridge lots of strength, and it looks good too.
Then paint the wool with PVA glue.  This strengthens the wool, sticks down the fibres and makes it all very strong.
Lastly, you need to trim down the pop rivets at the end of the bridge.  Either use tough pliers or grind them down - or get some shorter pop rivets for the end poles!
Painted and beautiful
This step is important to allow the bridge to rest on the edge of whatever you are placing it against.  The longer poles in the middle keep it stable.
Then paint it brown with black wash and finally paint it with some satin varnish (we buys ours in a 500ml tin from the paint store).
It turns out pretty well and will work for any setting from modern to ancient where the construction would have been done using basic wood and rope materials.
This isn't going to end well...
Lastly, you can see how we have used it in our dockyards game. We have placed a bridge from each of the Heights Project bridge ends. They make it perfectly across to the sub to provide for a great cinematic charge or two.

Lastly we had a bit of fun with our Gandalf figure and the phrase so many keep repeating, "None Shall Pass".
We couldn't avoid the pun.

This is what bridges are for.

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