Sadly, after deciding on the above title, I realised it could be some terrifying in-joke between dentists, but I’ve gone with it anyway! There is some “bridgey” content, but you’ll have to read other stuff before you get to it!
The beginning of the year saw me getting on with stuff (shown above) and mostly scenery/terrain related bits and pieces to fit in with the January community painting challenge. At the end of January I posted about all the exciting stuff I’d done (i.e. nowt) along with the wood/trees bases that I’d finished (see here for that, but please contain your excitement). Anyway, the upshot of all of that was the I still had the two cottages shown in the picture above to finish.
Now February’s challenge is a double one – neglected models and scenery – and that played right into my hands! The two cottages were bought, stuck together, filled and primed years ago, then left to age nicely in a box somewhere. A few years ago I painted the third cottage and made a base for it and an accompanying building, to form a small farm I could use for wargames set in France between 1870 and 1945. I wanted to do something similar for the other two, but until January I’d never got anywhere with them. So, while I had the trees under way, I made a start with the cottages, but didn’t get them finished until the weekend just gone.
They took longer to do because I wanted to make a base for them (see above). I finally opted for a shared double yard arrangement with a low wall and two outhouses, one attached to the back of one cottage and the other set against the outlying wall. The base, walls and outbuildings were made from mounting board and I added a pile of resin logs and a small side gate (made from scored plasticard) to complete the set-up. Roofs for the outhouses were made from plasticard with a pre-moulded tile pattern, but these didn’t shade or highlight particularly well (see later on).
I added base texture from Vallejo white pumice and then painted up the cottages and base, using white for the rendered walls, mid-grey for roofs and dark earth for the groundwork (shown above). Working through it bit by bit still took time. Anyway, next stage was a brown wash, slapped on and then lifted off with wet brush, followed by touching up the ground and drybrushing the whole thing with a sandy highlight. Last step was adding bushes and grass and then varnishing.
The view above shows the front elevation and the view below is from the back.
Also shown below is the original cottage on the left, modelled as a small farm.
And with some 20mm WW1 French infantry to give some scale (they’re base on UK 1p coins, which are 20mm in diameter).
Given how long it’s taken to get these done, I’m really pleased with the result and well on my way to having a small French village to fight over!
OK, so now onto the bridge stuff. This really is a neglected model! Years ago, before I even bought the cottages above, I built a large-ish generic bridge to cross my simple scratchbuilt river pieces. Having done that, I thought I’d quite like a Chinese bridge to go with my 20mm Boxer Rebellion figures and scenery, so I found a picture on-line and thought I’d have a go!
The bridge was primed black and sprayed brown years ago and even had its own space allocated in a storage box, but then it just got abandoned. So I thought this month’s challenge provided the opportunity to get it finished. It actually took very little time to finish!
The basic shell was made from mounting board and I stuck on long matchsticks for the supports and panel edges. The central pier is built up from layers of match sticks, but the two end ramps are those from the earlier bridge I made from mounting board (the centre pier is not as deep as the outer ramps so that it sits flush over the card river pieces).
The roof is removable, both to let me put figures on the bridge deck and to make it easier to store. The underlying roof and watchtower structures were made from mounting board covered in corrugated card. I remember needing to use a very sharp knife to cut the corrugated card at an angle so that it fitted correctly at the roof apex and against the tower walls – that was actually the hardest part of the whole thing! Finishing it off was straightforward and just meant painting the tiles grey, putting on a wash and drybrushing a highlight. I added an extra highlight to the tiles at about half inch spacing to give the impression of layers of tiles.
The bridge is a decent size (figures above are on UK 1p coins again) and just fits into an A4 printing paper box lengthwise. I’m glad I’ve got it done now and am keen to use it as an objective in a game at some point. Now all I need is for someone to suggest I could do with some junks to float on that river next to it! Maybe a “paint a boat” monthly community challenge is in the offing, although I think I’m quite capable of turning out junk anytime!