Friday, 10 August 2018

A Brigde Over Troubled Water

Allowing terrain to be included in last winter’s painting challenge afforded me the opportunity me to tick off a few pieces that I had earmarked for construction later this year.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted a viable river system for my tables and had been looking at various options.  In the end I followed the very creative Andy, of 'Da Gobbo’s Grotto' and plumped for the 'Amera Plastics' sections.
Working initially with a couple of curves and straight lengths, these are relatively inexpensive vacuum formed plastic sheets, but take all the guesswork out of making rivers that link together.  I decided to give mine a little more weight and having trimmed the edges they were glued to some 2mm MDF sheets.  I used sandpaper to make the smooth plastic surface a little rough and then added some sand and small stones mixed with a generous amount of PVA.  Having set aside to dry they were simply undercoated in black and then painted as normal.  I like my rives to be blue and so used a dark Prussian blue, lightening to the edges.  Once all was completed the pieces were varnished and dressed with static grass and tufts. 
Inevitably it was all going to come down to the next phase, the water. I had had some luck with Poundland epoxy resin and had initially thought that was going to be the way to go with this project, but stumbled across an alternative – clear silicone sealant. To say that I was a little anxious about the application would be an understatement, especially given the time that had already gone into the project, but all seemed to go well. Working in small batches, I simply squeezed out the silicone and then spread it around with a lolly stick. Water helps to push the incredibly sticky substance around, but be warned it is difficult to tame. If you are after a still millpond effect then this isn’t for you, it is more babbling brook, which I happen to feel looks rather effective.
Having completed the river, I was reminded that I had picked up was once an Italri stone bridge in the 'Warlord Games' half price plastic sprue sale.  Simple enough to glue together, but once I had slapped some grey paint on it, I was left feeling a tad underwhelmed with an incredibly clean bridge.  A bit of weathering was called for and with the addition of some pumice gel and static grass I was able to create something that fitted more readily with the completed river sections.
So another terrain build ticked off the list and great to see them in action in the recent Witchfinding adventure.  I am afraid that that following the game there will be a lot more 'documenting' posts as I catch up with items painted in preparation, but rest assured planning has already started for next summer's encounter. 

51 comments:

  1. Nice work Michael, I have the exact same bridge myself, up in the loft I based mine up to fit in with the "Heroscape" tiles, though it works on un-tilesd tables as well. One thing I don't have is a river (I had one but sold it on years ago, must stop doing that!).

    Cheers Roger.

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    1. Thank you Roger, the river was something that I always wanted to do, but will need to add a few more sections before too long.

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  2. Great Terrain pieces...is there a troll under the Bridge?

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    1. Now funny you should mention that! I have now been on the hunt for some Billy Goats, so there is definitely a post in this somewhere. ;)

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  3. A rather nice bridge, I must say!

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  4. Excellent, if you message the Amera facebook page they will be suitably impressed and stick it on their galley

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    1. Thank you Martin, I did that very thing and the lovely comments rather made my day. :)

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  5. Very impressive work, Michael!

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  6. Nicely done, Michael! They look the business.

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    1. Thank you A.J. really pleased with them myself.

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  7. More wonderful stuff Michael. I think I also snagged that bridge likely during the same sale!

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    1. It was just too good an offer to pass up wasn't it.

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  8. Very nice Michael, I have the bridge as well, not the rivers, might be worth contemplating.

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    1. It was a good bargain in the sale, but the rivers worked really well.

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  9. A good thought to use the clear sealant like this, strangely I used some two days ago to seal a hole and got a similar result to you but never thought "river" just thought "why can't I get this stuff smooth" just shows what a little imagination can do.

    I'm very impressed that you plan a year ahead for your games :)

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    1. Thank you John, it is not easy to tame and is still soft to the touch, but the effect is great as you can create what appears to look like flowing water. Keep the static grass away from it until it cures though!

      As for planning a year ahead, I find that I need the time to change my mind several times and be distracted a couple more along the way. :D

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  10. There is trout in that stream.

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  11. Looks good everybody needs a river, I have thought many times about improving mine but it does seem a big job.

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    1. Thank you Matt, I have to confess that I had been putting mine off for quite a while and have only done four full sections, but pleased with the results so far.

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  12. The river sections and bridge look excellent Michael

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  13. Love what you have done with our rivers, very realistic and great scenes, thanks for the mention

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    1. Entirely my pleasure, they worked like a dream.

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    1. Thank you Christopher, it was a bit clean to begin with, but the pumice gel has helped a lot.

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  15. Good idea using clear sealant for the water effect. Nice looking bridge too.

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    1. Thank you Ray, it was a bit of a leap of faith, but I was pleased with the results.

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  16. Those turned out really well, nicely done!

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    1. Thank you, I was really pleased with the water effect.

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  17. Those are awesome. Add rivers and bridges to my, "Wish I had that" list. I'm working on a coastline but I've been nervous about glossing up my water. Stopping by and having a look at a similar completed project is a great help. Thanks for posting this Micheal.

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    1. A coastline, now that would be impressive. Can't wait to see that.

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  18. Lovely looking rivers and it's a very useful bridge.
    Best Iain

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  19. Yeah, that bridge looks brilliant.

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  20. Great effect on the stream and the weathering on the bridge is great.

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  21. Very nice river pieces and bridge, Michael! Stiffening the bottoms of the river pieces, as well as texturing the water sure makes them look a lot better.

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    1. Thank you Dean, the added stability really helps.

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  22. The stream looks very convincing Michael. That product you used to make the water whilst sounding a pig to work with resulted in a very good river.
    I have the Italerie bridge too after seeing MadPadre's one and it's a decent kit. Wish they'd release a second one, perhaps damaged some.

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  23. Both the river and bridge look good enough not just for the tabletop but also as possible accessories for display pieces.

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  24. Realistic and superb sir, realistic and superb...

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