Saturday, September 25, 2010

How to: Easy Pontoon Bridge

Today I'm presenting to you a pontoon bridge tutorial which could be used for all scales and all periods. Such as all my terrain, this pontoon bridge is made as cheap and generic as possible. However I intentioned to build a pontoon bridge, the pontoon pieces could also be used to represent rafts and barges, ideal for Operation Sealion and the Russian flotilla on the Wolga. Further you can also use this to create jetties for your harbor terrain.

Step by step

First of all the bridge that I intend to build is made out 4 individual pontoon pieces or rafts. The basic construction of a pontoon piece is a cartonboard square. Due to the lack of any thick cartonboard I used 3 thin squares and hotglued them upon each other.

After the previous step you can now tape the sides and reinforce the weak corners with some extra tape. This way you create a sturdy workable surface and it also makes the painting easier. You can also undercoat this piece in dark brown to avoid visible gaps of cartonboard when you have added the planking.

Now you need to remove the round sides of the wooden sticks with a plier or scissor. For my pontoon pieces I used 12 sticks a piece. In this stage I also placed two push pins to represent bollards. On the photo you can see my pontoon piece with a 20mm  Airfix Opel Blitz ready to disembark upon the English shoreline during the fictional Operation Sealion

In the next stage I coated the piece twice with a dark brown color similiar to GW's scorced brown. But please use craft paints of the same color instead of the rather expensive Games Workshop colors for terrain making. Large tubes of craft paints go for almost the same price as these paints and are more suited for this kind of work.

The next step is to drybrush the piece with a mix of the dark brown and some off-white. To do so you use a stiff flat brush and add some paint then you remove the paint on a piece of paper or fabric tissue untill there's almost no paint left. Then you carefully brush this over the details to highlight these parts with the lighter tone.

After this step we have finished one part of the pontoon bridge to cross a river the size of the rhine you will need a couple more of these pieces but for most wargame rivers four to seven pieces will be sufficient. As you can see the pieces look quite good and are easy to make. I hope you enjoyed this tutorial and make sure to check out the other useful tutorials of Wargame News and Terrain.


xardas said...

Well job !!!
I will build one for me :D

Paul said...

Very sweet post. Practical and nice looking.

Well done!

Greg said...

Very clever indeed, I like to see another war gamer putting Frisco sticks to good use. A+


Wargame News and Terrain Blog said...

Thanks guys! I'm already looking forward to make a new tutorial!