Tuesday, January 26, 2021

Terrain Showcase: Brooklyn Bridge

Here's a look at a scenery piece that I was commissioned by Atomic Mass Games to make for their Marvel Crisis Protocol miniatures game back in 2019.



The base is a little over two feet wide and three feet long, made from a wooden frame. For the road surface, I used heavy art board with a rough tooth. The tower arch was made from layers of insulation foam, shaped and textured to create the stonework. Thick art board and styrene strips were used to form the trim around the top.



The top platform is foam core board with styrene U-strips around the edge. I also used a lot of wood filler putty to fill seams and smooth over imperfections in the foam.



The pedestrian walkway was constructed out of foam core board and covered with popsicle sticks.



Since this was based on a real bridge, I did more research on this project than I have for any of my other builds. My wife and I even took the train into New York for the day, and walked across the bridge so I could take some photos and see things up close (searching for reference photos online will only get you so far).



I knew that pedestrians could walk across the bridge, but I didn't realize that there was a dedicated pedestrian boardwalk running along the center, elevated above the roadway.



Details like the walking lane and bike lane markings were something I'd need to incorporate.



The walkway splits around the center column.



It was interesting to see how all of the cables were connected. (That little arch in the background is a gate on top of the main cable to keep unauthorized people from climbing up.)






One thing I really wanted to check was the color of the bridge. The true color is a buff beige, but in photos it can appear grey, pink, brown, or even blue depending on the sunlight and time of day.




Some details needed to be simplified in the end. For example, the suspension cables have a "spider web" pattern to them. Building that many cables would have taken forever and only served to obscure everything. Likewise, there are horizontal support beams above the roadway. These needed to be omitted as well so models could be photographed on the surface.



The trip was very educational and, combined with some aerial photos and elevation designs that I found online, it really helped me captured the essence of the iconic suspension bridge. As is often the case when under a deadline, I didn't get as many progress photos as I would have liked, but I'll discuss some of the details below:



The thick cables were made from long PVC tube, and are magnetized so each of the four supports can be removed as necessary for photography. The thin cables were made from floral wire, twisted with a power drill to braid it.



Lots of plastic rod and strips went into the support girders. My rotary punch got quite a workout making all those rivets!



Here's the view if you were driving across:



And here's the view from the pedestrian boardwalk:



I made little stencils for the walking and biking markers.



The railing was made from metal mesh, with styrene rods for the posts and framing. They were pinned onto the walkway so they can be removed for photography.



This was a lot of fun to make, and was quite a journey from start to finish!

'Til next time!


  1. Fantastic work! Both the build and painting are superb. The end result is very realistic.

  2. seriously impressive.

  3. I am always blown away by your work, seriously amazing as always!

  4. Stunning! The family and I walked across in 2019, and you have captured its likeness perfectly.

    And the color is an interesting thing, I went on a rather overcast but summer day and the colors look totally different.

    I understand that you can not take pictures of the terrain with your own figures, but a "28mm" or "32mm" dummy made from 1" dowel might suffice to show scale for these things.

    1. Thanks! I should be able to show some actual Cris Protocol figs on the next one. ;)

  5. Awesome work! I really like the terrain you have been doing for the Marvel game.


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