Friday, March 20, 2009

Building a bridge to somewhere (*)

As explained in PaperTerrain website, "There are one 3-arch bridge, two 2-arch bridges and two 1-arch bridges included in the set. Unlike most of our building models, these bridges are designed to have a reinforcing layer of foamcore or balsa wood in the side supports. The foamcore or balsa is not included in the kit and must be provided by the buyer. The bridges come in two different color stones: brown and gray. You may select all brown, all grey or a mix."

So, after I left the office, I stop at a nearby hobby store, bought one sheet of foamcore, and came straight back home to work on the smaller of the bridges in the set, the one-arch brown stone model.

As for all the other PaperTerrain models I built in the past, good instructions are included in the set, so all boils down to some skill in cutting the paper card-board. Not a big deal, and something I carefully accomplished in a few minutes.

In the case of this bridge, though, there is a tricky part: the additional foamcore board to make the structure more robust. Here's I ran into some troubles: apparently, my strong glue was not strong enough to glue anything but my fingers. After a few botched attended, I grew very frustrated and I turned back to my trusted Elmers. The problem is that Elmers is a "wet" glue, far from ideal for a paper structure -- although a strong cardboard paper, in this case.

Apparently the change in strategy worked, and I was able to complete the project. It became evident at this stage, though, that I had previously committed a sin of omission: I should have primed the foamcore in dark brown first, as now I will have to retouch some spots where the white material shows from the paper junctures. Here's a few pictures (unfortunately a little on the dark side) about the completed bridge.

I spent part of my evening on a little project that has been in the pipeline for some time now: building one of the PaperTerrain bridges.

A final note on the reinforced structure which supports the bridge. Because of the problem with the glue, I opted for some little nails to keep the structure together. I took a picture of the bridge upside down, where you can spot a nail that did not go through straight.

Conclusion. I really like this bridge, and despite a few headwinds I had to face during the construction, I think I learned a few tricks and that the next time everything will work in a much smoother way. The bridge looks good, and it will look even better after a few retouched. Overall, I recommend you to give PaperTerrain -- definitely worth it!

(*) "We don't need bridges to nowhere anymore: we need real bridges to take real people to real jobs" -- DestoFante speaking to the media in his professional capacity.


Bluebear Jeff said...

I think your bridge looks good too.

-- Jeff

Victor said...

The bridge looks great. I've had a paper terrain 6mm village for some time now and haven't had the courage to start it. After seeing what you did with the bridge, I'm going to give them a try.