Wednesday, January 1, 2014

"Indiana Jones" Rope Bridge, Part 3

The rope bridge amidst terrain and loaded up with figures. I recommend clicking on the image for the full size photo -- it is an atmospheric one...!
So, it is done. As I said in the last post on the construction of the rope bridge, I was all but completed. I took the upper assembly and stone sections and added green flock and clump foliage to them. I painted straight white glue onto the brown and sand spots, leaving a little brown visible here and there. I then sprinkled Woodland Scenics Blended Foliage onto it, tapping off the excess.
The completed upper assembly of the bridge, with flocking and clump foliage
Once it was dry, I pulled out my tubs of three different colors of Woodland Scenics clump foliage. I put a big splotch of glue was placed near scattered green grass sections and pressed the foliage into it so it would stick. I didn't put one on every spot where I had green flocking, but placed them here and there so they'd be visible from just about any angle. I used the lighter colored clumps on more open ledges and the darker ones in the shadier, more recessed ones. I am not sure if that works to look more realistic, but it certainly can't hurt!
The stackable stone sections made of craft foam and birch wood. Two are stacked atop each other in this picture, which shows the final step of adding flocking and clump foliage.
Once the foliage was dry, I did my first spray coat of Testors Dullcoate. I let that dry. Then I mixed up a 50/50 batch of white glue and water and painted it over all of the green flocking and clump foliage. I do this to cement it onto the terrain piece, so that I don't have to worry about it shedding flocking and growing threadbare with use. A final spray coat and the rope bridge was complete!
The completed rope bridge and stone sections it sits atop
Would I change anything I did in retrospect? Actually, no. I think the build worked well. The concept of the upper bridge assembly sitting atop the stackable stone sections worked really well. I loaded up the bridge with 28mm figures, and it didn't seem to sag or lean noticeably. Yes, putting the texture on the craft foam and birch wood sections (see "Part 2") was a time-consuming process with lots of steps. If I had a spackling or textured compound that I'd used before and liked, it might have been simply easier to spread it over the pieces instead. However, I haven't really "invented" a process like that, though I've seen many other miniature terrain and model makers that have. My only suggestion to someone who goes that route rather than the black spray paint and textured stone spray would be to make sure your material is black. I started out with black craft foam, sprayed it with black spray paint, and then sprayed it with the textured stone paint. So, I never had to worry about lighter colored recesses showing through. I think it would be a major pain if you coated the stone pieces with a white compound of some sort and then had to find a way to get black in all those recesses!
The rope bridge posed amidst jungle terrain and up against one of my pine bark cliff pieces. I really love the way it turned out!
I think the craft store "picket fence" is a perfect fit for a Pulp rope bridge, too. The wire holding it together is wound around the planks much like a rope would. It is sturdy, wide, and holds 28mm figures well. You can bend the wire to get whatever kind of curve you want in the bridge. I highly recommend it. Others more talented and patient than me may come up with a way to do rope hand rails. Just remember if you do that, those parallel hand rails will make it more difficult to place and move figures along the bridge, too.
A close up showing the skulls atop the bridge posts, and the wooden planking. I think the wire holding the craft store "picket fence" looks very convincing as rope.
It was fun to set up my terrain and take pictures of the rope bridge in action. Of course, since it is an "Indiana Jones" rope bridge, I had to pose Dakota Smith in the middle. Like Indy in the Temple of Doom, he is beset on each side of the bridge by enemies. Bandits out for his scalp advance from one side of the bridge, while the martial artists of the Order of the Fire Coral close in from the other. Will Dakota escape? Well, it is a Pulp game, isn't it...?
In a scene stolen from Indiana Jones and the Temple of Doom, Dakota Smith is surrounded by bandits on one side and martial artists from the Order of the Fire Coral on the other. How will our hero escape this predicament? Tune in to Dakota Smith's Oriental Adventures on this blog to see...!


  1. It looks fantastic, sir. I'm envious; envious indeed.

    -- Jeff

  2. Thank you, Jeff -- I appreciate the comment!

  3. This is a really great tutorial and gave me lots of inspiration for a jungle rope bridge: