Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Soyokaze: Bridge Building

I started building the SOYOKAZE FOOT BRIDGE last night. I had purchased the materials and drawn up a plan of action a while back, but I didn't want to start because starting the project meant that there was a possibility of failure. :) I finally just dove in and put it together and I'm rather happy with the results.

The plan was based on the classic, Japanese curved bridge design. Curves and arches. Drawing it up was easy after looking at a few examples online. The hard part was looking at the scene, then putting the bridge together in my mind to match it. Honestly, it's a little more modern that I originally thought it would be, but I thought that I would craft a story and a paint job that might mask that a bit, sticking with a weathered wood feel rather than a metal.

The building itself was easy with the plan in mind. The main bridge is foam core. I sliced one side of the board at one inch sections, then curved it. This is a classic trick with foam board. The sides and arches are styrene. I love working with this material. I use the hobby glue that melts plastic (Model Master Liquid Cement) and the styrene goes together with ease.

However, this doesn't work with the foam core, so I'm trying out a product called Aleene's Clear Gel Tacky Glue and I'm pleased with it so far. While it's not super quick dry and set like melting the styrene is with the other glue, it seems to create a great bond between parts with very little showing when done. (If you're being clean about it! :)  )

Another thing I was making sure I thought through was real world walking over this bridge. It's so high and so long that I needed to put in some side rails so my little, N-scale folks don't fall to their deaths while sightseeing!  I may add some additional safety features later, but the scale offers some slippage here. I could just SAY that there are small rails present that you just can not see due to their size. We'll see.

I've set down a bit of "TILE" styrene for the actual walking area. I'll paint that to look like stone.

The arches will be painted in the weathered wood style and I'll use a fine pen to make it look like they were built with several curved wood pieces to try to get more of a natural feel to the whole of it.

My wife pointed out that this is not like me - building something from scratch at this level. But, seeing the masterful work of this artist really inspired me.

Watching him measure and cut to create something that was truly unique and new was very cool. I am going to add to the Soyokaze module with little buildings and small items I build myself following his lead. I think this will add to the custom feeling of Soyokaze along with adding hours to the hobby time needed to complete it.


  1. Wow, fab-tastic! Oh, the joy of designing and building something from the ground up (or the river-bank out, as it were.)

    Can't wait to see it wood-ified =)


    1. I really enjoy the process. I just need to push myself a bit more so I can spend more time doing it! :)