stone bridge

Tutorial: Stone Bridge

Hi all,

This tutorial is a long time coming.  I sculpted our bridge model a few months ago but we only released it at Hold the Line two weeks ago.  The reason for the delay is that this model was hard to cast due to all the surfaces being finished.  So, after many failed molding attempts, we had to create a 3 part mold to make sure that the bridge looked the way we wanted.  The time and energy was worth it as the bridge represents our biggest, most involved model to date.

stone bridge

Let’s get started with the tutorial.

Here are the paints needed for my version of the stone bridge
Here are the paints needed for my version of the stone bridge

Painting this bridge is a pretty easy project.  For those who want a quick paint job, you can spray paint the whole bridge grey, add a black wash and they highlight by dry brushing the edges with a lighter grey.  This tutorial will go a little further and add some extra detail.

stone bridge

The first thing I did was paint the entire bridge with a grey primer.  I normally use a black primer but since this model will be grey, I decided to skip an extra painting step.  By jumping right to grey, I can spend the time saved on adding extra details.

Like I already said, you could just ink and dry brush to finish the bridge off and it would look pretty good.  However, let’s take a look at a picture of a real stone bridge.


Though we can assume it is the same type of stones throughout the bridge, each stone has a different colour and hue.  To add “realism” to our painting project, we need to recreate this variance of colour in our bridge.

I did this variation in the stones by selecting three colours:  Slate Grey, Neutral Grey and Deep Midnight Blue from the Americana acrylic paint line.  Toss all these colours onto your paint pallet and start randomly picking out individual stones to paint.  To get the best effect, keep it random and avoid patterns.  You can even mix these colours together or add more colours if you want to get really complicated.  The import aspect to this step is that you break up the uniform grey colour we primed with.  Make sure that you leave some of the stones the original grey colour from the primer as it will act as a support to pull the other colours together.

At this point you may feel that the bridge looks a bit disjointed and that the colours don’t really work together.  You are right.  It is a bit glaring but we aren’t done yet.  The next step will tie everything together.

Once all the paint has fully dried on the model, I applied a wash of Null Oil from Games Workshop.  If you don’t have access to this wash, you can use any dark wash you may have.  If you don’t have any washes, you can thin down some black paint with water until it only tints paper when you brush it on.  To do this test, take a piece of copy paper that has writing on it.  Brush your wash across the writing.  If you can clearly see the words still while shading the page, you are good to go.  This paint isn’t going to work as well as a true wash but it will shade the model enough to pull all the colours together.

The great thing about washes is that most of it will settle into the creases and highlight the individual stones.  Our terrain pieces have a lot of detail.  We do this so a wash has lots of places to settle and dry brushing is easy to do.

Once the wash is dry, we can dry brush the top edges of the bridge with the slate grey to emulate the light hitting the bridge.  We covered dry brushing a lot in previous tutorials.  Basically, it is wiping most of the paint off of your brush until it barely leaves any colour when you brush it across the surface of the model.  Only the raised edges will catch your brush and deposit a small amount of paint.

stone bridge

Stopping at this point would leave you with a fine looking bridge to add to any of your miniature games.

In my next article, I will share with you what I have learned about pigments and how we can use them in two different ways to raise our painting projects to an even higher level.

Peace out, eh?

Kevin “MiniCannuck” Jacobi