While visiting a modeling buddy – Dave Bengel – one day, we took a trip to Viking Model Shop in Sacramento, CA and I found a bridge that was created for use with small white metal figures. When I saw it, all I could think of was how great it would be to use this base for my Confederate Soldier!

The diorama would show the soldier crossing over the bridge which stood just over a small creek bed. I talked to Dave about it and we both agreed that trying out oils on this bridge to bring out the detail was the way to go. So I bought the base, went to Dave’s house and began working on it. First, washing the bridge and then priming it (image 1). Click on any image to open in a new window, full size.


After that, I laid down a few browns or tans. You’ll note that the base looks much lighter through the middle (image 2). This gives the illusion that there has been a good deal of foot traffic across the bridge over time.

Once I was happy with the way it looked, it was important to let dry then spray a coat of Future acrylic floor finish over it. This of course would protect the paint job and allow me to wipe off the additional oil paint that I did not want.


As you can see, three different colors were used to achieve the final color of the bridge (image 3). I began with a dark brown, and then mixed up a lighter brown by adding Tan, then adding highlights by adding Dark Yellow to the mix.

The final version of the bridge can be seen after the oils have been applied. The best way to describe that is to understand that you take a small “glob” of oil color, place it on the small piece of white plastic (as shown), then dip your brush into some Turpenoid.

From there, dip your brush into the oil color glob and you’ll use that to highlight the bridge (in this case). You are looking for thinness so that the color will literally “run” into the crevices all by itself. Excess can be wiped up with a cloth and since the bridge was sealed with Future floor finish, the paint underneath is not harmed. It may take a bit of practice, but practice makes perfect, right?

Use of oils brings out the sculpted details quite nicely!

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