Burnside’s Bridge played a key role in the Battle of Antietam during the American Civil War. It is named after Major General Ambrose Burnside. The bridge is 125 feet long, 12 foot wide, and has three arches. The bridge spans the Antietam Creek. It was intended to move frieght, animals, and people to Sharpsburg, Maryland.
When it comes to playing a miniature game, having objectives to capture and fight over makes the game more exciting. In fact, when I play miniature games with my wife, she usually demands that we have some sort of scenario or capture point to add to the flare beyond the “kill everyone else” objective.
Bridges are great objectives, and can be placed in the center of the board to allow both players to duke it out and struggle to capture (and hold) the objective.
On a recent trip home to visit the In-Laws, we stopped over at a gaming store in Pottstown, PA called Hobbytown USA. The store has a good variety of toys, games, and model railroading goodies. One of the things that caught my eye was the fact that they carried BMC toys.
Now, hear me out. I love the BMC toy line and don’t want to talk bad about them. They offer some really cool plastic army men stuff, and I respect their company immensely. However, I do have to post a hobby review of their Burnsides Bridge.
BMC offers a bagged set of 54mm models and figures of the Burnsides Bridge. I purchased the playset for $12.95 at a Hobby Town USA near Pottstown, PA. The parts of the bridge are crafted of plastic. There are mould lines that need to be removed before the bridge can be dry-fitted. The task of dry-fitting was somewhat mind-bending. The parts that I received in my package did not fit together in any reasonable way. I ended up having to bend some of the pieces using a hair dryer and cold water. I had to cut some of the other pieces to properly fit together. This model is intended for ages 6 and up, but the assembly process with take someone with a little creativity, patience, and hobby skill. After adjusting the pieces so that they will dry fit, the assembly process itself was very frustrating. The model is supposed to be snap together using small plastic pegs and drilled holes. Most of the pegs will not fit in the pre-drilled holes. I attempted to dremel the pegs to make them smaller, but the fragile plastic tended to snap off under the dremel’s grinder and sander. I then attempted to make the holes bigger using an x-acto knife blade, and this seemed to work fairly well. I used Gorilla Super Glue to fix the parts in place. Snapping together was impossible. The fully assembled bridge looked like this when finished:
This model itself is nice. It’s big so it will make a nice objective on the gaming table. However, the inferior build of the parts is rather infuriating and frustrating.
BMC Toys produces inexpensive 1/32 scale plastic figures, accessories and playsets. Buying a model this size would normally require spending $50 or $100 dollars if it was intended for model railroading or miniature wargaming. While historical accuracy and basic human anatomy take a back seat with BMC sculpting, these figures are ideal for children and for use in school history projects and offer excellent play value. In the end, I guess you get what you pay for in quality.
My final word on the bridge is this: If you’re looking for an inexpensive bridge for miniature wargaming, this is a good choice for the price and scale. Just be aware that it is not “easy snap together” as advertised and will require a maddening amount of skilled effort to overcome the flaws in the parts.
Read this review of the product as well.
I guess sometimes you do get what you pay for … but hey, I knew that going into the project.
Anyway, thanks for stopping by and have a nice day!
Keep rollin’ those sixes everyone!