When I researched this battle I found a very useful resource, the collection at the National Collection of Aerial Photography proved very useful as it contains many photos of the area in 1944 and also many photos of other areas of Europe during that period. I'll certainly be using the resource for any other scenarios I might create for Flames of War.
Also after some research I found that the representation of the Son Bridge in the film "A Bridge Too Far" was far from accurate, instead of being a lift bridge as shown in the photo below it was in fact a swing bridge as shown in the photo after which was taken in the 1930s.
|As incorrectly depicted in A Bridge Too Far|
|The real Son Bridge in the 1930s from here.|
So with that in mind I set about creating the canal and bridge for our game. Since I wanted to re-use the Total System Scenic tiles that I've been using for the last 20 years I decided it was time to make a nice wide river/canal in a couple. Using Google Maps I identified that the canal was 30m wide now at that point, At Flames of War 1/100 scale that would translate to 30cm wide, but that seemed too wide for the game to me and so I halved it to 15cm. I actually wish now I'd gone to 20cm, but it's far too late.
So I cut the slot in the reverse of two of the TSS tiles and was going to use Woodland Scenics Realistic Water, but I decided against this, I read that it wasn't that resilient to being moved and was difficult to keep clean. Instead I went for under painted 2mm thick acrylic which I bought from Wickes. This worked well though cutting it was hard and I ruined several pieces before getting two that worked well. In the future I think I'd pay to get some lazer-cut pieces by mail order.
I also decided to make some new roads as I didn't have enough available for this battle, The board being 12ft by 4ft in size. I had some cobblestone brick paper available from my city boards (which I'd be using for Eindhoven anyway) and so decided to stick that on strips of hardboard.
Anyway, construction of the canal, bridge and roads completed today and I couldn't resist getting it all out and photographing it. I only have room to lay out 6ft of the game, the complete table will have to wait until next week.