Friday, 27 December 2013

Hedges - soft cover that looks good

When you have buildings in Europe you often also find hedges.  Hedges provide soft cover, obstacles for infantry and guns and make the table look better.  And they are easy to make.  Here is a step by step tutorial.
A place to hide
First you need some simple ingredients:
Lots of goodies
Green Scourers - the cheapest kind are best for this job.  Don't pinch your Mum's good ones, just go to a $2 shop and get the bulk packs that are useless for more than one pot.
3mm MDF for the base, cut to 1" x 6".  We have found this to be the best mix of price and durability.
Some dirt or sand from the back yard or garden or your brother's or children's sand pit.
The flock is Blended Turf Green Blend T49 from Woodland Scenics.  This is the most expensive bit but it goes a very long way.  It provide a good fluffy texture to the hedges.
PVA glue - we use litres of this for all our terrain.
Some handy bits of wood and clamps.
A hot glue gun.
A hobby knife.
Black spray paint - the cheapest one is fine as it is only an undercoat and will be completely covered up.
Some brown paint for the ground.  A sample pot from the hardware or paint shop is the best value.

Step 1: The basic hedge bit
Hot glue is hot.  Don't glue fingers.  It hurts.
Fold the standard size hedge in half and cut length wise.  Then fold again and glue together.

Step 2: Squash it together.

Not too flat or it looks silly. About 6 to 8mm (1/4" or so) is about right.
Place the folded hedge in  between the wood and clamp so it keeps its shape.  Dn't squash too tight. One of our early attempts was squashed a bit too enthusiastically and it looked like it had been run over by a steam roller.  It only takes a few minutes for the hot glue to cool down.

Step 3: Glue to the base
Plenty of glue is fine.  It will all get covered up. 
Make a gap and attach a suitably trimmed icy pole stick as fence posts.
The hot glue makes sticking the hedges to the base very easy.  It doesn't matter if you use too much glue as it will just look like the dirt base of the hedge once you are done.  Once more, remember hot glue is hot.

Step 4: Apply dirt and sand.
Apply the PVA glue.
Roll in the sand 
Ta da!  Basic underneath stage done.
Paint the PVA glue liberally on the base and dunk into a container into which you have placed your sand and dirt mix.  It doesn't matter if some goes on to the hedge bit as it all looks fine in the end.

Step 5: Undercoat with Black spray paint
Spray the lot black.
An inexpensive matt black spray paint is good for liberal coverage of the hedge and base.  You could also use a dark brown paint but this tends to be more expensive than the common matt black spray, and as it will all be covered anyway, why spend the extra?

Step 6: Paint the dirt
Dark brown first.
Dry brush light brown
It may look as if we are using expensive wargaming paint, but we are just reusing the pots refilled with sampler pot paints.  Once more, it doesn't mater if the paint goes onto the hedge as this can represent dirt or branches.

Step 7: Apply the green bits
Apply the good old PVA glue
Dunk into the flock placed in a container
Shake off the excess 
Glue any missing bits and dunk it again.
Liberally paint the hedge with PVA glue and dunk into a container you have filled with the flock.  Then tap off the excess.  There is no point wasting any of this as what doesn't stick now will only fall off later on the tabletop. You are bound to have missed patches so just apply a bit more PVA glue and dunk again.

Step 8: Admire your handiwork
Hans! Shoot the Britisher Cromwell!


  1. Thank you. Easy to follow and simple to do.

  2. Excellent, I showed your blog to my son a few days agp. When I came home last night he had made a bunch of these.

  3. That's great news. Thanks for letting us know. My boys and I wonder whether people are using the resources and posts we put up and we appreciate the feedback enormously. This is a perfect father son moment. He does the work and you get to appreciate the fine job he has done!

  4. Made some of these today, brilliant idea, easy and cheap to do. Thanks very much for this.

  5. Thanks for sharing this!

    1. I'm glad you have found our tutorial helpful. Cheers!

  6. Good tutorial.I will definitely try these out. I've been wanting some nice hedges for my table. I have all the materials already, I just haven't gotten around to trying it.

    I've added your blog to the blogroll on my blog,

    1. I made some this week. The biggest change I made was just adding some static grass to the bases to match the rest of my board. I'll have some pictures up sometime this week.

    2. That's great. The good thing is that once they are done, they get used for years to come. Cheers



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