Tuesday, 9 February 2016

Scratch Built Hedges & Fences

This post may be "stating the "bleedin' obvious" for most readers but hopefully someone will find it useful. In the past I have made a number of hedges using various techniques for my tabletop. Initially I used strips of foam board for the base with scouring pads stuck together with wood glue (PVA) and attached to the foam board with internal posts (made from barbeque sticks). All of this was sandwiched together with PVA wood glue which had to left, usually overnight, to dry properly. The bases were textured using the same technique I used for my figures using sand, grass and various pieces of flocking. The resulting sections look nice but they required quite a lot of work for what is a basic piece of terrain. With hindsight these were definitely over-worked.
Original time-consuming example.
During a moment tidying away various hobby tools a thought occurred to me, I was curious if I could speed up the process using a hot glue gun. After all if it could glue my fingers to the nearest loose object then a scouring pad shouldn't be a problem. I also had a number of wooden tongue depressors that had been lying about which happened to match the length of the scouring pads. 
All new time-saving example
To make similar hedges you will need the following (Blue Peter style):
  • Scourers - Wilko (large UK department store),
  • Wooden tongue depressors (available from most craft shops),
  • Hot glue gun,
Cut the scouring pad into two pieces (check the length of the pad matches the length of the wooden stick). An easy way to do this is to fold the pad in half length ways and with a large pair of scissors cut the pad in half along the fold. This will ensure that you have equal pieces with no need to mark or measure the scouring pad.

Fold one of these halves again length ways using the gun to stick the two sides together, the glue should set in a few seconds. Next glue the 'hedge' to the base. It really is that quick and simple.

You could use a small pair of scissors to trim the edges of the pad so that it has more natural looking finish but here I'm showing the very basic model.

For anyone tempted to make their own terrain this is probably the easiest and most practical pieces you can make for yourself. At an educated guess I reckon the materials used to make these hedges, in the form shown above, would work out to cost about 25-30p each. If made in batches then it should work out to take only a few minutes to make each one.

If you wish to improve these pieces you can do so very simply by adding sand (and flock if you're feeling fancy) to the base.

Using cheap poster paints you can drybrush the hedge to create light green/yellow highlights. 

Interesting Hedges in History No.01 (in a very occasional series) - The Great Hedge
The 'Great Hedge' that featured in the battle of Blore Heath (1459) was tall enough to conceal the waiting Lancastrian forces (but not tall enough to hide the glinting spear tips apparently). On a visit to the battle site it's interesting to see that this ancient hedge still exists and it's also possible to see how it played a roll in the battle. The hedge towered over me (and I'm around six feet tall).
Great Hedge, Blore Heath
One you've made enough hedges, or get bored of them, you can then try to make fences. I have seen online versions (it may even have been via Games Workshop) of these hedges that including a gateway. With plenty of coffee stirrers lying about I was interested if I could make a similar item for myself. The example shown below isn't made to any particular design.
Use the same method described earlier but obviously you will need to cut the hedge/scourer in half length ways as well. The fences were simply made with coffee stirrers and off-cuts glued together with PVA wood glue.

If and when I get round to making the next generation of hedges these might be rougher inm appearance with broken walls, fences and branches etc. but it will may be a while before that happens.