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Normandy Hedgerows

I’ve made lots of different styles of  ‘Normandy’ style hedgerows over the years but I really like this one.  It’s quick, easy and looks good.  Just making a few strips really helps add to the realism of your table and looks amazing next to our Letters Home: Normandy range

I start by grabbing some of these thick scrubbing pads from Bunnings, they have different types so make sure to grab the thick ones.  They also come in different colours but that doesn’t really matter too much as we’ll be covering them in club foilage and flock, but either the green or the brown ones are ideal.

These are pretty easy to cut with some scissors but make sure you use a pair you’ve put aside for hobby work as they will dull the blade over time to don’t go reaching into your sewing kit for that lovely pair of fabric scissors!  Usually I try to cut them into even strips, you can can get 4 or 5 pieces out of one pad but you can mix up the thickness of your pieces for variety.

Once you’ve cut your pad into strips round off the corners a little so they are not so ‘square’.  Try to keep an eye on what ‘side’ you are rounding off, you’ll notice the pad will look different where you cut it – you can see in the image above that the 2nd strip from the left looks different than the others, that is the ‘inside’ of the pad where we cut it.  Below I have rounded off the corners so my hedges wont be so square.

Next step is to glue them to some bases, you don’t need to but it does help make them more stable and it gives you a little realestate to add some basing details later.  I had some strips sitting around the studio so just grabbed those, or you can order some bases made for this purpose from the website, these ones will work.  I used a hot glue gun for this but you could just as easily use regular PVA, I used hot glue mostly because it’s faster.

Once the glue has dried (in my case not more than 20 seconds or so) it’s time to add some more glue so we can add some clump foliage to our hedges.  This helps to add shape and definition to your hedges so they won’t just look like a square hedge with some flock on it.  I used some construction adhesive, it has a consistency like toothpaste.  I use this over PVA as it doesn’t run making it easier to apply to the areas I want without it running everywhere.

I used some home-made foam clump foliage for this next step.  I uploaded a video to YouTube on my RubbishInRubbishOut channel many years ago about how to make your own clump foliage.  The stuff I used was not glued together into ‘clumps’, it’s basically just the shredded and colour foam.

If you want to make your own clump foliage than this video will be of help.

Before I can add the clump foliage however we need to use that construction adhesive and apply it to our scrubbing pad.  I used a wooden stirrer (a paddle-pop stick) to apply it in quite thick smears.  Add it in patches all over the hedge including on top and the sides.

I then simply grab handfuls of the clump foliage and press it onto the glue and then tap off the excess using quite a bit of force by tapping on the bottom of the wooden base.

Once you’ve applied the clump foliage it’s time to let the glue dry.  The adhesive that I used takes a while but it will dry clear which is nice as I don’t want it showing through in the following steps.  Even though we’ll be covering this in flock shortly I don’t want to have to deal with any glue showing through that might get missed when we do cover it in the flock.

You can already see how the clump foliage has changed the volume, shape and appearance of the hedge making it look much more organic.

Once the glue is dry I use some spray adhesive to apply flock to the hedges.  I used to use a Super 77 from 3M but it’s not available in my local shop anymore but I’ve been using this spray, Kwik Grip from Selleys and had good results.

I’m going to use 3 different colours of home-made flock.  This stuff is simply fine sawdust flour tinted with different colour paints.  Again, I made a video many years ago (10 years, wow was it really that long ago?!) which you can watch on my YouTube channel, RubbishInRubbishOut.

If you want to make your own flocks, this video might be useful.

These are the 3 different flocks I’m going to use.  The one on the left will be the main base colour, the second will be my highlight and the 3rd will also be applied during the highlighting step to add some variance.

From left to right I used the following colours from the Dulux range available from Bunnings:

  • Robinhood
  • Mangrove Leaf
  • Plasticine

The first colour is applied to the entire hedge.  I first give it a good spray with the adhesive, use more than you think you need (it can’t hurt!) and give it a good coat.  Be aware of your overspray, you don’t want it all over your table!  It might be a good idea to do this outside, even when spraying in the studio the overspray settles to the floor and makes it sticky for a bit.  Maybe laying out some newspaper or butchers paper might be a good idea! Simply spray the hedge and then dump the first colour in handfuls all over the hedge, give it a few good solid taps on the bottom of the base to shake off the excess.

It’s looking pretty good already and you could very easily stop here and it will look great, however adding the next colour as a gentle highlight really makes the hedge pop.  Spray the model again, this time focusing on spraying downward from the top of the hedge.  Instead of using great handfuls of flock, unleash your inner ‘salt bae’ and gently sprinkle very small amounts onto the hedge.  This will add a nice highlight and help break up the solid colour of the first flock.  I also did this with the third colour but I don’t think it’s really necessary.

Once you’re done with the flock let the hedges dry.  They’re looking pretty good right now but we’re going to add a few rocks at the base of the hedge to finish it off.  You could of course keep adding details such as tufts etc but adding the rocks will be the final touch for me and will serve our gaming tables well.

I put some patches of PVA glue at the base of the hedges and using some small stones I push them into the glue.  Once they are dry I’ll use some watered down PVA to help secure them in place.

The final step is to give everything a good coat of watered down PVA.  I use a mix that is around 4 parts water to 1 part glue.  I first start by giving the piece a gentle spray, either with water or IPA (isopropyl alchol) to help break the surface tension, and then I give the piece a really good soaking in my watered down glue mix.

Once the sealant coat is dry, if you are still having excess material come of the hedges either give them another coat of the watered down PVA or just brush off anything that is lose and hope that nothing else comes off over time!  I’d give it another coat though, just to be sure!

And there we go, some awesome looking hedges to add to our gaming tables!

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