The best hedges yet

Crossfire is a great game, but it does need an awful lot of scenery. The current Normandy campaign specifically needs hedges  – typically not quite as much as the Bocage scenario in “Hit the Dirt”, which by my count is somewhere in the region of fifty feet (!), but still a lot more than we had. I’ve been experimenting with different ways to make it, and I think I’ve finally hit on a winner. I managed to make around five feet of it in around half-an-hour, and I think it looks as good as many much slower techniques. Here’s some of it lining the road:

Step 1 – cut strips from a door mat

This is an old natural bristle doormat. I cut it into deliberately slightly irregular strips using a scalpel on the back of the mat. Each strip is around 5″ long.

Step 2 – Paint the top and sides with glue mixture

I used a tub of quality PVA (white glue). I always buy good stuff – don’t get the runny muck for ‘craft’. It’s mixed about two parts glue with one part green emulsion paint. An old plastic syringe is ideal for sucking up a good quantity of paint in one go and squirting on to the palette. Put plenty on with an old brush, to give the flock something to grip to.


Step 3 – Put in a tub and flock

I did three bits at a time, and put them into an old ice cream tub. I have a good selection of different flocks. First I sprinkled on some little patches of more distinctive flock – some light green, some orange/red – real hedgerows tend to have lots of different plants growing in them and look quite motley. Some of these had quite large crumbs compared to the more basic flock which came next. Then I covered the rest with a basic green flock similar to the paint colour. Finally I put the lid on and shook it up to get the flock into all the crevices.

Step 4 – Add features

Once this has had plenty of time to dry, I added lumps of clump flock and different colours of lichen to give it a more irregular appearance and to add interest.

That’s it – done. Note that the dark grey base of the mat is still visible, but it isn’t really noticeable on the table. I did consider flocking along the edge of it with something brown, but decided not to bother. The mat bristles are still visible in places, but they look like the stems of the hedge and actually improve the appearance – this is one of the benefits of using this as a base – if it was foam, for example, it would need to be fully covered to prevent it looking unnatural.

Look out for the next exciting instalment, in which I’ll go over some of my less successful hedge methods and explain what was good and bad about them.

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