Friday, 27 January 2012

Tutorial: Bocages / Meine Wallhecken

A very busy week is about to end. Work was a hustle, my wife got ill yesterday, our daughter had to be taken care of and on Saturday we'll have our first little game in 2012. Lot of work to do, lot of things to prepare and so little time.

But no whining! Most of you share these problems I presume.

However I managed to get two prototypes of bocages ready for Saturday. I would like to share, how I made them since I'm rather satisfied with the result. Of course hints and advice are highly welcome.

Because this will be a rather long post I'll refrain from writing it in German and English. Most comments are English and most of my appreciated readers seem to come from the UK, the USA and Australia, therefor I decided to do it in English only.

Step 1:
Last week I cut some styrofoam boards as base for a new gaming board. I cut some of the cutt-off into strips as core of the bocages. I cut them about 3.50cm (about 1.4 inches) high and 2.0 cm thick (about 0.79 inches).

As base I cut 3mm "Architektenpappe". Unfortunately I don't know the correct English term. It's a thin layer of styrofoam sandwiched with to thin layers of cardboard.

I glued both parts with hot glue. (Beginners beware! That stuff has it's name for a certain and painful reason as I experienced several times...)
Step 1: The core of the boccage and the Architektenpappe to be cut.

Step 2:
I didn't want that pink styrofoam shine through the gaps of the stones or bushes later. Therefor I painted the upper part of the core dark green and the lower part dark brown.
Step 2: Undercoated bocage

Step 3:
Now I covered the lower part of the boccage with hot glue, spread some tiny pebble stones on it and pressed them into the glue carefully (!). I used pebbles which are sold as ground cover for fish tanks. and proceeded part by part because the hot glue cools down rather fast and gives you only a small time slot to add the pebbles. After taking a view of the finished stonewall I decided not to paint the pebbles. I like their natural look and favour it over that painted, monotonous look. And to be honest I'm too sluggish to paint each stone differently...

Annotation: The hot glue tends to dissolve the styrofoam a bit. I didn't care but it could become a problem when you use thinner strips.

Step 3: Pepples glued onto the bocage.

Step 4:
After the glue cooled down and hardened I proceeded with the upper part of the bocage. I used three colours of clump foliage (light, dark and medium green) and glued them onto the bocage rather at random. Again using hot glue but PVA glue might do as well but it has a much longer hardening time.

Step 4: Add clump foilage.

Step 5:
As finishing touches I glued some pebbles on the base and filled the gaps between the stones with small clusters of clump foilage and sand. To be honest I'm not that happy with the sand. It looks improper somehow. Probably I'll use more small pebbles and clump foilage only for the next bocages.

Finished bocage with two Britannia miniatures for size comparison.

Taken as a whole I'm really satisfied. It's a really easy and fast way to get some nice scenary. Anyhow I fear that the pebbles will drop off after some in-game use. Probably I'll cover them with a layer of PVA glue and matt varnish, but doubt wether that might destroy the natural look...

Last but not least many thanks to Ragnar and Mojo at Behind Omaha and "The Terrain Guy". All three made bocages by themselves and their different production processes inspired me.


  1. They look great. The PVA glue will only enhance the colour of the pebbles, but it leaves a satin finish to the pebbles.

    1. Thanks for the commendation.

      To reduce the satin finish I would put on matt varnish afterwards... I'll post pictures when I tried it.


  2. They look excellent, great work and well explained....

  3. Very good tutorial. I think the pebbles don't need any more glue!

  4. That looks great Monty and thank you for the tutorial. The material for the base looks like 'foamboard' to me, I use it a lot for making buildings. I am not sure that you need the sand and I also agree with Greg that the PVA should work OK.


  5. Looking great Monty!
    Thanks for the tutorial!

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