Sunday, August 23, 2015

BGiME #3: Creating a Hedgerow

The “Modelling Workshop” project in Battle Games in Middle-Earth #3 is the hedgerow, a common obstacle/barrier that’s simple to make and looks good on the game table. All you need is a green scouring pad, some flock, cardboard, glue, a little paint, and you have a pair of nice terrain pieces. With an ultimate plan to run “The Scouring of the Shire” one day, I figured I’d best become familiar with making these and sat down to assemble out a pair of hedgerows for my table.

The hedges are easy to create, but I did encounter two problems in making them. The first was my own fault, while the second was due to a step in the instructions. The first thing I noticed is that I was running into trouble flocking the hedgerow and base. I’ve made terrain utilizing flock in the past—albeit a while ago—and didn’t recall having as much difficulty at that time. I finally pinpointed the cause of my difficulty, but it unfortunately came after I’d had put the project to bed. The reason the flock wasn’t adhering as well as it had in the past was that I was using white glue mixed with a ratio of water as an adhesive. On previous projects I used a wood glue/water mix with much better results. Not all PVA glues are the same when it comes to scratch-building, it seems, and I’ve noted this for future reference. 

The second issue was that the instructions say to paint the base of each hedgerow green. In my opinion, I don’t believe using green as a base color when you’re going to flock the piece is the best way to proceed. In other terrain pieces, I’ve always used a dark, almost black, brown as a basecoat for areas I intend to cover with flock. It provides a better look, giving the illusion of rich soil underneath the green grass. Combined with the less-than-perfect flocking, the green basecoat is sloppy to my eyes on the finished piece.

You can see where the flock failed to stick in this overhead view.

The light green base coat proves problematic when the flock doesn't stick
All-in-all, however, it’s a good start for a terrain collection. I’ll need to make six to eight more of these in the future to have a full set of hedgerows for my table, but given the lessons I’ve learned and the experience I’ve acquired to make them, that’s a task that will take one rainy winter weekend to complete.

Next up, we pit Frodo against the Ringwraiths and things turn bad very quickly.

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