Monday 23 March 2015

Quick & Easy Bocage

A little while back I posted a couple of tutorials on how to make basic trees, hedges, bushes, and roads, for use with miniatures (and if you missed them ...simply click on the links provided :) ).

Anyway, while I quite like the look (and simplicity) of the low hedges, I've been wanting to make something a little more suitable for use as bocage - but at the same time I wanted to keep things quick, cheap, and simple ....and this is what I've come up with:

- my first two test pieces placed on either side of one of my road sections -


To make the base of these 'bushes' you'll need a wooden tongue depressor (the one pictured is about 6" long), a couple of cocktail sticks, and some cheap (ready mixed) wall filler (this tub cost £1 from the local Poundland store).

You'll also need some cheap brown and green acrylic paint, PVA glue, super glue, and a old paintbrush (anything between size 4 and 8 will do).


The first thing you'll need to do, is apply some of the 'filler' to one side of the tongue depressor. To do this I generally build it up to at least ¼" high, and then give it a bit of texture by stippling it with an old paintbrush.

However, it's worth noting that, as the filler dries it does shrink somewhat - which means that the tongue depressor will warp quite badly. To combat this I tend to glue the tongue depressor to an old place mat (or my work table) with a spot of PVA glue - which will keep the wood straight while it dries (and because its only PVA, it's pretty easy to remove afterwards).


Once the filler is dry (note that I usually leave it overnight), you might find that it has not stuck to the tongue depressor very well. If this is the case, simply glue it back in place with a bit of PVA (note that you can also add a bit more filler to the edges, if the piece has shrunk a little more than you would like).

Then, cut 3 or 4 cocktail sticks in half, and insert them (pointy end down) into the filler at regular intervals (note that I also like to secure them in place with a spot of superglue - just to make the whole thing a little more solid).


Once you've got the cocktail sticks fixed in place, it's a simple matter of painting the base brown and the sticks green.


For the foliage I'm using three different types of aquarium 'grass mats'...

...all of these are roughly 10" square, and cost less than £5 (for all three, including P&P) on ebay - though they did come from Hong Kong the delivery took a couple of weeks. However, if you're interested in picking up a few for yourself, HERE is a link to the seller that I used.


The next step is to simply pluck some of the 'grass' from each of the mats and start threading random pieces onto each of the cocktail sticks (as each piece will already have a perfectly sized hole running straight through the centre).


Once you've filled all of the cocktail sticks, you're done!

* * *

And while these pieces don't look 100% authentic, the overall appearance isn't too bad at all (or at least that's my opinion) ...especially when you consider how easy (and cheap) they are to make!


  1. Their cheap & look pretty damn fine to me!

    I've got a load of that grass matting, but I've yet to decide how best to use it. Might have to rip some of it apart & try your technique.


    1. Glad you like 'em :)

      I think it's definitely worth a try if you need to make something fast (or if you just need a lot of them) ...and now that I've made a couple more, they do look bit better when they're all together.

      I'm also tempted to give them a light dusting of yellow spray paint from above ...just to highlight them slightly - but I'll have to do a couple of tests first, and see how it goes :)

  2. Sorry I couldn't find your email so I thought I would ask in the comments, my name is Andrew L Kolodziej and I run a blog called and was wondering if you might be interested in exchanging links with me. Thanks.

    1. I don't really have a 'links' page to be honest, as everything here is relevant to myself and/or CSP. Sorry about that.

      (also, sorry for not replying sooner ...but I've been a bit ill this past week :( )