Monday, 23 May 2011

Making my Normandy Table: "Trois Ponts" Part 4

Hi Folks,

I've been fairly distracted from the table build this week, because I got a shiny army delivery! So, of course, getting stuck into the assembly was my first priority. I love the smell of resin in the morning... smells like victory!

I did get some terrain done though...

Bocage expérimentale
There are many methods for making bocage, but I was after a quick and easy technique, so I came up with this...

Start with some tongue depressors (like an ice cream stick but larger), and prime them black. With a sturdy pair of scissors, I trimmed a second stick on the ends, and started gluing like so:

Gravel, pebbles, rocks etc, form the base and help keep the vertical piece stable until dry. I tried not to have any rocks sticking out over the end, so the base would line up easily with other hedges and terrain.

Once dry, I'll put a quick wash of sepia ink over the stones, so they keep their natural colour, but are all tinted the same shade. I'll put some grass on the edges, so it matches the table surface, then start gluing on clump foliage and/or flock. More on the finished boccage in part 5.

The final table section
Most of my terrain efforts have been going towards another 2x4' section of table. I decided it looked a little flat, so with some much appreciated help from Andrew we started carving the dreaded, messy white foam. Extruded foam is far preferable to this expanded foam, but I had to make do with what was on hand.

We used hobby knives and sand paper to make a helluva mess, but came up with a board section which can be fitted to either end of the existing table. The roads and rivers meet up nicely, and with a few extra flat panels to keep the ground level consistent, its ready for sealing.

Splat on a liberal coat of PVA, half a bucket of sand, and the section becomes a lot more resilient to wear. You do not want any chipping to occur after it is surfaced, because those little patches of white really ruin the overall visual effect. If in doubt, apply two coats of glue and sand. It can help to dilute the glue a little for the second coat, so it flows into all the crevasses.

A heavy coat of green later, and I'm almost ready to start surfacing! When using ground cover products, like flock and static grass, it is a good idea to have a base colour beneath so any thin patches are less noticeable.

It is nice to see this project approaching completion. There are lots of little details yet to do, which can make it seem never ending at times. I'm very glad I can clean up the shed now, because there are bits of foam core all over the place and it looks like its been snowing from all the styrene particles.



  1. Awesome score. New terrain is like getting a new car isn't it ?

  2. great idea for the boccage