Monday 18 February 2019


This is tutorial for making hedges and gates.
I have constructed 3 different hedges one classed as a Medium Obstacle the other 2 low Obstacles.

Rural Hedges, these are hedges that are not maintain and are a bit wild and messy .
Cut a number of 3 mm MDF into lengths of 15.5 cm x 3.5 cm and 7.5 cm x 3.5 cm.

Bevel the edges using box cutters.

Image showing the edges trimmed.

Using PVA glue add some gravel and odd rocks.


Dry brush the gravel and rocks with Vallejo Model colour Desert Yellow and highlight by adding Iraqui sand to the Desert Yellow.

Apply some green paint on the base.

I used Rubberized Horsehair for the hedges. 
Images shows how I cut a piece of horsehair to match the length of MDF.

Images shows all the Rubberized horsehair trimmed to size and ready to be fixed onto the MDF bases.

Using a hot glue gun apply glue to one side of the Rubberized horsehair. 

Note where I am applying the glue, it should be the side which exposes all the layers of Horsehair.

Once you place the hedge material on the MDF base, hold it down firm for a minute till the glue sets.

Horsehair fixed in place.

At this stage to can spread out the horsehair by using a pointed instrument and add some randomness to the top of the hedge  using the scissors.

I prefer to add PVA with a brush then add the flock onto the fiber.
You can also use canned Spray Adhesive instead if you prefer.
I used Gale force 9 Meadow blend for most of my hedges but you can use any flock you wish.

Finished hedges

The hedge is higher than a 28mm figure and are classed as a Medium Obstacle.

In Chain of Command:

They block LOS unless a figure is "usually" within 2" to  be seen and see thru the hedge.

A figure needs to discard its higher dice rolled to cross over the hedge.
Tracked vehicles only can cross with 2D6 with the chance of getting stuck , if doubles are rolled. 


These hedges are lower in height, up to waist height and do not block LOS, its classed as a low Obstacle and to cross this hedge you roll 2 D6 and discard the lower dice.

The MDF base is the same length and width as the Rural hedges but the Fibers are lower as seen in the image above ( up to waist height).

I like to apply the PVA glue directly onto the hedge using a old brush.

For these hedges, I used Woodlands Scenic fine earth-blend to apply on the area that the hedge meets the MDF to simulate soil.

I covered the hedge with Woodland Scenic fine turf.

Once dry I applied PVA  glue to the MDF base and applied flock that matched my gaming mat.

The final step was to highlight the hedge by dry brushing the hedge only ,with Vallejo Model Colour Middlestone .
The final product with 3 distinct layers, the hedge,soil and grass.


This hedge is also a low maintained hedge it has the same characteristics as the last hedge.
I call this hedge, the "quick low maintained hedge" because its quick and easy to make.

I thought I had discovered a new way of making hedges as I had not seen anyone on the web making hedges from a Coir door mat but after completing the hedges, I stumbling onto the "Terrain Tutor " take on hedges where he had a guide on how to make this type of hedge. ..."so there is nothing new under the sun".

Flip the Coir mat over and cut strips with box cutters.

Strips ready for next stage.

Using a can of  adhesive spray, cover the whole coir surface and  apply fine flock.
I recommend  wearing gloves.
I used Woodland Scenic green fine turf ,adding a highlight of some lighter colour fine turf.


The gates are constructed with large matches and bamboo sticks glued together and based on a 3 mm MDF base. 

Once glue is dry, undercoat.

Dry brush with Vallejo model colour Beige. 

 Highlight with VMC Biege mixed in with some VMC Iraqui sand.

Further highlight the fence with Vallejo model colour Middlestone with a touch of Iquai sand.

MDF base painted.

Add Rubberized horse hair on the either side of the gate and secure with PVA glue.

Once dry paint PVA glue on the MDF and rubberized horse hair and apply fine flock.

Completed gate.

The reason I have  placed  rubberised horsehair on either side of the gate is to help blend the gate with the different terrain features that would be placed next to the gate.

Gate with wire fence.

Gate with low maintained hedge

Gate with stone wall.

Gate with Rural hedges.

Cheers John 


  1. Thanks John, I was just looking to start on hedges. One question... where do you find rubberised horsehair locally? I tried Google but didn't have much luck.

    1. Thanks Gyro,where do you live?

    2. I live in the states and have had a devil of a time locating it. Any suggestions?

    3. Coir door mats available at Joann Fabrics nationwide in the USA. Often they're on sale at half price, which is about $10. I got a lot of hedges out of one mat.

    4. I'm in the states. I order mine from Upholstery Connection online. When you order a small amount, they will email and make sure that's what you want (because normally people are using it for a big piece of furniture!). If you search Google for upholstery supplies you'll find it faster than searching rubberized horsehair!

  2. Good stuff. Tall hedges / bocage create some interesting terrain effects in Bolt Action too. Rules are in the Battleground Europe book. (page 64)

    1. Thanks xpo172 for your comments.
      cheers John

  3. Exellent tutorial as always John just one problem and it's my problem. We don't have rubberised horsehair in South Africa.

    1. Thanks GReg, mmm sorry to hear you can't acces the rubberised Horsehair, if you every come past Australia one day, I help you get some.
      cheers John.

  4. Creative, realistic and wonderful job on these hedges...impressive gates as well...

  5. Thanks John - inspiring and practical as always. I'd also be interested to know where you source rubberised horsehair (in my case in Australia)? And I'm with Phil - those gates are just brilliant - I love the decaying one!!

    1. thanks DAB, I am in Sydney, which State are you located at?
      cheers John

  6. Neat tutorial. Ive done something similar but much simplified and inferior. I get my rubberised horsehair from World Wide Scenics in the UK. Their static grass and flock are also good products and finish off my hedges nicely.

    1. Thanks nitpickergeneral , thanks for posting a source to purchase the horsehair for UK guys.
      cheers JOhn

  7. Brilliant stuff as ever, John, thanks for the inspiration 👍🏻

  8. Thank you for the very informative tutorial - there is much to see in these different projects.


    1. Thanks Tony,good to see you are enjoying the blog
      cheers John

  9. For those that can't get hold of rubberised horsehair, give this a go to make 'wild' hedges:

    Buy a coir matt (doormat), the darker brown ones are best as they look more like the hedge branches.
    Cut off all the fibres with a box cutter into an old mixing bowl
    Add a large amount of PVA glue and mix with the fibres, you'll end up with a mass of stuck together fibres that you can tease out into hedges
    While the fibres are still wet, shape them into hedges and stick them down to the bases using PVA.
    Apply the fine flock while the glue is still wet and set aside to dry.
    Job done.

    You can use the same method for making haystacks, just use a lighter (straw coloured) matt, and don't add the flock at the end.

    Hope that helps

    1. Yes it is a bit hard to locate rubberised horsehair and thanks Arty Morty for you input and info.
      cheers John

  10. Very nice. An alternative to ruberised horsehair are floor scrubbing mats (unused), the big circular ones used with mechanical scrubbers. I think the horsehair is better but the scrubbing mats lack the horrible feel of the rubberised horsehair.

    1. Thanks Michael is thats a good alternative,
      cheers John

  11. Brilliant tutorial, thanks!

    Do you know roughly how much mdf/horsehair you used in the pictures above?

    1. Thanks Phil,I made up to 50 plus, Hedges.
      cheers John .

  12. Hey John, Just came across your blog while looking for ways of making concrete roads. Going through your article I found these awesome hedges, any idea where to buy rubberised Horsehair? I'm in Melbourne and google is giving me a hard time trying to source it.


    1. Hi Guzzer, sorry for late reply but I don;t get notifications, If you are still interested in some rubberised Horsehair contact me on facebook "john pilatos"
      cheers John