Sunday, January 26, 2014

Making Bocage For 28mm World War 2

Hello all,

Here is a little "how to" on making bocage for your 28mm WW2 wargames.  I'll be using this for my Bolt Action games and have several lengths in progress (12", 6", 4", some with gates, and corners).  The finished product looks like the pictures below ...

The finished product.  StuG III G shown
is from Warlord Games.

From another angle.

Here is what you'll need:

  • Woodland Scenics clump foliage (two colours - dark and light green).
  • Stone pebbles from your local pet store (for a fish tank).
  • 1/8th inch round balsa wood for "pegs" (frame for clump foliage).
  • Square/rectangle balsa wood for creating a frame for the clump foliage.
  • Drill with 1/8th inch bit.
  • Hot glue gun.
  • Super glue.
  • Black spray paint.
  • Paint and paint brushes for drybrushing the base and rocks.
  • Thick cardboard for the base (I use mapboard).
  • 1/2 round wood strip.
  • Wallboard joint compound (plaster).
  • Sand for basing.
  • White glue and super glue.
The first think I did is cut down a 12" strip of the 1/2 round wood strip and also a 1" wide by 12" strip of the mapboard to create the base.  I super glued the 1/2 round wood strip to the base.  Since it is wood, you don't have to worry about the cardboard base warping after painting and such.

Cut the cardboard base and 1/2 round wood strip.
The above is a straight 12" length.

Glue to two together using super glue.

A closer look, make sure there is a bit of a lip
either side of the wood strip.

Next I use the plaster to fill in the gap between the edge of the base and the 1/2 round wood strip.

I get the per-mixed plaster from my local hardware store.

Fill in the gap between the edge of the base and the
1/2 round wood strip on each side.

Do the next step before the plaster sets.

Next I use the stone pebbles to glue some rock clusters to the base.

Very inexpensive - get fish tank stones from your
local pet store.

Glue some rocks down to the base - the plaster should
not be dry yet - allowing you to push the rocks into
the plaster when necessary.

Sand the base - spread white glue and dip in the fine grain sand.

All sanded and dry.

Next is to build the frame that will be used to glue the clump foliage into the shape of a bush/wall.  Use the drill to drill holes into the center of the base every 3 inches.  Then cut the balsa wood round pegs to fit the holes - I put my total height from the bottom of the base to the top of the balsa peg at 1.5 inches.

Drill the holes for the balsa pegs.

Glue the pegs into the holes - height to the top of the
pegs is 1.5 inches.

Use the square/rectangle strips of balsa to build a top run for the frame.

Both sides get two strips of balsa to build out the
frame for the clump foliage.

Next it is ready for painting.  Spray paint the whole thing black, then finish the base and rocks.

Spray painted black - make sure to get the frame
completely black so it isn't seen through
the clump foliage.

I used GW Rhinox Hide, GW Steel Legion Drab, and
Foundry Base Sand 10C for the "dirt" and
Foundry Slate Grey A, B, and C for the rocks.

Painting finished.
Next it is time to use the hot glue gun to glue the clump foliage onto the frame.  As you get little gaps here and there you can use super glue to glue in bits to fill those holes -- better to use super glue and avoid the runs/spider webs that are inevitable with glue guns.  I also got back after I'm done with tweezers to remove any spider webs of hot (now dry/cold) glue that are visible.

Hot glue gun time - have extra glue sticks and lots
of clump foliage at the ready.  I start at one end,
do the top, then work my way around the sides,
then the very bottom - the gap between
the base and bottom of the frame.

The finished product - side A.

The finished product - side B.

The last thing that should be done is to spray the clump foliage with a 50/50 mix of water and white glue to prevent the foliage from falling off easily.  You could also spray it with clear coat, but that is less effective as it only coats the outside of the clump foliage --- the water/glue mix soaks into the foliage and is far more effective.

I'll need to trim the foliage at the ends a bit when I complete more sections so that they fit tightly together.

Hope this was useful!


  1. Very nice hedges..your technique is very different to mine but I am amazed how similar they look..all the best

    1. Thanks Eric ... I guess clump foliage is clump foliage ... no matter how you get it done ;-)

  2. What is your technique for cutting the wooden dowels in half?

    1. The 1/2 round comes like that ... it is trim for woodworking projects ... can buy it like that at any hardware store (they do 1/2 round and 1/4 rounds).