THE BOCAGE – A closer look
The Bocage Hedgerow sets from Frontline Games were re-released last year (November, 2016) with a lot more detail, so first lets share some photos of the new items that are available. Made of a Polyurethane, so very durable and highly detailed, lets have a look:
(Click pictures to see larger images)
Here are some close-up shots of the straight sections with fallen trees/logs and rock/dirt which has been dug up and pushed into mounds in the edges of farm land for generations.
The sections are approx. 5″ x 1.5″ and come in various inserts for trees and such with exposed roots on many.
What is nice about these is that because of the casting, all of the work has been done for you, and it is solid. All you have to do is paint it (which is actually quite simple) and that will be covered shortly.
Also introduced with the Bocage Hedgerow sets are several specialty sections. Here is a 5″ x 5″ gun emplacement which has been dug into the hedgerow section (and then reinforced with wooden planks) to ambush enemy tanks/units as they approach! The embankments have been reinforced with planks, and a small depression is left for guns to insert their barrels through.
The Light Machine Gun Emplacement, which is meant to have two miniatures mounted on 25mm bases to fit perfectly. There is also included (not in picture) a rear base that connects to the Light Machine Gun Emplacement section (a flat section about an inch wide, pictured later) and ammo cans for LMGs so you can add further detail, which is cool.
This is the front of the L.M.G. Emplacement section.
The M.M.G./Light Gun Emplacement (5″ x 3.5″), which also includes a rear base and ammo cans (again not shown in the above picture, but later) for the M.M.G. This section is also designed to have the Machine Gun nest #401015 slide right into it (as seen in the next picture) or an M.M.G. mounted on a large round base.
A rear shot of the The M.M.G./Light Gun Emplacement 5″ x 3.5″ which also includes a rear base (not in photo) and ammo cans.
This is showing the M.M.G./Light Gun Emplacement with the Machine Gun Pit inserted (#401015 – sold separately). The rear base in the photo is smaller. The actual rear base is as wide as the section itself (shown later).
There is also a gate section that we will show later in the post with a separate gate which can be magnetized to open and close.
These are the ammo crates/cans/bucket which will vary, but will be included with the various emplacements. These are neat because they really add character to the models.
Building/Painting the Bocage Hedgerow set by Frontline Games.
First part – Base coat paint and staining:
Here is the product I used to paint the Bocage Hedgerow sections – all from Walmart:
- Apple Barrel 2620E Pewter Gray Acrylic Paint – Large bottle – $2.00 (they have a smaller bottle for 50 cents, but I bought the larger ones because I plan to paint a lot more of these).
- Apple Barrel 20512E Burnt Umber Acrylic (water-based) paint – Small bottle – $.50
- Rust-Oleum Camouflage 2x Ultra-Cover 279180 “Sand” Spray paint – $3.80
- Rubbing Alcohol – $1.80
- Not shown – seal your newly painted Bocage sections with a matte finish clear coat.
First, clean any flash and then wash them with warm soapy water and then let them thoroughly dry before painting (the water will interfere with the paint if not thoroughly dry.
*Note that at this point after cleaning and before washing you are going to want to drill out your holes for the trees that were included. All I did was match up a drill bit that was the size in width of the peg at the bottom of the trees and then slowly drilled out the holes in all of the tree spots located on some of the Hedgerow sections. This will also allow you to remove the trees for easier storing later.
After that, I sprayed all of the sections with with Rust-Oleum’s Camouflage “sand” spray paint. This paint goes on very nice and flat. Let dry thoroughly. Now you really start to see the detail. (Note the holes drilled out in the tree spots on the various sections.)
I then mixed 1 part Apple Barrel acrylic paint in “Burnt Umber” (which is a very dark brown) and 5 parts isopropyl “Rubbing Alcohol” to create a wash. You can mix as you desire to darken or lighten the wash. I then dabbled it onto each section and then let thoroughly dry.
Just dabble it on liberally to get into all of the cracks andcrevasses. I used a chip brush, but any large paint brush will do. This really brings out the detail even more! You can add more paint to darken the stain or dabble more stain on them after the first coat dries – it is up to you.
It was asked: “So you mix rubbing alcohol with paint to create a wash? Why not just water?“
This is why – Alcohol has a lower surface tension, so it flows into all of the cracks/crevasses and it drys by evaporation so leaves the paint/color much more crisp/solid on the finished item, acting more like a “stain” than a “wash.”
Second part – Painting the Bocage Hedgerow sections
Now I used the Apple Barrel “Pewter Grey” to paint the stones, diluted it with rubbing alcohol 2 to 1, and again began to dabble the paint in the areas – note a lot of the top of the hedgerow sections are going to be covered up with bushes, so depending on how much of that is going to be exposed will determine how much you may want to paint of that area – just a thought. I used a very dark brown diluted (just like the stones) 1 to 1 to paint the fallen branches on the Hedgerow sections. Here are some photos of the progression so far (next is tree armatures and adding flock) – enjoy!
Above, Large Gun Emplacement – front and back with stones painted
Above, L.M.G. Emplacement – front and back.
Above, M.M.G. Emplacement – front
Above, various straight sections. The places where there are holes is where the trees will be added. Note the overgrown roots!
Above, these are the “rockier” sections..
Above, first two corner sections.
Above, second two “rockier” corner sections.
Above, the gate section. The gate has been magnetized so it can be open or closed. You don’t have to do this, but I thought it would be cool to have the gate section magnetized. So what I did was glued a small nail/brad on the gate section by clipping the head of the nail/brad and drilling a small hole right next to the gate-post and then inserted/glued into place and then glued a small earth magnet on the bottom of the gate and Voila! I had a gate that could open and close. If you do choose to do this, it would best be done before you begin to paint.
Third part – Adding flock and bushes to your Bocage Hedgerow sections.
The final stages to your Bocage Hedgerow sections is to paint the extra details such as your slat boards in the various emplacements sections and any other detail you would like to add. Once the painting is done let thoroughly dry.
Next adding flock to your Bocage Hedgerow sections. Mix 1 part PVA (Elmer’s glue) and 1 part water. This is how you apply your flocking to various places on your hedgerow sections. Dabble the glue onto any place you wish to add your flock and then sprinkle the flock onto those places. You don’t need much as the stained sections look great bare, but apply to your own taste. Once complete, let dry, and at this point seal with a clear Matt spray. I used Krylon’s Matt Clear Spray.
Adding your bushes – Once completely dry, I used instant glue (which I bought at Walmart – 4 tubes for about $1.00, so 25 cents a tube). I picked a piece of the cluster foliage, and when I got the shape I wanted, I dripped some instant glue onto the place and at the bottom of the foliage and held until it was firmly in place, which only took about 30 seconds. I did this until it was complete.
Forth part – Adding your trees.
Using the tree armatures we are making the trees that come with the Bocage sets.What you are going to need:
- Tree armatures (come with the set)
- Steel wool (come with the set)
- Any dark brown spray paint
- Any super hold hair spray
- Green flock (some comes with the set but I would suggest getting more from a local hobby store)
Wrap the tree armatures with steel-wool, then spray them with a dark brown paint and immediately sprinkle green flock on them. Let them dry, and then spray with hairspray. Then again let them dry thoroughly, and they will be ready for your hedgerow sections that require trees to complete.
Locate tree armature. spread out your steel-wool to be wrapped around your armature, then wrap the tree armature in your desired shape (this will be the shape of your tree)…
I used Rust-Oleum purchased from Walmart. This paint covers very well. “Satin Expresso” is the paint color I used, although any dark brown will do. Spray the tree armature with steel-wool wrap, and then quickly sprinkle the flock onto the armature. Use something like a shoe box to catch the extra particles so you can use them again. Once dry, spray a liberal amount of hairspray onto the tree armature and let dry thoroughly. It is amazing how the hairspray holds the flock so wonderfully well 🙂
I used a foam board with holes in it to push the trees into to let dry. Once your trees are dry, you can insert them into the holes and your Bocage is ready for play! Here are some samples of painted Bocage Hedgerow sections:
They were a lot of fun to build and add a lot of character to your game table. I have seen homemade hedgerow sections that look nice but have no where near the detail that these have, so well worth it to me.
I picked up some plastic storage containers from IKEA and store my sections/trees in those on a shelf with less than a 10″ x 12″ x 10″ foot print!