Generic Terrain: Hedges Part Two
Let me begin by saying a huge thank you to everyone who's liked, +1'd, hearted and commented on the first part of this project. I've been blown away by the positive response to my humble attempt to make some hedgerows. I only hope that they live up to all the expectation that's out there! But if you have missed the first part of the project, you can read all about it here. You may want to do that as I'm about to dive in where I left off.
This is the point where a lot of people choose to spray their hedge material a dark brown. It's perfectly fine to do this, and probably a necessary step if you're using rubberised horse hair (which is really vulcanised coconut fibre). However, I'm using coco liner which has a lovely natural brown colour. I'm therefore not spray-painting it. I don't think it needs it. But if you're making some yourself and feel it needs a different colour, this is definitely the time to do it!
With the hedge sections assembled, I began work on the bases. These are jumbo lollipop sticks which I believe are also available at Poundland. Completely missed that bargain myself. I'm using the same colours of flocking materials as I use on my terrain boards and on the bases of my miniatures. These are Woodland Scenics Blended Turf (both Earth Blend and Green Blend) and Noch Static Grass Spring Grass. However, I won't be using much static grass on these, certainly not in any clumps. I want to model the more sparse and weed-strewn ground with decaying leaves you normally see under a hedge. This means I'm mixing my blended turf colours.
Now, to make life easier, it's best to have a container to do this work in. You want one that's long enough to take the hedge section. Sadly I didn't have a posh tub available for this. So I did the next best thing. I had a rummage through the plastic recycling and rescued the packaging for my corned beef slices. (Budget? What budget?!?!?!) I poured in the first mix of blended turf (the mainly Earth Blend) and set to work.
It was at this point that I realised I couldn't find my trusty large glass jar. It's great for large brushes, and I have used the lid on countless occasions as a palette for my PVA. So I went back to the recycling pile, found a yoghurt pot, upturned it and carried on regardless. Necessity is the mother of invention after all!
Using an old brush, I applied the PVA glue to the top of the lollipop stick, making sure that I pushed the glue right to the edge of the coco fibre. This also helps to bond the fibres to the base. With that done all the way around, I then make sure that a generous coat of glue goes on the edge of the stick. I then place the hedge section in my tray of flock and flick the flock onto it. You want to make sure that the top and sides are covered. Don't push the section into the flock as this can push the glue away from the edges.
Next comes the spray adhesive part which puts the foliage on the hedgerows. This is really messy and there's no way you want your messy mitts on your phone during this process, so please forgive me for not having any in-progress photos. I'm going to be using Woodland Scenics' Coarse Turf for this. I'm using the Dark Green colour.
I went outside to apply the spray adhesive to my hedge sections. You can't get a more well-ventilated an area than that! Normal instructions tell you to hold the can 6-8" away from the item to be sprayed. Ignore that. You want to make sure you get the glue where you need it, and definitely not where you don't. I was holding the can no more than 2" from the hedge. I made sure I got a good coverage across the top of the hedges. I made sure that I left some of the coco fibre at the bottom of the hedges free from glue. This lets the substructure show through. It's a bit fiddly to achieve this, but the results are well worth it.
I then returned inside and applied the coarse turf. Be warned. Your fingers will get messy, first with the glue, and then with the bit of flock that get stuck to the glue. At this point, you're wanting to make sure you get a good covering so put the stuff on well and press only lightly to ensure it sticks. You're trying to get the turf to stick to the hedge, not to make the coco fibres stick to each other so much that you make a pancake hedge!
I must confess. I ran out of spray adhesive after 22 sections. I don't know if that's good going with a can of spray adhesive or not. However, I remembered that I had plenty of Hob-e-Tac adhesive in the loft, so I went up there to get it.
The instructions say you are best to leave the glue for 15 minutes after applying it when sticking foliage. From personal experience, I prefer to wait only 5 minutes.
And this is the result!
All that I could do was to take a very soft bristled brush and wipe away any loose bits of Coarse Turf from the bottom of the hedge. This tidies them up a bit in preparation for the final stage.
And then I stood back to admire my handiwork.
Obviously, it's best to leave these to dry for a few hours.
And then it was time to rearrange my setup a little. I placed the hedges on my trusty and unique Spongebob Squarepants Hobby Protector (yes, alright, it's an old plastic Birthday tablecloth from many years ago when my son was a lot younger than he is now. But it works. Brilliantly. And it always makes me smile, so it can't be a bad thing now, can it?) And then came my secret ingredient. Green Blend Blended Turf from Woodland Scenics. I set about sprinkling it on the tops of the hedges in much the same way as you'd see Jamie Oliver sprinkling some salt and pepper or goodness only knows what on his culinary concoctions. The aim is to add a little contrasting colour on the tops of the hedges.
I'm really happy with the way they have turned out. Let me know your thoughts in the comments section below!