Saturday, February 2, 2013

More bocage, a field and a lone Highlander

Around Christmas I completed 2.4 metres of bocage.  It doesn’t go very far and so i plan to do another 2.4 metres.
I wasn’t happy with the photo, realising I needed some fields so I had a bit of the cardboard that comes with boxed chocolates in my terrain box and decided to fix that up.  Of course it warped when I glued it to a solid piece of cardboard, but I was ready for that and after a bit of bending I smeared glue on the bottom side and that seems to have fixed it.

While I was doing the bocage I also made up some stone walls (kitty litter glued onto a pop stick) and these, along with the sheep (six bases which I used for my DBM/DBA camps) pretending to be another field (maybe a meadow) are featured in the photos.

Recently I had read a post about a flaw with the mounted officer in the Airfix Napoleonic Highlanders set.  The rear belt is not moulded on the figure.  As I didn’t recall this I dug up the figure I had painted and sure enough, I had painted on the belt to cover up.  I painted this figure in the early 1970s (forty years ago) so no wonder I didn’t remember the flaw.  I was just glad to see I had compensated for it.

Anyway, here he is, front and back, lost somewhere in the bocage in France.


  1. I really like those walls... Kitty litter eh? .. I may give that a go myself. Did you just simply build them up layer by layer?


  2. If I remember correctly, this is my technique for making the stone walls:
    1. Shave off hard edges of pop sticks and paint both sides brown.
    2. Sort kitty litter by sifting to separate large bits from small bits. This was not totally successful, but was something I was doing as part of the bocage manufacture.
    3. Squeeze out a strip of PVA glue down centre of pop stick and place large sized pieces of kitty litter along this to form the base. Put aside to dry.
    4. Squeeze more PVA glue on the top of the first layer of kitty litter and place medium sized pieces of kitty litter to build up the wall. I found with my sifting both the large and small sets of kitty litter I had sorted had medium sized bits so it was fairly easy to find suitable bits. Put aside to dry.
    5. Squeeze a final layer of PVA glue and use smaller bits to finish off the wall. Three layers seems about right for the 15mm scale I was working to. Put aside to dry.
    6. Patch up any noticeable holes in wall as a “make good” type step.
    7. Put glue on the base and sprinkle some sand to give texture. I was looking for a Mediterranean or dry climate feel.
    8. I then painted the whole lot brown (Tamiya Flat Brown or Red Brown). I was a bit concerned how the PVA glue that was on some surfaces took the paint better than the kitty litter which just absorbed the paint, living a lighter shade, but in the end it didn’t matter.
    9. I then brushed on Vallejo Stone Grey and finally dry brushed on some off white paint.
    10. I finished the basing with a dry brush of Tamiya Flat Earth and some yellowish flock and some small bits of shrub.
    11. Last step was a spray of matt varnish.

    This was done as a filler task while I was doing other things so I didn’t really notice the time. The PVA glue held the litter well – many years ago I had tried making walls with gravel and araldite but that was fiddly. As luck would have it I found those grey walls the other day, but need to rebase them as I just had them on thin cardboard painted dark green (which was the colour of the table tennis table I used to use for games back then and also the “let’s hide the base” technique I was aiming for, with stupid results in retrospect. You can see the old base of the mounted figure was in the flat base style – not very practical when moving troops.)

    Thanks for your comment; I hope the above explains what I did okay.