Fences in Middle Earth

Since Goatmörser almost completed his LotR board, I myself was highly motivated to start building scenery for LOTR / Hobbit as well. While searching the interwebs I stumbled upon a YouTube-channel of TWS (Tabletop Workshop) having several tutorials for quite good looking and yet not too difficult terrain-making. So I quickly got ready to build some fences during which I slightly changed the TWS-tutorial (but I’ll comment on that a bit later).

For building the fences you’ll need:
2mm plastic card for the bases
Styrodur pieces (about 15cm x 3cm x 0,5cm)
BBQ skewers
rattan cane (1,6mm)
white glue (PVA) (personally I prefer Ponal)
Sand (whatever you prefer)
colours to match your gaming board
colours for painting the fence (black, brown, green, beige)
whatever you like to grow some grass / flowers on the bases

First of all I cut the plastic card into strips of 15 cm x 3 cm using a jigsaw. After cutting I smoothed the edges a bit using a scalpel to scrape off the sharp edges a bit (remember to always cut away from your body!) I absolutely recommend using plastic card over normal paper card, because it is by far more solid and gives a flat a stable ground to any kind of scenery.

The next step was to create 5mm thick blocks of styrodur that I could put on top of the plastic card bases. For easy measurement I simply used the bases themselves as stencils and cut around them. After that I glued the styrodur on top of the bases using the white glue. Then some patience was required because the glues needs quite some time to set.

When everything had dried, I used a scalpel to give the styrodur a rough shape. Then I sanded it smooth (I used a 120 grain). Make sure you leave enough styrodur in the centre of the pieces to stably set the fence posts.

After that I cut the BBQ skewers into pieces of 25mm length each and put them into the styrodur base. Those will serve as the fence posts. I fixed them using a bit of white glue and once again a bit of patience is required until the glue is set. (Because otherwise the posts will bend and the “weaving” of the actual fences will end up with misaligned fence posts…)

The next step was to cut the rattan cane into pieces of 15cm each. The number of pieces varies a bit depending on the height of your fence posts. Once you cut them, you need to weave them between the posts, each layer reversed to the layer beneath it. It’s a good thing to “pre-bend” the parts where you bend them around the fence posts. That way there is a lot less tension on the posts, which makes the whole thing a lot more durable. Glue is not needed because the colour and the natural tension between the material is enough to keep everything in place. Then you’ll just need to cut the excessing parts with some clippers. Cutting the pieces one by one results in a much more natural look.

Last but no least the bases of the fences need some sand to create a naturally looking ground. I dry brushed the base using a caramel brown and after that using a mix of caramel brown an beige.
After that I primed the whole thing with a dark brown, which is also the base colour of my whole gaming board. The next step was to paint the fence with a mix of mid-brown and a drop of black. Then I dry-brushed the fence with the pure mid-brown and (as the last step) with a mix of mid-brown and beige. The last step of painting was done with a thinned green that I used like an ink on the bottom third of the fence to create the impression of moss.

Since I greened up my gaming board I wanted to give the bases of the fences a similar look. First I created some spots using a darker grass flock. After that I used lighter grass to give it a more natural look and to match the looks of my existing gaming board.

All in all I have to say that this whole thing was pretty easy and fun to start with. I am very positive that I’ll be making the next piece of scenery very soon.

The required materials.

The required materials.

The fence is ready.

The fence is ready.

Even more to come.

Even more to come.

Two early ...

Two early …

... WIP shots.

… WIP shots.

About scrum

Loves to paint mass armies but has a hard time to actually paint all of the miniatures necessary. Expect very long answers if you dare to adress a question.

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Comments ( 4 )
  1. Hello scrum,

    Your fences look great. If I hadn’t built some from McDonald’s coffee skewers I would have went for your approach.


    • Thanks Stempe! The tutorials from TWS are really nice and easy to replicate. As I were able to buy that rattan cane at a DIY market round the corner of my office, I hadn´t any idea to build the fences in another way. But the coffee skewers are good to build other terrain pieces. A dunghill is still on my agenda and therefore I’m gonna have a meal at McDonald’s really soon 😉

  2. Hi Scrum, nice to see some new things from you. Your fences are very well. I build some fields in the last 4 month in the same way. With the rattan cane the fences are very fast build an are very nice. I’m looking Forward for more LoR Terrain.

    Do you want to build a fence with a door in the future?

    • Hi Murdock, many thanks! It’s been a long time since we both met. Must be the game between your Orks and my Space Wolves.
      Meanwhile I built a field, too. This will be the next tutorial I’m going to post on the blog. Then next up will be the first building. If this is going well, the theme for the terrain will be clear. As I’m planning to build another field, there will be the chance to put in a door in the fence. I will keep that in mind. Thanks for the suggestion.

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