Normandy Bocage with Coir Coconut Fibre

After further internet research i made some new bits of terrain for my Normandy battlefields. Passing through my local Bunnings Warehouse i stumbled upon a big bag of coir coconut fibre for about $6.00. Having read a few blogs about making bocage out of this stuff i thought i would give it a go! Normally this fibre is used for lining hanging baskets and gardening things like that, but for me it was going to become a 5 metre wild hedge on top of a bank/ditch. I think i read an excellent blog called “Little Tin Men” where the idea was illustrated so well.

I cut strips of 3mm MDF 40mm x 150mm and then glued strips of old cut up expanded rubber camping mats (about 6mm thick mats) and glued them on top of the MDF. When they were dry i would carve the sides to be sloping to represent the banks of the bocage. You could use any kind of foam or polystyrene for this too. I then coated each one in acrylic gap filler to smooth out the whole thing. When that was dry a liberal coating of PVA glue followed, which was covered in fine dirt/sand/gravel from my front yard. Regular sand would do the same job. Small twigs and sticks were then jabbed into the foam to give the hedge some structure. I put about 4 twigs into each section. You can also use bigger twigs that turn into trees sticking out of the hedge.

It was then a question of dipping sections of coir fibre into PVA glue and adding them onto the bocage sections building it up to 30-40mm high. This gets messy! Do not worry about being neat and tidy just get the fibre onto the base! I am going to try a hot glue gun next time as i have read good things about this gluing weapon. Once the PVA and coir is dry i attacked the hedges with a pair of scissors to tidy them up. Next a full spray of cheap dark brown paint covered the whole construction.

For the foliage I used a nice coarse bright green flock, but you can use whatever you have kicking around. I think multiple greens work nicely. Paint or spray on diluted PVA glue (50/50) to the hedges and then sprinkle on your flock. Don’t be stingy just chuck it all over the place. Shake off the excess and leave to dry. I did this process twice with different types of flock. Finally i mixed up a 50/50 PVA/Water mix in a spray bottle and sprayed the whole construction again for extra durability.

Final touches were to paint the base an earthy brown and then dry brush lighter brown to pick out the texture and light grey to pick out any bigger rocks. The base was then also flocked with a grassy green to finish it off! The same process i used for some trees on a base, which you can also see below.  I reckon this is the cheapest and most effective way of making big sections of bocage for all your Normandy battle fields out there!

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