Monday 4 March 2019

Normandy Bocage

The Bocage countryside of Northern France is a very distinctive feature of pretty much any game set during the Normandy Campaign of 1944. Bocage consists of mixed woodland and pasture with fields enclosed in very high banks topped with wild and unruly hedgerows. These have built up over centuries as farmers cleared rocks from their fields and threw them to the edges. Eventually, these have built up to form large rocky banks covered in a thick-rooted and largely unmanaged crown of hedgerow and trees. 

About nine years ago I made a load of Bocage hedgerow for my Normandy games and wrote a tutorial about how I did it. But I pretty soon realised I needed much much more. Now (just 9 years later!) I have decided to finish the job and make some more. I have been gathering the materials I needed for several months now as this was always going to be a large project involving a lot of greenery. 

The basis of my method is the use of wooden mouldings bought from a DIY store. These form the core of the earth bank and are then topped with stone chippings and sand. I then spray painted the whole lot brown before dry-brushing with a combination of light brown (on the banks) and grey (on the rocks) before adding static grass. With the earthen core completed the next step was to add the hedgerows and trees. I had bought a wide variety of scenic hedges and model trees (the sort sold by model train shops) and decided to cut these up and mix and match as much as possible. Liberal amounts of PVA were applied with additional grass tufts and flowers added to complete the build and give them an individual and wild look. 

The only problem with this new batch is that they look a little different to the stuff I made 9 years ago. I wasn't going to do anything about it I couldn't ignore the problem and in the end, I pulled out my old Bocage and spent a few hours adding new grass and turf to 'blend' these with the new stuff I have made. You can still see a bit of a difference but its less startling now and I think I can use both sets together without it looking incongruous. 

This new batch comes in at a little over 16 feet in length and fills about three 6" terrain cubes. Added to the eight feet of 'old' Bocage I made before and I just about have enough for a 6x4 table!! 


  1. Very effective. I'll have to pinch your nor so secret recipe!

  2. That's some very nice Bocage there. You can never have enough Bocage and this is top class. I'm truly envious sir.

  3. Those look great! One never seems to have enough hedgerows. Very pretty. 😀

  4. they are excellent. Only 9 years.... boy that was quick. I wish I could be as swift.

  5. This will make a big battle!
    Can't wait to see batrep!

  6. Those hedges look great. 9 years to finish a project?! Sounds like one of mine ;-)


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