Tuesday, October 06, 2009

Easy 15mm Fences for ACW --

While reading Steve-the-Wargamer's blog, I was reminded of my easy method for making split-rail fences for the War Between the States.

(note -- click on photo for larger image)

These fences are really simple to make. Start with flat toothpicks. Cut some into sections about 5/8ths of an inch in length. Glue these into "X" shapes.

After these have dried, glue full-length toothpicks into opposite sides of the Xs. (note the three segments lying sideways in the photo -- while they obviously stand the other way --these give a better idea of how the fence segments are constructed.)

Glue one X near the end of the toothpicks; and the other a bit past halfway. Be sure to have the narrow ends of the toothpicks go in opposite directions since they look better that way.

Now you can place the "long" end of a segment against the "short" end of another to get the right look to the fences. And these are very flexible. They can be used to make either straight fences or the irregular fences so common on the rural frontier.

The best part is that these segments are pretty mindless to make. You can do it while watching TV . . . or if you have children, you can probably get them to make them.

Finally I will note that they probably should be painted grey since that is what most weathered fences I've seen look like . . . but they will look okay even if left as is.

-- Jeff


Martin said...

Hi Jeff!

That is an EXCELLENT idea! What really impresses me is the dead simple technique that will look good on the tabletop! Miles and miles of fencing for next to nothing. Thanks for sharing!


A J said...

They look excellent, Jeff. Nice build, easily obtainable materials.

Frankfurter said...

I'd been building chevaux au frise out of round toothpicks with a very similar technique ... but I was still dithering on ways to plump together some nice fencing ...

Prinz Geoffrey said...

Thanks for the fence technique, will have to build some of those.


Steve-the-Wargamer said...

Nice one Jeff - thanks for the hints and tips - mine are made from long matches (in the UK they are sold as BBQ matches) - you can see them here...


...what I do need to do is re-paint them or dry brush them as you're absolutely right about the colour..

Ross Mac rmacfa@gmail.com said...

Its a bit late but.... if you soak the toothpicks for a couple of hours in a very thin black wash then let them dry, they will come out looking a nicely weathered wood-grey and be much less work than painting avter assembly.

Bluebear Jeff said...


What an excellent suggestion! Thank you.

-- Jeff

Frankfurter said...

Ross, I must agree.
I also have to try it!

But I understand that the Austrians actually had prepared Chevaux au Frise which they painted and carried with them, while others would not have had time to age ...
Then again, I could say they were made out of old fence rails!