15 July 2011

Building plank fences 1

I also spent the afternoon yesterday building 5 plank fence sections which can be placed to form some interesting alleys and secluded areas - perfect for Malifaux, Legends of the Old West, Strange Aeons - and perfect hunting ground for Jack the Ripper.

The fence is made out of 3 components. The frame is made out of square flower stick. The round wooden piece adding stability is a BBQ stick and the planks themselves are popsicle sticks which are cheap and perfect for this kind of thing since they are made out of durable material and have perfect width and can be cut into desired length.

About cutting the popsicle sticks, I started sawing them with a small hobby saw, the kind that look like a meat cleaver. But that took forever and holding the sticks in place made my hand ache after an hour’s work. It also went slooooooow. So I went out to the garage and grabbed a chisel and a hammer. I then placed the sticks on a thick piece of wood and chopped the hell out of a 100 sticks. Chopping of the rounded edges (which are perfect to keep for wooden tombstones) and then chopping the sticks in half at irregular lengths.

Once all materials are piled up the assembly of the fences is super fast. About 20-25 minutes per section, simply super glue the planks in place.

I started out the day by painting the sections with a ochre/greyish/dirt color too simply make the  fences look like raw wood that has darkened. As I write this I'm waiting for it all to dry.

The idea was to paint it all with my GW Spray gun, of course I accidently dropped the damn paint jar which shattered on the ground. Luckily I was able to find almost all pieces, and all the important pieces to be able to glue it together. Now the jar looks like shit, but it is water tight and the top section of the jar has enough glass left after gluing it together that I could screw the muzzle piece on without problem. It actually works just like before, but I don't know how long it will hold - does anyone know if the paint jars GW is selling with their "Spray guns" is identical to those used with regular airbrushes if I would buy a spare one?

I will apply posters and such to the fence to make it look a bit more interesting once the paint dries.


  1. They look great and it looks like you've made them modular enough and made enough of them to do the trick. Thanks. Downer about the jar - bit of an efort but suggest you take the jar to a shop and see if it screws in to what they have?

    Fingers crossed someone can confirm though.

  2. Yea it looks like most of the airbursh paint jars, as long as it can be fixed with the muzzle top piece it doesn't really matter who makes it. This one holds together quite well - for now - but having 1-2 spare jars would not be a bad idea.

    The 5 sections are very versatile in what I can build. And they look pretty good painted up worn and dirt. Just in the process of making small posters that I will glue onto the fence in various spots.

  3. I picked up spare airbrush jars at Hobbycraft. In addition there are always loads on sale at the IPMS Show in Telford - see Scale Modelworld



  4. oooo nice work will be good to see how these paint up

  5. Pretty nice - however I would use those smaller coffee stir sticks for the fence boards since they seem a bit more in scale. The result would, admittedly, be less durable. Also my only source for those sticks is "grab a handful at Second Cup", which is not the most honest way to get supplies.

    Anyway... I also like how you cut them different lengths. It gives your fences a lot of character!

  6. Definitely an inspired idea to make them free-standing! The great thing about this sort of terrain is that, as you pointed out in your first paragraph, it'll do for all manner of periods.
    Right, where's my stash of balsa offcuts...

  7. Thanks guys, a person over at The Miniature Page suggested gates - and that is the next thing to do. Standalone gate pieces :-)

    And yeah I love terrain that can be used for multiple games. These fences will do for 4 of my miniature games which is great since I always have limited amount of storage space at home.

  8. Pingu the Killer PenguinJuly 17, 2011 at 12:25 PM

    I tried all manner of ways to cut lollipop/popsicle sticks, including hacksaws, fretsaws, hammer and chisel, tinsnips etc and then I came across this beauty. http://www.antenocitisworkshop.com/nwsl-the-chopper-ii.html. Not cheap but if you are cutting a lot of these guys worth every penny

  9. It wasn't too expensive, but the shipping from Antenocitis is. I wonder how thick/hard the wood can be to allow cutting without damaging the chopper? The popsicles are pretty damn hard, have you tried it yourself Pingu?

  10. may i recomed scissors? it works well for most thin woods.

  11. http://cgi.ebay.co.uk/Chopper-II-Tool-Miniature-Wood-Styrene-Cutter-/190544987111?pt=LH_DefaultDomain_0&hash=item2c5d5dc3e7

  12. Widgren, scissors would have no chance against the popsicle wood. It is really hard. It would work if it was balsa.

  13. Pingu the Killer PenguinJuly 18, 2011 at 6:01 PM

    Yes I have tried it, works a treat on popsicle sticks, coffee stirrers and even strips of 3mm MDF. I've also used it to chop plastic sprue but that eventually snapped the blade. Not such a big deal as the blades are single edged razor blades.


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