Easy Forest Boundries

One of the terrain issues I’ve often struggled with is representing the edges of wooded areas in a manner that is attractive, flexible, compact, and quick to deploy.

I’ve used a lot of oddly shaped felt pieces, but making larger wooded areas with those doesn’t work as well for larger wooded areas and requires a big pile of them.  Plus they just don’t look as nice as I’d like, at least if you do not make a considerable investment in time making them look good.   I’ve tried laying out boundaries with flocking (looks OK, but pretty slow and not very precise) and colored sand (applies easier, but doesn’t look as good).   At one of the games Bob ran here for our group, he had produced boundaries for his woods with clumps of foliage and lichen.  This looked really nice, especially since the edges of wooded areas tend to be brushy (more light gets through so more undergrowth comes up).  However, it is really slow to pick up and put down.  What was needed was a way to put down a lot of brush clumps at once…

Materials needed:

Woodland Scenics Foliage Clusters



Split shot fishing line weights




1)  Cut off a length of thread double the length of the desired length of brush line.  I make mine in various lengths between 2′ and 4′.  Thread the needle and double over the thread.

2)  Use the pliers to attach one of the split shot weights to the free end of the thread.  This will provide the stop for the foliage clusters and give your brush line some weight to help it stay on the table.

3)  Break the foliage clusters up into appropriately sized pieces.  I make mine between 1/4″ and 1/2″, ideally.

4)  Take a piece of the Foliage Clusters push the needle through the middle to attach it to the thread.  Slide it down to the weight.  Continue adding foliage cluster chunks and sliding them down to make a string of brush clumps.

5)  When you get near the end of your length of thread, close off the end by clamping another split shot weight around the thread.  Trim away the excess thread.

6)  Obscure the weights at each end by painting them green or even flocking them with some Woodland Scenics flock.

If you wish, you can place additional weights along the way to give the line of brush some added heft and staying power on the table top.

To use these, simply lay them out to delineate terrain features on your map.  I made them with woodlines in mind, but they could just as easily be used to outline fields, marshes, etc.  Deploying these on the table is very quick and they are extremely flexible.  A 2′ section will make a small wood of approximately 6″ square and you can combine multiple lengths to create woods of any shape and size.   For more pictures of these wood boundaries in action, check out the FOW- Road Ambush in Belorussia report.  All of the wooded areas on that table were marked using these brush strings and it took me about 5 minutes to outline all of them.



3 responses to “Easy Forest Boundries”

  1. Jim Pitts says :

    This is one of those “It’s so easy, why didn’t I think of that?” projects. I’ll have to give it a try as my wife has plenty of thread. All I need to get are some fishing weights and in Mississippi that shouldn’t be too hard. :^)

    Thanks, Jim

  2. ArmChairGeneral says :

    These are a great idea! I have often used lichen and woodland scenics clump foliage at the borders of my forests in lieu of the felt borders. I feel that it looks nicer and the figure bases do not stick. I like this idea though. I could use these clumps for hedges and bocages and many other things besides jungle/woods borders. Excellent share!

  3. Jason Lee says :

    Man, I love this! I’m a fan of the over-detailed rigid tree-stand with a detailed base and a half dozen on it, but its really hard to get those to cover much table area. These would mix nicely to give that effect.

    Oh, actually, just thought of this: do one of these around a rigid tree stand, and you’ve just modeled light and heavy woods, bog check on the edges, skill check on the dense core! LOVE IT!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: