This week we’re going to take a look at adding hedges to Model Railway layouts. Like trees, adding hedges has always been a bit tricky and kind of expensive for most modellers. For a long time, the commercial options have been very pricey and not that great to be honest. But now there are a few options available to Railway & Model Diorama builders and far more affordable prices.
When considering adding hedges to our layouts, we need to consider not only the hedge itself, but its immediate environment & surroundings.
Hedgerows should be much looser in shape that trees and can be made from a variety of different materials such as small pieces of Sea Foam, Lichen such as Gaugemasters GM164, GM165, or GM166, or even clumped scatters. If we look around local area we will see lots of neat, well tended hedges, some scruffy and very ragged, some have small trees growing within them – all are interspersed with gates, walls, driveways, fences. If we take a closer look at farm hedges around fields containing livestock or crops we again see different things around the hedges. Grasses are always much longer when they are close to hedging. In gateways there is often a trampled muddy area from cattle or sheep. Or hedgerows may be littered with straw from a recent harvest depending on the time of year.
Ditches are also often associated with hedges and are a prominent feature of many a rural lane or road.
Here we have a few options. Garden Hedging is normally well looked after and will have nice clean, straight edges. For this we have a few options. Gaugemaster GM160 Light Green & Gm161 Dark Green hedgerows are most suited to OO & HO model railway layouts. Supplied in blister packs with two lengths of hedging measuring 10 x 6mm (50cm long), there is plenty of hedge for your money here. Perfect for park or garden hedging, Gaugemasters offering should like great on most layouts.
Following in a similar vein, there are similar products from Javis, and Faller have their 181443, 181448, 181449 & 181489 hedges.
For those with more generous budgets, Fallers Premium Hedges 181398 – Light Green and 181399 – Yellow Flowering (looks like Forsythia) will definitely fit the bill!
For a slight more scruffy look, Faller produce 4 great looking premium hedges with a more bushy appearance and with the option of flowering or non-flowering. These can be found in their catalogue, item nos: 181350 – Light Green , 181352 – Red Blooming, 181356 – Light Green & 181358 – Red Blooming.
Making Your Own Hedges
There are many many options available for making your own hedges for Model Railways. One of the oldest and most tried and tested is by using those Green Plastic Scouring Pads you can get in supermarkets. Simply cut into strips with a pair of scissors you can quickly create a relatively realistic, well cared for, hedgerow. If you want to spice things up a bit, give the strips a coat of UHU spray glue, or even dab on a bit of PVA, then coat the whole strip with an appropriately coloured scatter. This will improve the appearance no end, giving a more leafy appearance.
A further enhancement with this type of hedging is to tear the strips rather than cut them (sometimes can be a bit hard to tear). This will give a rough appearance to the top edge. To add further realism to the sides of the hedging it is also possible to hack at the sides with a pair of pliers, pulling and twisting at the strip of scouring pad to give a rough, un-tended look. This can take some time however and results do vary. Some scouring pads work better than others. Trial and error is the key here.
A good way to make Country hedges is to use small chunks of lichen in various colours. Lichen is cheap to buy (see our own lichen bulk bags here). It can be glued into place quickly and easily using UHU or PVA and looks great.
Adding hedges to your layout will bring an instant touch of realism. Making your own can be very enjoyable and rewarding, and can save you a considerable amount of money, providing you have a little spare time to invest in making them. Spending a few moments looking around your local neighbourhood will be well worth them time in terms of inspiration and ideas for how your hedges should look. If you are looking for instant results, then you can’t go wrong with Gaugemasters GM160 & GM161 Hedging.